Every weekend is a knitting weekend for me, but the last one was special since I was at the annual meeting for the Norwegian Knitting Association – Norsk Strikkeforbund – at Scandic Oslo Airport Hotel at Gardermoen. I am not a member of the board but I am the editorial “team” for the digital membership magazine called “På pinnen“/On the Needle and work with editor designer & author Tove Fevang (standing talking to a new board member). We were about 60 knitters attending. It was a perfect opportunity to meet known and unknown knitters and I took the opportunity to have a stand to sell my printed patterns. The program for the weekend was filled with annual meeting, talks, workshops, knitting and chatting as well as delicious meals! Below you see part of my stand, next to Margrete Slettan, Villull aka britstrikkenerd shop & instagram and Jeanette & Jeanine Førland (with the ponytail), aka knitknotnine. Continue reading
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!
Last Wednesday Michael and I attended the Oslo Design Fair in Lillestrøm. As always it was a great opportunity to meet Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk since they are located in Bergen on the coast and also other designers, as well as yarn companies and agents. Michael and I arrived in time for the press breakfast talk that introduced to the trade fair and its current topic: ”Rethink”. The modules in massive wood by Vardehaugen Arkitekter exhibited will be given a new life after the fair as cottages at Træna and in Sweden. The modules can easily be changed and put together depending on your need. Below you see a photo Michael took of the so-called Tower.
All the talks and most of the interior companies were located in Hall C, while the yarn companies were in Hall B, at the fair. Below you see me talking to MD Øyvind Myhr and Anette Toft at the Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk stand. They have made a new catalogue with my latest designs: Epona Pullover, Macha Jacket & Cowl and Gillah Swoncho. I am pleased to tell you that they wanted 4 new designs for the spring and that I have started working on those.
House of Yarn, consists of several separate companies some of them with previous lives but now joined into one: Dale Garn, Du Store Alpakka, Gjestal Garn, Camilla Pihl Strikk, Gullungen Garn, Oransje Skjerf Garn, Rosa Sløyfe Garn, and Linde Garn. The 1980s have come back and I am not too keen on the revival since I lived through it once already. There was no fashion show but House of Yarn did have a video of their fashion show running on their large stand. There were plenty of new yarns to look at and fondle.
I also talked with Thomas Kvist of House of Hobbies. He is the Scandinavian agent for the Italian yarn producer Lana Gatto and for the American Distributor Knitting Fever. Thomas talked me through the new yarns. On his stand was also designer Tove Lindtein who has used a number of the Lana Gatto yarns in her upcoming book that will be launched in November. We had a long talk about making books and knitting workshops.
Michael and I met up with Tove Fevang (centre), Bente Presterud (right), Sidsel Høivik (left) and Gro Sandvik (next to Bente) for lunch. I had not met Gro before but know the other designers from years back. It was a great opportunity for us to meet and update each other.
I must also show you a photo of the marvellous Japanese inspired stand that Kaja Gjedebo Design had set up in Hall B.
Kaja had commissioned fashion drawings to have on the wall of her stand. They were graphic black and white drawings, that lured you into her stand. Her artistic jewellery is so stunning and so beautifully displayed on the fair. I did enjoy hanging out here, I must admit. Late in the afternoon Michael and I headed home. The trade fair was on both Thursday and Friday too but this time the trade fair ended on Friday without any public days.
I was there when the Norsk Strikkeforbund/Norwegian Knitting Association was established in 2014, as a presenter, and last weekend I was back giving a talk on Digital Knitting. The annual meeting was this time held at the Scandic Asker Hotel. Designer and author as well as editor of the membership magazine “På Pinnen“/On the Needles Tove Fevang asked if I wanted to hold a talk at the event, several months back. I am assisting Tove with the magazine (read: the editorial staff). She also suggested that Michael come too and that we stayed with Tove and her photographer husband Geir Arnesen for the weekend, since they live in Asker. What a treat it was. So we all turned up for the meeting, but Geir and Michael went on a photo safari in Asker, while Tove and I joined the knitters.
