Yes, was the obvious answer I gave to the question, from a good Ravelry friend of mine – who is also one of the founders of Austrian Yarn Club – if I wanted to teach at the Wollness Wochenende, Friday 16. to Sunday 18. October, at Steinschalerhof, on the outskirts of Vienna. It was an offer I could not refuse, in fact, I could barely contain my excitement. I will be teaching two different workshops in English: Professional Finishing and Lace Knitting. Both workshops will be split in two half-day sessions, to make sure everyone is in retreat mode. My husband was more than eager to join me, and is currently planning our program for the extra days in Vienna we have added at the end. The workshops, most of them in German, are still being organized, so I will post a full program when it is ready. More fabulous news followed as I am not the only foreign designer invited, so is Polish Hanna Maciejewska of Hada Knits. I am so excited to meet her, as well as my Austrian Ravelry friends. Booking in not yet open, but if you are interested in attending, do join the Austrian Yarn Club on Ravelry and send an e-mail (to firstname.lastname@example.org) confirming your interest. I am so looking forward to this knitting retreat, and hope to see you there! To be continued.
I had a marvelous weekend in Stavanger, and was way too busy enjoying myself to take lots of photos, thanks to organizers Stavanger Strikk og Drikk/Knit and Drink who have done a splendid job. A large number of the city landmarks were marked by the knitting event; at the airport was a large armchair with yarn & needles provided ready to use, the library was invaded by knitters, and had prepared by exhibiting all their knitting books; exhibitions; as well as providing yarn for charity knitting and presentations by all participating designers, the ferry terminal had first declined the offer from Strikk og Drikk but did not take long to regret their decision… A small trade hall was located at Bekkefaret Bydelshus/Community House with offerings of tempting yarns, patterns, buttons and books together with a coffee shop plus workshop premises, with more located at Eiganes Kolonihagehus/Allotment Community House; where the Saturday party was held. My weekend workshop in Knitting Design was at Gosen Skole, see above. The knitting community in Stavanger was starstruck by the famous Danish designers that participated: Lene Holme Samsøe, Bente Geil aka Geilsk and Charlotte Kaae. Taking part with their respective fans were also acknowledged Swedish designer Anita Grahn, Tove Fevang and Ann Myhre aka Pinneguri/The Needle Lady (read about her workshop here: aftenbladet). I met Bente, Charlotte and Anita at Strik Bornholm but was delighted to finally meet Lene in person as well as some of my Ravelry friends. Read in Norwegian: Se opp for strikk i rogalandsavis, Hele byen strikker i aftenbladet.
We were 3 Norwegian designer present at the weekend who all gave a talk on Friday evening at the Library; Tove Fevang, myself and Ann Myhre who you can see in action above. While Tove was talking about her inspiration and work, I presented my design experience and book, and Ann defended top-down knitting as well as the fact that women should celebrate the fact that we do have shapely figures. The 3 Danish designers and Anita held talks on Saturday to even larger crowds. See the complete program here: strikkehelgstavanger. After the talk both Tove and I were told to come with initiative taker Monica Haga for safe keeping until we would be collected by our hostesses who were both taking part in Charlotte’s workshop: Krydret Strik/Spicy Knitting (read: this relates to Charlotte’s bold use of vivid colors). We were duly collected a few hours later, after a delicious dinner in Bente’s & Monica’s company.
My friend Anja Præsttun Smith and I had to chat a bit even after we arrived at her house by the fjord in Sandnes so well into the night I crashed into bed. Do take a look at her family’s exciting Iceland expedition plans here – yes, Anja’s husband Neil is English – see: ice2015.no. Anja was one of the many volunteers that had helped by baking cakes for the coffee shop, Tone Cecilie Nystrøm was another volunteer in charge of the premises for my weekend workshop and hence moved it to the school were she teaches; Gosen Skole, while Monica’s husband was the dedicated driver who brought us lunch, to our pleasure, with plenty of fruit, chocolate, fizzy drinks and raffle tickets. Excellent service in other words. I had an overbooked workshop but still managed to lead everyone through the planned agenda. It is ever so exciting to see what inspires others, and the abundance of creativity that exists all around us! Numerous swatches later and after the workshop on Saturday, Anja and I had a quick look in the Trade Hall before closing time. I can reveal that Anja bought several skeins of yarn, while I collected business cards, cuddled hand-dyed luxurious Lotus Yarns from Ullrommet and yarns from Nøstebarn before we headed home to change for the party at Eiganes Kolonihage. Above is a photo from the party with the Danish Designers at the front table accompanied by Monica in a sleeveless white dress.
