My workshops schedule for this autumn, begins with the Strikkefestivalen/ Knitting Festival in Fredrikstad 16. to 18. September 2022. Yes, I have been to this festival several times including last year. I am holding 4 workshops in Norwegian: Smarte strikketeknikker/Smart Knitting Techniques – which I held in English in Vienna back in 2017 at the Vienna Wool & Design Festival – Flettestrikk Masterklasse/Cable Masterclass, Perfekt Passform/Perfect Fit and Engelske Mønstre/English Patterns. Just like last year the festival offers Talks, Exhibitions, a Market Hall, Knit & Sing and Knitting Cafés, in addition to the workshops. You can see the full program and book tickets here: strikkefestivalen.no. I look forward to going back to Fredrikstad (the oldest fortified town in Norway, founded in 1567) and already know I will meet some of you there.
The Strikkefestivalen/Knitting Festival in Fredrikstad, one hour south of Oslo, was back in action last weekend (17th to 19th of September). It takes place in the lovely Fredrikstad Old Town; the oldest fortified town in Norway (founded in 1567) and in the Nordic countries, and one of the best-preserved fortress towns in Northern Europe. I held workshops for the fourth time at this festival and met so many happy knitters, several of whom I had met before. Above is the beautiful Tina Hauglund, aka Strikkezilla, known for her baby and children patterns as well as her instagram profile. Michael came with me and took all these brilliant photos! Here is a link to the last festival held back in 2019: Strikkefestivalen in Fredrikstad 2019,
Above is a photo of the largest market hall just a few hours before closing time on Sunday afternoon. For the first time a second market hall was set up to space out the vendors due to the Covid-19. On Saturday there was a long queue to get in with limited number of people who could get in at one time.
Designer Helle Siggerud and I had a closer look at the hand dyed yarns during the lunch break on Friday afternoon. If you are wondering what I am wearing, I can reveal that it is my Airic design, knitted in the soft Di Gilpin Lalland Lambswool.
Three of my four workshops were sold out. Above you can see me preparing for the first one; Smart Knitting Techniques. The workshop venue was the The Commandant’s House, which was the commander’s official residence for more than 200 years; from 1796 to 2002 to be precise. During the weekend I also used the opportunity to talk to the other participating designers who I had not seen for a long time: Tove Fevang, Denise Samson and Birger Berge. We all stayed at the same hotel and met at breakfast. The festival volunteers did a marvellous job assisting the organisers. I had a fabulous time!
I have been back to the lovely Fredrikstad Old Town; the oldest fortified town in Norway (founded in 1567) and in the Nordic countries, and one of the best-preserved fortress towns in Northern Europe. The Strikkefestivalen/knitting festival is in its 4th year and still going very strong, run by four Knitting Motors: Marit Larsen, Lill Bjørnstad, Mette Bakken and Rita Walter together with numerous volunteers. They offer an impressive program with workshops, talks and including events such as “Knit & Poetry”, “Psalms & Knit” and “Knitting Cinema”. Above you see the courtyard surrounded by the museum, the market hall and the knit café, all held in these magnificent historic buildings dating back to 1775.
Michael and I went down to the Fredrikstad Museum on the day before the festival to mount my exhibition. Above you see a photo Michael took of me and my corner. I am wearing Aylwen next to my blue Vela, behind it is the grey Prescott Pullover. On my other side is the natural Nemetona and behind it the green Rørbye Cardigan. I used the opportunity to check if Makeløs – Remarkable Kristin Elise Halkjelsvik if she wanted to meet us for lunch at Café Magenta and she did! Read more about the café at the bottom. Indeed, she found me several times during the festival too and brought her husband to the Indian restaurant where designer Tove Fevang, Michael and I had our dinner on Friday night.
Lunchtime on Friday, Kristin found Tove and me having lunch at the knitting café. Kristin is a culture stylist and her outfits are magnificent and combines stylish elements with bright splashes of colour here made of tulle around the neckband plus cuffs of this otherwise traditional Setesdal Inspired Kofte (read: stranded colorwork jacket with traditional borders from the Setesdal Valley). Michael captured them better than I did.
I held two workshops on Friday: Flettestrikk Masterclass/Cable Knitting Masterclass and Engelske Mønstre/English Patterns. Luckily, I met both knitters I knew from previously but also knitters I had not met earlier! Above is three of them yarn shopping at the Projo stand.
Just like me, Helle Siggerud also had an exhibition in another corner of Fredrikstad Museum. Unlike me, Helle is a sewer and have designed all these lovely outfits, inspired by our national costumes. Yes, Helle also sews national costumes, see more on her webpage: Helles Syskrin.
Yarn dyer Hege Dagestad was there – see above – and so was Karen Walthinsen of Enchanted Forest Fibers, who I had not met before. Below is another yarn photo, as I know I cannot include too many of those for you to look at.