We started the day with the a knitting café, and I spotted several knitters I knew; among them designer Ellen Andresen, aka Siso Designs (siso is short for stash in, stash out – ask any knitter about this). Geir was asked to do yet another unpaid job, he had to take photos of the new board. But this time at least he got lunch. At noon we had a delicious lunch buffet, before the meeting itself started with Tove as presenter.
Here we are, knitting away also during the meeting. As you can see from Ellen’s instagram posting, we also received a yarn kit for a pair of mittens with the Norsk Strikkeforbund’s logo, designed by Lill C. Schei, as well as two numbers for the prize draw. The prizes were a number of books we have reviewed, yarn and knitting gadgets from Tove’s stash. See Ellen’s photo below.
Here are the prizes we could win. Throughout the year more books have been reviewed and then given away. So if you are a Norwegian knitter and not yet a member do join in, here are the advantages listed: www.norskstrikkeforbund.no
I had brought a number of swatches, garments and magazines for the knitters to look at. Here I am talking to Berit who also attended the knitting weekend at Røros. She did not mind that I gave the same talk here at this annual meeting at all and enjoyed the repeat. I had a fabulous day! Thank you, Norsk Strikkeforbund/Norwegian Knitting Association!
Michael and I have just spent a lovely weekend in Asker, staying with designer & author Tove Fevang and her husband, photographer Geir Arnesen. The occasion was the Norsk Strikkeforbund/Norwegian Knitting Association had their yearly meeting at Scandic Asker Hotel and I was invited to hold a talk on Digital Knitting. Asker is just outside of Oslo to the west. The photo above is taken on the Sunday when we went for a walk by the Oslofjord at Vollen in Asker.
A lone fisherman was out in the water trying his luck, probably for mackerel. While Geir and Michael were walking closer to him, Tove and I were chatting hence falling behind. Or maybe it was due to the amount of wine we had drunk during the weekend. The temperature was 10 degrees Celsius/50 degrees Fahrenheit so it felt balmy in the sun, but a lot colder in the shade.
Vollen is one of 5 recommended beaches in Norway, see this article. Here is Michael checking out the water. Unlike our local lake, Rødenessjøen, the Oslo fjord is not frozen. There were a lot of people out walking this Sunday, even though you cannot see them in these photos.
We also visited the Oslofjord Museum and their coffeeshop. It is the low building at the bottom with flats above in this photo.
Geir took this photo of the three of us. During most of Saturday he and Michael were out photographing while Tove and I attended the yearly meeting for the Norwegian Knitting Association. Michael and I had a lovely weekend with delicious food as well as fabulous company. I will tell you about the yearly meeting in my next blog post.
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.
What happened to January? I had so many plans but did not get very far at all. Anyway, I did make it to the first day of the Oslo Design Fair at Lillestrøm on Wednesday 24th of January. I was looking forward to seeing my new designs in collaboration with Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk on display at their stand together with large posters of Emma Ross photographed by Eivind Røhne at Bøler Kirke/Church in Oslo last October. Michael came with me and took these photographs. Above you can see the Cahal knitted in Olive green Tinde Pelsull, Ardra knitted in Cognac Sølje Pelsull and Barra knitted in Brown Sølje Pelsull. On the floor are the yarn kits, and in the two boxes closest to Ardra are the Tinde Pelsull while the new lambswool yarn Sol is in the next two boxes.
Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk had printed a brochure for retailers and I saw it for the first time, fresh from the printers in the photo above. Here I am talking to Øyvind Myhr since both Berit and Anette were busy taking orders. On the wall to the right is Donia. The sample is on display at the front of the stand. I am wearing my design Kathe Cardigan knitted in SweetGeorgia Superwash Sport, made for Interweave Knits Fall 2016. Yarn kit with Norwegian patterns and printed patterns will soon go on sale in selected yarn stores in Norway and online at Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. Digital patterns will be available after test knitting in my Ravelry group in both Norwegian and English during the spring.
I met up with several designers during the day to my delight. Here is Creative Director at House of Yarn, Margaretha Finseth (yes, the editor of the Norwegian Knitting Designs book) telling Tove Fevang and me about the new yarns from Du Store Alpakka. As you can see from these photos there was plenty of space at this trade fair on the first day.
