Oslo Design Fair January 2020

Last Wednesday Michael and I went to Oslo Design Fair in Lillestrøm, to visit the yarn stands, as well as to meet fellow designers. The theme for this trade fair was Impossible/Possible. “What if we can make the impossible, possible? It is hard to imagine a society that is   different than how we have it just now. But if we look back in time, we know that the changes will come and with today’s environmental threat and technological development the changes will come quicker than ever. Think about everything we know that we still do not know yet? Large challenges also create large possibilities. Oslo Design Fair wants to promote Norwegian Design and industry, art, crafts and architecture.” The well-known quote from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast!” was the inspiration for this theme.

I am wearing my Alva design, knitted in Tropical Lane Woolissimo, with a belt around the fronts, looking at the new samples from Rauma Garn. In the top photo the posters display the catalogue cover for the “Tumiyarn and for the “Tjukk Mohair” yarn. The yarn companies are in Hall B, which hosts the categories jewellery, Norwegian craftsmanship, textile, fashion, yarn & hobby.

The best stand, that stood out in its bright pink & flower glory, was in Hall C (Design & Interior Architecture) by the company “Lykke Blomster” and they wanted to spread the “Luck” in their name “Luck Flowers”. It worked, they did!

Now, this piano was not only for display, but was actually in use during the day, while we were there.

 Here are more of the samples on the Rauma stand.

Sandnes Garn display.

Järbo Garn, the Swedish company. The were more yarn companies there, but as you might have guessed, Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk did not have a stand (they usually do not on the January fair).

Cappelen Damm podium on the main street promoting some of their popular titles. We met designers Tove Lindtein, Bente Presterud and Familien editor Åse Myhrvold Egeland during the day. I enjoyed the fair, even though there were even less yarn companies than at the last fair this time, I always have the opportunity to see the new yarns and designs coming this spring.


Nordic Living Fair at Lillestrøm January 2019

Oslo Design Fair is now only once a year in August, while the fair in January is re-named “Nordic Living” with more focus on Interiors, but both are taking place at Norway Trade Fairs at Lillestrøm (outside of Oslo). Hence Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk did not have a stand at this trade fair. Michael and I went on Wednesday, the opening and press day. As you can see in these photos there were less people than usual visiting the fair.

This is the main exhibition in Hall C, presenting the topic of this fair: Embracing Change. One of the quotes on the wall read: “Embracing change in all aspects of life, gives room to humanly development.” The fair’s website reveals that: “Nordic Living is directed towards lifestyle and retail. First and foremost it is a buyers’ fair with exhibitors in focus, but it will also offer a program and inspiration”.

I was intrigued by the new Swedish designer who is taking over after Solveig Hisdal, who is retiring, at Oleana (and do notice where they photographed their Autumn/Winter 2018 collection). She has a very different style to Hisdal but the knitwear and the fabrics are still all made in Norway. The black dress in the background is woven in a Wool and Linen mixture, resulting in a jeans like fabric.

Now, in Hall B there were still a number of yarn producers: Rauma, House of Yarn, Sandnes, Permin (Danish), Cewec (Danish) and Viking Garn among others. I spoke to some of the exhibitors and find it useful to hear their take on the latest trends and their best sellers. Mohair yarn and especially thick mohair yarn knitted up into straight sweater with a bit of lace or cable and wide sleeves seemed to be The trend. To me this is a return to the 80’s and best suited for teenagers or skinny women (or in the past…).

Above are some of the new designs made for House of Yarn. As usual I met up with designer and author Tove Fevang, handicraft editor for the magazine “Familien” Åse Myhrvold Egeland and designer Bente Presterud Røvik. For the first time I also met Trine Lise Høyseth, another freelance designer working a lot for House of Yarn. We all had lunch and talked about designing and the social media pressure.

Even the product exhibition in the street with the entrance to all the halls was smaller than usual and only in one part and on one side of it. Michael and I also had a second coffee with Åse later in the afternoon before we headed off to the train station to meet friends visiting from London. I must admit that I enjoyed the fair and the opportunity to meet people I work with.