Below is a photo Michael took of Tove and me checking out the stands. I am wearing my Aife knitted in the gorgeous hand dyed Dye Dye Done, Pure Sport and it is currently being test knitted before I release the pattern in English and Norwegian on Ravelry and Love Crafts.
I took the other photos above on Saturday morning before the Market Hall became too full and before my third workshop. The festival had booked all the workshops holders into the same hotel so we all met up for breakfast on Saturday morning. That was a nice treat.
Above is the sign and the outdoor seating for my favourite coffee shop in the Old City, Café Magenta – where the captives of the fortress were held back in 1731. The owners have come to love the knitting festival. Back in 2016, they had no idea what caused the invasion (of mainly female vistitors that is) during the first knitting festival. This year they were prepared and their meny was found printed to take away, inside in the Market Hall.
After my workshop on Saturday from 3 to 6 PM, Michael and I drove home. While I was finishing up my workshop, Michael dismounted my exhibition. I had a fab time, as always! Thank you to the organisers, to all the knitters I met and all my designer friends!
For the 3rd time the Strikkefestivalen/Knitting Festival was organised in Fredrikstad Old Town, the oldest fortified town in Norway (founded in 1567) and in the Nordic countries and one of the best-preserved fortress towns in Northern Europe (see more photos from two years ago here). I arrived on Friday by train from Oslo, in the aftermath of a hurricane (read: extremely windy and wet), and did wonder whether the city ferry to the old town was running. It was, but the rocking sensation did make it feel more like being on the ferry to Denmark, crossing the North Sea. Thankfully, the ferry only takes a few minutes to cross the river Glomma. Due to the extreme weather, there were less knitters visiting the market hall on the Friday, than last year. So I did manage to have a good look, but did not buy anything (read: very well done). I walked over to the Commandor’s building, where all the workshops were held, met a few knitters I recognised from last year, to find designer Tove Fevang since both of us were staying with organiser and founder of the travel agency Explore Travel; Marit Larsen. But before we headed home to Marit, we went to the Official Opening Event taking place in what would be the Knit Café for the event, in the Cloth House (another former military building, now housing the museum and premises for rent). A place perfect for drinking wine and knitting. Take a look at the video (above) the festival made for volunteers and get a better idea of the idyllic old town setting. Actually, more than 90 volunteers did participate this year.
Tove and I had wine at Marit’s house. Yes, Marit found us chatting in the kitchen when she came home a few hours later. Tove held her third while I held my first workshop on Saturday morning from 10 am to 1 pm. It was the first time for my Beginners Cable Knitting workshop and it went well. One of the knitters that had signed on, had actually done my Masterclass in Cable Knitting, the year before and first thought she would do it again but decided to try a different workshop, even though they were in the opposite order than I had planned. I met some of the other designers present; Helle Siggerud and Kari Hestnes, during the lunch break. Both had exhibits in the museum during the festival, and so did Tove. It is always fun to see the designs on a mannequin and not only in a photo online.
Tove and I had lunch at the Knit Café. We met several of the volunteers we knew from last year as well as knitters. My second workshop was fully booked hence the afternoon went quickly. After 6 hours of teaching, Tove and I were on the lookout for an open café in the old town. We quickly realised that all the cafés were closed after 6 pm on a Saturday, since Tove drove down nearly all the streets to find one. We did enjoy looking for one, though. So instead we headed for the Knitting Evening, took out our knitting, chatted and waited impatiently for the food. At our table was Anna, who is a doctor by profession, but also the owner of Anna’s Angora, see above. Yes, she has 120 angora rabbits as well as other animals at her croft.
Our table did not win the quiz, our defence is that a number of the questions were not knitting related. The winning table received goody bags with knitting and crochet magazines from the Norwegian magazine Familien as well as sweeties. During the evening we ate delicious tapas, then chocolate and cookies for desert. Tove and I continued the party with wine at Marit’s house. Just as the day before, Marit did come home to join us, late at night. Even after we had decided to go to bed, we kept talking in Tove’s room. I was grateful that the workshops started at 11 am on Sunday so we could get a few hours of sleep beforehand.
More than 4500 persons visited the festival on the first 2 days, so the number of visitors has increased year after year. On Sunday morning I held my third and last workshop, while Tove held a talk. This was another new workshop, called Perfect Fit. Signed on to take part was a friend of mine from Facebook, Marianne Skatten, who walked into the room wearing my design Halli. Marianne has worn it ever since she finished knitting it, I am proud to say. Especially since Marianne designs herself. Take a look at her blog: Skattensdiy.wordpress.com. She is also taking part in the ongoing Prescott Pullover KAL. Talking to Marianne in the previous photo is Anne, who attended my workshop in Cable Knitting Masterclass last year. I had a fabulous weekend; enjoyed meeting knitters, holding workshops and seeing friends! My host Marit, I will see next at Røros, at the Knitting Weekend in October.