Tone Cecilie dazzled in her orange skirt plus matching tie and recently finished test knitting her bright turquoise Lattice Back Jacket which is much brighter in real life than in the poor quality photo above. Anyway, I so wanted to show you her fabulous outfit! Instead of the planned zip, Tone Cecilie’s jacket had three small coin buttons attached with snap fasteners. You can read more about her difficult zip search in the test knit thread in my group on Ravelry. We had delicious food, music, cakes & coffee and chatted while we all knitted. The sound level, as you can imagine, was out of this world. I flew back to Oslo on Sunday evening after my workshop and managed a quick goodbye to Charlotte and Lene Holme at the airport before my departure. It was wonderful to meet so many knitters and designers at Strikkehelgen in Stavanger, a big thank you to all volunteers and Strikk og Drikk for a magnificent event!
I spent last weekend at this amazing small museum consisting of historic buildings moved to this location during the last decades. Stokke Bygdetun was established in 1978 and consists of 5 buildings with the 6th currently being built. The Museum is in a beautiful forest with paths leading through it. All the buildings are currently in use, and I was fortunate enough to hold a workshop in Professional Finishing and Fairisle organized by Stokke Husflidslag/Handicraft Association in a small timber house called the Brewery House built in 1852 in Horten, rebuilt in 2003-2004. Stokke Husflidslag uses the building for their meetings, workshops, knit cafés and as a weaving studio (there is a small adjacent room with looms), while the basement has a large baker’s oven as well as a meeting room and is used by the local women’s institute. Here is the schedule for Stokke Husflidslag.
There were only 3 people signed on, but the workshop went ahead, so we all had an enjoyable weekend with plenty of knitting. I was fortunate to stay with Solveig Nodland, the study leader and herself a weaving teacher, on her mobile phone in the background. At her home, Solveig has a weaving studio approximately the size of our former London flat, with 3 giant looms, but no wonder since she and her husband runs Vevstol. The weather was beautiful and sunny on Saturday so we had our lunch on the benches outside, together with a group of visitors. The museum barn, the red building on the right below, was rented for a confirmation on Sunday, so we had the chance of studying a range of local national costumes worn by the guests. Unfortunately, for the guests it was raining on Sunday, but it was perfect for knitting. I would be very happy to come back here to hold more workshops.
I am thrilled to take part in two knitting festivals this autumn: Strik Bornholm in Denmark 4th to 7th September and Strikkehelg in Stavanger 15th and 16th November. More details and a complete list of workshop will come later.
Last weekend I held my new Knitting Design Workshop in Larvik, and I stayed – as always – with my friend & Ravelry Group moderator Nina Hove Myhre who together with Inger Kamfjord Andersen came wearing my design; Regal Purple Jacket (read: in uniform). How thrilled was I? You can only guess! Nina made hers in her own dyed wool Vandre, see FiberAndArt, while Inger made hers in the original Hifa Perle, for more details see Ravelry. The workshop was organized by Larvik Husflidslag, and held at their marvelous premises – filled with looms, sewing machines and dressmaker mannequins – next to the museum. As if that in itself was not enough, Nina had baked buns that very morning in their kitchen so that the smell welcomed us and they were absolutely delicious!
My plan was to go through the design process from beginning to finish, and follow one of my designs on its journey to completion; Tyrol Jacket was my choice since I have its initial submission proposal with a sketch and preliminary schematic. Instead of making tasks for each knitter to do, after I had covered a section of theory, I opted for them to bring a swatch in a pattern and yarn of their choice, then for them to make a project page where they would add their ideas as well as numbers as soon as they started to calculate with their gauge according to their measurements and chosen ease. I was amazed at the complexity of the swatches several of the knitters brought with them and recognized their Japanese influence, see below. All I had to do was make suggestions for edges and assist on calculations, especially the sleeve top one for a set in sleeve.