The fair also showcases jewellery, clothing, interiors and decorations in addition to yarn. Kaja Gjedebo had a stand again this time and I had to visit. Kaja is presenting the news to designer Bente Presterud Røvik who joined Tove and me. Thankfully, Kaja had made a new brochure so that we could easily make our wish-lists. In between visiting the stands, I had several coffee breaks and enjoyed catching up with designer Iselin Hafseld and handcraft editor at Familien Åse Myhrvold Egeland. I had a great day and received more design commissions so I will stay busy.
I am delighted to yet again have a design in the digital magazine: På Pinnen/On the Needle, a membership magazine for the Norsk Strikkeforbund/Norwegian Knitting Association. No, it is not the design on the cover. Luna Cowl is designed by Kari-Helene Rane, a Norwegian designer based in England and the creative half of the company Purl Alpaca Designs. I translated the pattern into Norwegian, even though I am sure Kari-Helene could have done it herself, but I did it since I am part of the editorial staff, working with editor Tove Fevang. Inside there is also an interview of Kari-Helene by Tove, in addition to a pair of mittens designed by Lill C. Schei and a cushion by Janne Wie. My design featured in the magazine is the Honeysuckle Shawl. Below you can see the first two pages of the pattern. I have also contributed with an article about Strik Bornholm.
If you know my designs, you might know that the Honeysuckle Shawl including the cowl and belt is worn by Alexandria Eissinger at Pholk, with hair & make up by Sissel Fylling, all brilliantly captured by photographer Eivind Røhne. The design was commissioned by former editor Mary-Ann Astrup for Made by Me but the magazine was replaced by Familien Trend in February 2015.
This is the last issue of På Pinnen that editor Tove and I worked on since the board has decided to change the format and look of the magazine, as well as introduce a monthly newsletter. It has been an enjoyable and educational experience! You can read more about the way forward for the Norsk Strikkeforbund in the magazine.
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.
I am so thrilled to have the full cover of the new digital magazine “På Pinnen”/On the Needles for the members and published by Norsk Strikkeforening/Norwegian Knitting Association. Gorgeous model Anne Dorthe/Team Models, with hair and make up styling by Sissel Fylling, as well as beautiful jewelry by Kaja Gjedebo, is wearing the Talila Cowl – while the matching wrist warmers and clutch are shown inside the magazine – and is brilliantly captured by Eivind Røhne. The design submission request came early this spring from editor and Leader Tove Fevang who wanted an accessory with a cable pattern. I was not difficult to ask, and Talila was created and accepted. A few months later, Tove wondered if I wanted to be part of the editorial team together with Åse Bjørndal. I was flattered and certainly wanted to be part of making this digital magazine. In addition, Tove wanted to profile me, and asked if she could interview me at home bringing her husband, photographer – Geir Arnesen – to take some photos. Below you see the result, I was wearing my Quamara jacket and had prepared a rail with a number of my designs. The clean and modern look layout of the magazine is done by Janette Balchen of Designstreken.no.
The large photo of me is taken on the terrace while the other ones are taken in my living room. You might recognize my swatch photo of the Arcade Vest in the top right corner and that I am holding on to the back of the Gyda Jacket. I also asked jewelry designer Siri Berrefjord if we could use some of her fantastic photos of my swatches with her buttons. I was delighted when she accepted. The first part of the profile on me is based on my book introduction.
While the second part is more about my work and productivity today. Below is the first page of the pattern with all the essential information like the yarn; Hifa Norsk Pelsull and needles 3.5 mm/US 4 and 3 mm/US 2.5. The second page has a detailed photo of the clutch which I will show you in my next blogpost, together will all the brilliant photos Eivind Røhne took.
The magazine contains two more patterns, book reviews, report from Alta Strikkefestival and briefly from Koftefesten, article on yarn thickness, tips and ideas. I am delighted that the magazine has been popular so far, and we have started to plan the next issue and scheduled our next Skype meeting. So if you are Norwegian, or speak Norwegian, please join Norsk Strikkeforening and send us your ideas & suggestions for the magazine.