Strikkehelg/Knitting Weekend at Geilo

Friday morning my husband and I drove to Geilo, heading north-west from Ørje, half way to Bergen. I was booked to hold a talk Friday evening to the 460 attendees and workshops on both Saturday & Sunday at the Strikkehelg/Knitting Weekend organised by the magazine Familien published by Egmont (a Danish media corporation). Geilo is a ski resort, preparing for the upcoming season with snow canons, and the event was held at the posh Vestlia Resort. This weekend  the knitters had taken over the hotel. Above you see me holding the talk “Teknisk Strikking”/Technical Knitting in front of about 300 knitters, I am wearing the Damara Skirt from the Norwegian book “Norsk Strikkedesign. Strikk din favoritt” knitted in Tinde pelt wool from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk, while on the huge screen is model Emma Ross with my Autumn Symphony set knitted in Ask (also by Hillesvåg). I was talking about the uses of left over yarn as well as sizing of the cowl and the belt which are included in the pattern. While other knitters were attending knitting yoga or a workshop in Entrelac.

We were three designers holding talks: Nina Granlund Sæther about the oldest “kofte” found in Norway with photos from her lates book Norske strikketradisjoner/Norwegian knitting traditions (take a look at the photos in the issuu link) and Bjørg Minnesjord Solheim about her company Telespinn who spins wool from the mohair goat. Below you see some of the colours and pullovers made of the Telespinn yarn.

In addition four designers held workshop in different topics: Nina in Knitting with Beads, Pinnedans in Entrelac, designer Anne Tvedt in Steeking & Securing the Seams without a sewing machine and I held a workshop called Perfect Fit. Many of the knitters wanted to join so we all held the same workshop two or three times during the weekend. I held three workshops and there were still waiting lists, in case someone dropped out.

There was a small shopping street in the reception area, mainly with yarn store stands but also a jewellery stand, an optician and a health supplement stand. Above you see the shopping street early Sunday morning and below late on Saturday evening. Take a note of the amazing art collection found throughout the hotel, woodcuts on paper by Edvard Munch in the Telespinn stand photo.

Mohairia is another yarn shop stand. I can tell you that the stands where very busy in the middle of the day. There was also an excursion to the nearby knife factory Brusletto. Michael went together with Nina’s husband on the Saturday and they did not come back empty handed…

Here is the view from our hotel room in the old part of the hotel. I had time for a quick walk and a visit to the Spa (with a small pool, steam room, sauna, jacuzzi and a cold plunge pool) while Michael had time to visit the town of Geilo.

We had delicious food during the weekend, above you see a part of the seafood on offer for dinner on Saturday.

The organisers had booked a separate room inside the dining hall during meal times for us working during the weekend. Do notice the art pieces in the room.

The bar and lounge area had a number of seating groups with comfortable chairs and sofas. In addition to the art collection there was also a number of historic posters promoting Norway on the walls. I met a number of knitters I knew and also new knitters during the weekend. I enjoyed having time to catch up with Nina, Pinnedans and the Egmont team. After my third workshop on Sunday morning we headed home! I had a great weekend! Thank you to the organisers, designers and knitters!


Ulluka – Campaign for Wool Week

DSCN1485It is that time of year again, the Campaign for Wool Week or Ulluka as we simply call it. I was delighted to be invited to the launch of the Wool in Fashion Pop-up shop at Glasmagasinet and the book launch of Ren Ull/Pure Wool last Tuesday. The shop is a co-operation between Designerkollektivet and Norwegian Fashion Institute, it represents more than 20 designers who work with wool and focuses on design talents among them: Makeløs reDESIGN, Telespinn, Sorl ved Strand and Judith Bech. The book is by Tone Skårdal Tobiassen – journalist and newly converted wool-fluff – and Ingun Grimstad Klepp, an ethnologist at Sifo, who has spent 15 years researching clothes habits and sustainability. I would have liked to share Ingun’s colourful crochet dress in green and blue stripes which had sheep walking across it but it was very crowded, and she was extremely popular. We were all given a small piece of yarn – a very appropriate identity tag – on entering which allowed us to venture outside the shop with our glass of wine or beer. The book covers the road from sheep to products, kills myths like all wool is itchy, tells wool stories never before told nor collected, and presents acknowledged designers, published by Aschehoug. A must-have in other words!


This treasured teddy is a very special teddy, it belongs to Per Spook of Haute Couture fame and he made his first clothes for it. The authors asked if he can knit and the answer was; “Yes, of course!”. The teddy was on a one-day loan only to the pop-up shop with his suitcase of garments displayed, you can see some of them pictured above in the book. The teddy was given to Per Spook just after WW2 when he was 6 years old… Here is his Winter 89/90 collection, see nasjonalmuseet.


I was drawn to the beautiful sheen of this mohair yarn from Telespinn. Here is their own description of it: “Symre is named after the flower Symre which there are several kinds of in Svartdal (in Telemark). Symre knitting yarn is a thin 2-ply knitting yarn which is very soft and shiny. Symre is spun of fiber from young mohair goats.” See more on their website: Telespinn.


See what Kristin E. Halkjelsvik, Makeløs/Exceptional reDESIGN, can do; the belt to the right is a former embroidered wall hanging, while her modern take on the Setesdal costume has both traditional silver brooches and new brilliantly coloured ones made in plastic by artist Siri Berrefjord part of the Designerkollektivet as well as stunning fabric combinations! Well, exceptional is part of her name and I was delighted to meet her outside of Facebook! See photos from her latest fashion show focusing on recycling of garments, cloth and traditional women’s handicraft called Redesign goes Jugend, here: glamor-st-moteshow.


I was also delighted to meet designer Sissel Strand behind the brand Sorl ved Strand whose garment construction I admired at the Designerkollektivet shop. I was also in good company, accompanied by another handknit designer, now employed by the yarn company Du Store Alpakka, Sidsel J. Høivik whose knitting book I love, see my blog post: lekre-masker-og-lekne-sting! A perfect way to spend an evening, in other words. The Wool in Fashion Pop-up Shop will stay until the 19th October, so if you are in Oslo, you know where to go…