Totally essential for the workshop, in my opinion, were stitch manuals, my design bible by Shirley Paden, my own swatches and designs, as well as favorite shade cards I use for inspiration and yarn selections. I also had to bring copies of my book, obviously. Just in case some of the participants had not seen it.
On Sunday Nina had changed into another uniform, this time the Arcade Vest knitted in the original yarn; Norsk Pelsullgarn by Hifa in Grey Violett, see Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. The Norwegian pattern was published in Familien in issue no 3 earlier this year, while the English pattern will be released shortly. I am delighted to say that Nina took part also in this test knit. Here is the pattern page on Ravelry. You can also read, with Google Translate, if you do not read Norwegian, Nina’s blogpost here: Fiber And Art.
My next Knitting Design Workshop is scheduled in Oslo organized by Østre Aker Husflidslag at the end of October but more workshops will follow. This weekend I am holding Japanese Patterns in Oslo organized by Vestre Aker Husflidslag, and I am working on my workshop paper. Next on my agenda is calculating my own new designs…
I am holding a Lace workshop this weekend in Oslo, and have been asked to give dates of all the upcoming ones. So I decided to write a blog post about them. New, this spring, is my weekend Knit Design Workshop, where I will cover all essential topics related to designing from a swatch to a finished garment. How do you choose a stitch pattern; shape plus construction; yarn; fitting edges and collars? How to achieve a good fit? How to make a design submission and write a pattern? I plan to show one of mine designs from beginning to finish, and will help participants to start making their own. Then this coming autumn, I am very excited that I have been invited to take part in “Strik Bornholm”/Knit Bornholm, since I have never been to the popular Danish island in the Baltic Sea. Take a look at the photos from this idyllic holiday island here: Bornholm. Above is a photo from my Japanese Pattern Workshop I held for Larvik Husflidslag last autumn. Below is the schedule in Norwegian, since they are all held in Norwegian, so far:
Fargestrikk og Montering. Lørdag og søndag 8. og 9. februar i Tønsberg. vestfold_husflidslag/strikkekurs_fargestrikk_og_montering
Fargestrikk og Montering. Lørdag og søndag 15. og 16. februar på Nøtterøy. vestfold_husflidslag/lokallagene/noetteroey_husflidslag/lokale_kurs
Strikkedesign. Lørdag og søndag 15. og 16. mars i Oslo. oslo_fylkeshusflidslag/lokale_kurs/va_10_strikkedesign_helg
Strikkedesign. Lørdag og søndag 29. og 30. mars i Larvik. Se pdf link til kurskatalogen: larvikhusflidslag
Japanske Mønstre. Lørdag og søndag 5. og 6. april i Oslo. oslo_fylkeshusflidslag/va_12_japanske_strikkemoenstre
Fargestrikk og Montering. Lørdag og søndag 26. og 27. april i Sandefjord. Se pdf link til kurskatalogen: vestfold_husflidslag/lokallagene/sandefjord_husflidslag
Fargestrikk og Montering. Lørdag og søndag 10. og 11. mai i Stokke. stokke_husflidslag/lokale_kurs/strikkekurs_fargestrikk_og_montering
Japanske Mønstre. Fredag 5. september på “Strik Bornholm”, Danmark. teambornholm.dk/strik
Montering. Lørdag 6. september på “Strik Bornholm”, Danmark. teambornholm.dk/strik
My Japanese Patterns workshop was a success, and I enjoyed every minute just as everyone else present. To my delight Nina Hove Myhre, the study leader from Larvik Husflidslag was wearing my design; the Summer Leaves Sweater which she recently test knitted, and Inger Kamfjord Andersen was wearing her first – yes, she is already making her second in purple – Morbærsilkejakke/Mulberry Silk Jacket from my book. As if that was not enough, Kari-Mette Rolsø had brought yarn and started knitting my Milanese Lace Shawl/Milanesisk-Blondesjal while Karianne Karlsen was working on the swatch for my Regal Purple Jacket. So with my head in the clouds, we began our workshop at the marvelous premises next to Larvik Museum. Japanese patters are extremely detailed when it comes to numbers stated in the schematic, we all agreed and found them easier to understand than ordinary written patterns. You can have a look, at all the Japanese books & magazines, and also find the excellent free pdf “Interpreting Japanese Knitting Patterns” here: needleartsknitting. It is definitely an advantage to see inside the books before you buy them so do take a look at the acknowledged Japanese publisher here: nihonvogue. And of course there is a link directly to YesAsia, where I have bought most of my selection…
I had selected a number of my favourite swatches from the stitch dictionaries, which they had a go at, after we had studied how the Japanese write their knitting patterns. Nina had brought her selection of Japanese books as well, so we spent quite a bit of time studying them all. We agreed that the stitch patterns, as well as garments, are exquisite and mind blowing at times! I had a wonderful day in such great company!