Last Thursday evening I was invited by Strikkefestivalen/Knitting festival to hold a presentation of my designs in Fredrikstad. So two days in a row, I held my new PowerPoint presentation. I did not even need to re-pack my suitcase. Above you see one of the photos taken at Fredrikstad, a few minutes before I began my presentation. Yes, I was still wearing my Bowery Tunic knitted in Madeline Tosh, Tosh DK made for knit.wear Spring/Summer 2017. On sale was drinks, a small collections of cakes and popular raffle tickets with a selection of prizes. I brought a number of my sample garments, swatches, skeins of yarn, magazines my designs appear in and my book. The stylist Kristin Elise Halkjelsvik of Makeløs/Remarkable – yes, indeed she is – came and so did textile artist Sissel Strand, to my delight! After my presentation, my swatches and garments were studied. Kristin has styled several of my designs for the magazine Made by Me but also for different catwalks, the last one was Strikke 2017 at Hadeland Glassverk. What makes her remarkable, is how she re-designs an old handcrafted item such as embroidered table cloth into a dress and then add a length of tulle fabric together with a knitted or crocheted garment into an colour explosion but also a feast for the eye. It was a pleasure to meet Kristin and Sissel again, but also to meet knitters I knew from my workshop and new knitters!
Marit Larsen is the organiser and also the Managing Director of Explore Travel who is organising a knitting weekend for the Norwegian magazine Hjemmet to Røros in October. I have been invited to hold talks & workshops and look forward to visiting Røros for the first time. If you have not heard about Røros I can tell you that it is one of the oldest towns of wooden buildings in Europe, founded in 1644. Due to its authentic wooden buildings and unique character of an early mining town, Røros was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980. So if you are interested, you will find more details here: Strikk Røros okt 2018.
My workshops schedule for this autumn, begins with the Strikkefestivalen/Knitting Festival in Fredrikstad 22. to 24. September. Yes, I did go last year but I did not participate. This time around I am holding 2 workshops, both in Norwegian: Smarte strikketeknikker/Smart Knitting Techniques – which I held in English in Vienna in April at the Vienna Wool & Design Festival – and Flettestrikk Masterklasse/Cable Masterclass. Just like last year the festival offers Talks, Exhibitions, a Competition for the local pullover – Fredrikstadgenseren – Market Hall, Knitting Cruise on the fjord, Knitting Service in Torsnes Church and Knitting Cafés, in addition to the workshops. You can see the full program and book tickets here: strikkefestivalen.no. I look forward to going back to Fredrikstad (the oldest fortified town in Norway, founded in 1567) and already know I will meet some of you there.
Makeløs/Remarkable re-design stylist Kristin Elise Halkjelsvik was in charge of the catwalk with a mix of new & old handcraft designs and jewellery to make numerous unique as well as colourful inspirational outfits, at the party night on the Strikkefestival/Knitting festival in Fredrikstad. Kristin combines new & old knitwear with embroidered table cloths, bell pulls and lengths of tulle fabric. With knitwear from Tone Loeng, Vanja Blix Langsrud, Sidsel Høivik, Kristin Holte, Nina Granlund Sæther, Annemor Sundbø and myself, together with jewellery from Siri Berrefjord and Gry Marie Grindbakken, in addition to a co-operation with local hairdressers Adam og Eva, Kristin made outfits that takes your breath away. The logistics with 14 models, 5 dressers to aid the models, a violinist to open the show, a sound technician and 25 outfits with accessories down to shoes, takes a lot of time, space (both head space and literal space to hang all the outfits) plus energy. Thankfully Kristin seems to have an endless supply of energy, unlike most people I know.
First out is the Setesdal Lovely outfit with brooches by Siri Berrefjord and bridal crown by Gry Marie Grindbakken. The coat has embroidered cuffs and neck and is worn with hand made lace cuffs & lace collar, in addition to layers of tulle skirts and fabric for a belt. All these crisp photos are taken by Geir Arnesen, and I am ever so grateful to be allowed to use them here. Thank you, Geir!
Here is another bridal crown, this one is by Kristin Holte and so is the knitted jacket. The brooches are by Siri Berrefjord. We enjoyed the colourful explosion to our senses, and I really wanted a pair of opera binoculars to take in more of the details. But since I stayed over with Kristin and her family I was lucky to have a sneak peek the day before.
This dress is part of Kristin Holte’s wedding outfit, usually worn with the cardigan and crown above. All the knitted flowers makes it heavy but also so sculptural.
My Lattice Back Jacket worn over one of Kristin’s many beautiful table cloths. Siri was present and pinned on her own brooches as she saw fit, just as Kristin had suggested.
