I am in shoe heaven, and I have been there for quite awhile now. It is several months since I first spotted Monica Stålvang‘s amazing shoe creations at Designerkollektivet in Oslo. So what happened? Well, last week, I went to her showroom and studio at Bislett, and I have hardly slept since! Yes, her shoes have kick started a whole series of new designs to match their elegance and superiority. No, I did not leave the shop empty handed since I need to have them in front of me when I design! Entering the shop, with a studio at the back, feels like entering a smart shoe showroom in Milan. No wonder really since there are photos on the wall from Milan and Florence, indeed all of Monica’s shoes are made in Milan, where she has lived for years. I also loved seeing her sketches and then being able to study the finished pair. Monica has sourced the finest Italian leather, as well as Italian craftsmanship, and combines it with different materials, builds numerous kinds of soles and heals – that you can walk in and not merely totter around – into exquisite shoes and boots.
Above is Carla in wine, and despite Monica’s good photo, it does not do them justice because they are even more gorgeous in real life. The platform at the front and the stable heel do make them easy to walk in, to my utter astonishment!
Above is Carmen in petrol, which shows the play with different types of leather as well as colors. The interesting color and leather combinations makes each design seem like an unexpected innovation. Monica showed me some of the leather samples for the new collection which has not arrived yet, and I cannot wait to see it. There is, unfortunately, a limit to how many pairs I can buy, but thankfully I can borrow for press loans, so I am planning future photo shoot in detail far into the night.
The final photos from last autumn’s photo shoot by Kim Müller show stunning dancer Francesca Golfetto wearing the Lace Ridge Top/Hullkant Topp with cowl knitted in the beautiful Perle/Pearl, a 4-ply/fingering mercerized cotton held double in the shade Røsslyng/Heather using 4 mm/US 6. The cotton comes in a large selection of lovely colors delivered on a 200 gram cone with 670 m/732 yds from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, see www.ull.no. The Norwegian pattern will be published on Monday in a separate magazine from Familien called Håndarbeid/Handicrafts, while the English pattern will be test knitted in my Ravelry group, set to start in April, before publishing in my Ravelry Store.
A casual, stretchy long sleeveless top in an open lace ridge pattern, with a boat neck and a high twisted rib over the hips. The top is easy to knit in the round. It is worked in a divine mercerized cotton from Hifa, called Perle/Pearl which is held double to emphasize the structure of the lace pattern. The cable cowl accentuates the design and gives the top a more dressy look.
The top comes in size S to XXL with generous ease, and a tight twisted rib while the cowl is one size. Above you can see the top worn with the rib pulled up. The body is knitted in the round up to the armholes and then flat to shoulders. The Lace Ridge Pattern creates a ladder at the join. There is no neckband nor armhole bands which help to make this a quick knit with minimal finishing required.
The cowl can be worn once or twice around the neck. The braid is too wide and difficult to work without a cable needle, as I would otherwise recommend. The cowl, worked in the round on a short circular needle, has a temporary cast on so that the ends can be easily grafted or sewed together.
I already long for my next photo shoot, but know I need to knit a substantial amount of garments before I am ready. But as you might have guessed, I am working on it…
After my recent photo shoot, I received 173 photos from photographer Kim Müller. I did manage to narrow it down to 50 photos but really struggled to pick the agreed 20 and ended on 22 photos of the stunning Francesca Golfetto which he then optimized. The first ones I would like to show you is of the Tyrol Jacket, knitted in the hand-dyed Madeline Tosh DK – see madelinetosh – since I have just announced the test knit on Ravelry. Indeed, a very popular one since there are only spaces left in the larger sizes; L, XL and XXL if you want to join, see Ravelry. My aim with the photo shoot was to have marvelous photos displaying an artistic elegance and sensuality. I achieved my aim, thanks to dancer Francesca Golfetto, photographer Kim Müller and my husband; the photo assistant!
I had asked Francesca to wear her hair in a loose bun and smoky eyes. Of course she obliged and looked divine despite taking part in the 3,5 hour long premier performance of the ballet I Fokines Verden/In Fokine’s World the evening before, see photos here: Operaen. All she needed was an extra cup of coffee!
Francesca is a smaller size than I am, she is a typical XS; 30-32″ while I am a S; 34″, hence the Tyrol Jacket is worn with more ease on her than on me. I did find these cables with parts of reversible stocking stitches addictive hence I had to make a matching scarf. The bordering garter stitch do seem to make the cables pop out and I love that!
The Tyrol Jacket pattern will be released in my Ravelry store after the completed test knit, in January. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I do!