The summer has finally ended, and the autumn workshop schedule has began for me. I am currently adding the final touches to a new workshop, I have called “Japanske Mønstre”/Japanese Patterns. How do you interpret those schematic drawings with sets of numbers on the sides? Is it possible to knit from a schematic pattern without understanding Japanese? It is obviously not a disadvantage if you do speak it, but it is not essential. I will go through examples step-by-step, and we will spend time knitting swatches from Japanese stitch manuals which are a huge source of inspiration for designers, myself included. We will discuss their never-ending appeal and useful websites like this one: tata-tatao.
My most popular workshop is the combined “Fargestrikk og Montering”/Fairisle and Finishing held during a weekend, where I cover how to knit colour-work with yarn in both hands, steeking, different ways of sewing up as well as essential tips, and how to love finishing. You will find some of the lessons in video form here with Norwegian sound: professional-finishing-course-online. I am also holding a weekend “Hullstrikk”/Lace workshop this autumn, where you learn how to read lace, identify pairs & spine, add a lifeline, and practice knitting from charts. It has taken awhile to adjust to doing this workshops in Norwegian instead of English, but I have discovered it is only an advantage that I know all the terms in English as well as Norwegian. I am seeing several of you this autumn, I am looking forward to it! Here is the schedule, in Norwegian with links:
Japanske Mønstre, lørdag 14. september, kl 10 til 18, hos Larvik Husflidslag. Kurskatalogen-Larvik-høsten-2013
Fargestrikk og Montering, lørdag og søndag 19. og 20. oktober, kl 10 til 16, hos Stokke Husflidslag. Stokke_husflidslag/lokale_kurs
Fargestrikk og Montering, lørdag og søndag 26. og 27. oktober, kl 10 til 16, hos Larvik Husflidslag. Kurskatalogen-Larvik-høsten-2013
Hullstrikk, lørdag og søndag 9. og 10. november, kl 10 til 16, hos Oslo Fylkeshusflidslag, Vestre Aker Husflidslag. Kurset er flyttet til fra september til november. Oslo_fylkeshusflidslag/lokale_kurs
I spent the weekend in Larvik, 2 hours by train, south of Oslo where I held a workshop in Lace knitting, called hullstrikk/hole-knitting in Norwegian organized by Larvik Husflidslag. It is not difficult to make holes in knitting, but to make them on purpose in alignment is quite an achievement! So the reaction Nina Hove Myhre received when she told friends and colleagues that she was taking a course in “hole-knitting” was: you are going to do, what? Read more about it in Norwegian – or use Google Translate – on her blog: fiberandart.
It was to a small group of four women I was teaching and it was such a pleasure. We had plenty of time to chat, as well as exchange knitting experiences, during lunch and in between periods of concentrated pattern reading, and me teaching theory and techniques such as; how to insert a lifeline; identify the spine; how to make lacy effects; and how to read lace charts.
The day went quickly, and I spent the evening knitting, chatting and eating – delicious homemade food – with Nina, while her husband was busy refurbishing downstairs. I was also lucky to meet Nina’s niece who popped by with her father – to give refurbishing advice. Ingrid is a fellow blogger, so both I and my book was duly photographed. Here is the result: ingrid-inmari. On the second day of the workshop, we practiced beading, before more lace swatches and lace projects were worked upon.
I look forward to holding my next weekend workshop in Larvik, in April, on Finishing and Fairisle. For more details go to: larvikhusflidslag.
After reading my previous blog post and watching my video on making tucks Mary Jo wrote a blog post – with a marvelous heading. Do read it: whatzitknitz.com/nip-and-tuck.