This kofte is by Vanja Blix Langsrud, aka vanjastrikk, a new design called Blanda Drops. It is worn by Elise, Kristin’s daughter and now experienced model with a professional attitude.
Last but not least is the winner of the competition for the Fredrikstad Genseren 2017 by Marianne Solbrække, styled as only Kristin knows how to with layers of tulle skirts in matching colours. The catwalk went too quickly for us knitters who wanted more, but it was the highlight of the party evening that began with an introduction by the knitting organisers (read: knitting motors), music by a band, a buffet with delcious finger food, the mayor announcing the winner of the Fredrikstad pullover contest, chatting and not to forget knitting! I was not giving my knitting enough attention, so I ended up unraveling what I had done. I was fortunate to catch a lift with designer Sidsel Høivik who live close to me. Hence the weekend ended just as it had began with talk about knitting.
For the first time there was a Strikkefestival in Fredrikstad. Of course the organizers – or knitting motors as they called themselves – Marit Larsen, Bente Vold Klausen and Torill Stokkan, choose the old town by the river Glomma as the location. Fredrikstad Old Town is actually the oldest fortified town in Norway (founded in 1567) and in the Nordic countries, and one of the best-preserved fortress towns in Northern Europe. Above is the Provianthus/Provision house, and downstairs in the vaults the market hall for the knitting festival. You can spot the knitter in the photo above.
The entrance to the market hall was down these steps and they were rarely as empty as this. The festival opened on Thursday and lasted until the Saturday. On the first day there was a majority of retired knitters, while the age of the knitters seemed to decrease by decades for each day.
This is downstairs in the busy market hall on the Saturday. At times several of us visitors preferred to walk around the old town or visit one of the many nearby coffee shops with our knitting in hand. I was lucky to meet several knitters who knew me by name only and happy to share my table at lunch. As all knitters we do have plenty to talk about.
Here is the Norwegian designers stall from left: Mette Hovden – one half of the design duo Pinnedans – Helles Siggerud, Nina Granlund Sæther and Ellen Andresen. Not present in the photo is Denise Samson, but you can see her two books: Hekta på Fletter and Poncho displayed on the table.
There were 21 stands in the market hall separated into two vaults next to each other. On offer in addition to hand knit designers, where yarn shops, the magazines Familien and Hjemmet both published by Egmont, the button shop Perlehuset – run by Aneta Kvist, Thomas’ mother – jewelry designers, machine knit designers, one travel agent and textiles.
Here is a blurry photo of designer Marte Helgetun, who I met for the first time and Mondial agent Thomas Kvist (former yarn producer, now super agent) both at the Flamingo Garn og Hobby stall. Make no mistake this is one of my photos – together with the first, third and eight from the top – the remaining sharp and brilliant photos are all taken by Geir Arnesen. He is married to designer and author Tove Fevang – who usually take part in all the Norwegian knitting festivals – hence he is omnipresent too.
I was promoting the yarn kits made by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk with my designs and spoke to shop owners, other designers I met and knitters. This time I held no workshop and was free to make up my program. I was delighted to stay with Makeløs/Remarkable designer Kristin Elise Halkjelsvik again – in charge of the Makeløs Festaften/Party evening – and to be on the guest list for the party. Her husband was the designated driver, taking runs to the market hall first me, then jewelry designer Siri Berrefjord and then to the party venue all of Saturday afternoon. Thank you, Espen! On offer were also a few exhibitions including a competition organized together with the Fredrikstad Town 450 Years Jubilee to make a Fredrikstad Pullover 2017. The winner was announced at the Makeløs Festaften, which I will write a separate post about. You can find photos and the pattern in Norwegian here: Fredrikstadgenseren 2017
Here is one of the lovely views to be found walking around the ramparts. I was stopped a couple of times by local residents wondering what was going on, and why there were so many women around? I was happy to tell the uninitiated that there was a knitting festival on, and that the old town was invaded by knitters. One of the coffee shop owners were amazed and had never had this kind of turnover before. We were all wished welcome back with out knitting next year.
Above you see Tove Fevang teaching a workshop called: Perfekt avslutning på strikketøyet/Perfect finishing of your knitting. The first of two on the same day, due to popular demand. There were a total of 29 workshops to choose from and 11 lectures were held in a selection of historic buildings.
I was thrilled to be able to attend talks for once without having any workshops that made it impossible nor being too tired. On top of my list of preferences was Annemor Sundbø – the Norwegian knitting legend – with her talk: Strikkekofter med tråder fra malerpensel/Knitting cardigans with threads from the paint brush. She did not disappoint and also talked about how she came about buying a shoddy factory. Above you see her presenting her books. You will find the English ones here: annemor.com. I also choose Nina Granlund Sæther’s talk on Norske Strikketradisjoner/Norwegian Knitting Traditions. It was ever so enjoyable and inspiring to hear! A separate post on the Makeløs Festaften/Party evening is coming.