Stavanger Strikkefestival 2021

Yay, Stavanger Knitting Festival is happening this year in Stavanger (on the west coast of Norway), from Thursday 21st of October to Sunday 24th, and I am holding both workshops & a presentation at the Clarion Hotel Stavanger. Just as previous years it is organised by “Strikk og Drikk”/Knit and Drink and has a very impressive program which will happen live this year and not digitally – like last year. Most of the events and workshops are in Norwegian but there are a few workshops in English held by Mona NicLeòid Wagner. Below you see a number of the contributors this year.

In addition there are knitting cafés, fashion show, knitting bingo, knitting clinic, speed knitting competition, last knitter standing competition and a market hall. Below is the list of workshops and the talk I am holding. For a full program and details on how to book, check out their website: Stavanger Strikkefestival. I have lost count of the number of times I have taken part in this knitting festival but I am delighted not to have to miss another one! I hope to see some of you there!


Workshops at Strikkefestivalen in Fredrikstad

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: 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.


Drammen Strikkefestival and Up-coming Workshops

DSCN0139Yes, I have taken part in another knitting festival! This time in Drammen, approximately 40 minutes drive west of Oslo, organized by Norsk Strikkeforening/Norwegian Knitting Association. It was their first festival since the Association was set up last year, and a success. Hotel Union Brygge in Drammen and the theatre Union Scene, next door, was the setting. They were so close that I could easily spend the whole extended lunch break during my knitting design workshop there. As you can imagine most of the attendees to my workshop did, and brought their own packed lunch so they would not loose a minute browsing all the stalls present. The program started on Friday evening with a talk by Kari-Helene Rane from Purl Alpaca Designs, which I unfortunately missed.


Here are some of the yarns on offer, note that some these are by Permin, the Danish yarn producer and agent. Bonnie, a ribbon yarn in pure cotton is one that I have chosen for one of my new designs, soon to be revealed,  for Familien. There were 11 stall holders present, and lots of tempting yarns on offer. The knitters present did buy quite a lot, especially since several of the yarns on offer are not the ones you usually find in the local yarn shops. Here is the complete list: Norsk Strikkeforening. Most of the workshops lasted 3 hours, while mine was 6 hours on both Saturday and Sunday with an extended lunch break. The festival program continued on Saturday with more workshops, a fashion show by Du Store Alpakka and a dinner.

DSCN0141There were about 100 knitters who took part in the festival, and some I talked to had decided to stay on after the talk on Friday and promptly booked 2 nights at the hotel. That was such an excellent idea in my opinion, and I need to plan to just come as a visitor to a festival and not always be a workshop holder so that I can enjoy it fully!

DSCN0146I am eagerly waiting to hear if there will be another knitting festival next year organized by Norsk Strikkeforening. If you missed it and want to know what other festivals and workshops I am holding this autumn, below is a list. There are only two workshops I will be holding in English at the Wollness Wochenende on the outskirts of Vienna in October (16. to 18.), see the Austrian Yarn Club. Here is the list of the Norwegian workshops in Norwegian:

Kurs som holdes i høst:

September: 5.: Montering. Ullensaker Husflidslag, informasjon kommer her: 

September: 26. og 27. : Strikkedesign (ØA-9). Østre Aker Husflidslag, Oslo. Last ned  kurskatalogen og se s. 29

Oktober: 24. og 25.: Strikkedesign. Vestby Husflidslag. Last ned kurskatalogen og se s. 30

Oktober/November: 31. og 1.: Strikkedesign. Ullensaker Husflidsforening, informasjon kommer her: 

November: 7./8.: Japanske Mønstre/Hullstrikk. Strikkehelgen i Stavanger, se her og mange av kursene er allerede fulle:


Norah Gaughan at Strik Bornholm

DSCN1195 I was so excited to be invited to hold workshops at Strik Bornholm, and could hardly believe my eyes when I discovered that the American designer and former Creative Director of Berroco; Norah Gaughan would be the star attraction. Well, since I was holding 2 workshops, I wondered whether they both would go ahead with enough participants. For once I had the chance to take part in one of Norah’s workshops, and for awhile I considered whether I could participate in two if my second workshop was cancelled. Just as some knitters signed on for all her workshops; Day 1: Modern Cable Design. Day 2: Designing Modern Sweaters. Day 3 (only half-day): Pattern Stitch Development and Design Possibilities. I took part in the latter one, together with designer Bente Geil (above in the centre), designer Maria Gustafsson, yarn dyer Lene Nielsen of Fredsminde Unika Design (above right) and five experienced knitters. Of course I had to wear one of Norah’s designs I have knitted; the popular Cabled Bolero that was on the cover of Vogue Knitting winter 2006/07. Below is a photo Maria took of me at the workshop, and I captured her in pink in the second photo below. The bolero, or Capecho as Norah called it, is made from several connected pentagons and is a pattern you either adored like me, or needed help to crack the code, see Capecho Workshop.

1I had already met Norah at the breakfast at Hotel Klintely, where we and several other designer & knitters stayed. So I was already star struck before I joined her workshop. To my surprise I was the only one wearing one of her designs, despite the Indian Summer heat we experienced. After seeing her slide show at the Party Dinner, the excitement grew even further. The brief introduction to the workshop – Pattern Stitch Development and Design Possibilities states: “One thought leads to another when it comes to making up pattern stitches. Norah will share some insights about her design process and show the progression of charts and swatches that lead to final products. Then, once you have a pattern stitch, how do you explore what to do with it?” The workshop started with a slide show, where Norah talked about her designs, and how they came into life.

DSCN1181 croppedOur first exercise was to match a series of inspiration photos with Norah’s designs. It seemed fairly obvious, until we started noticing that there were several alternative solutions. The second exercise was to select a ball of yarn from Norah’s collection – all in different fibers and structures – then knit a given lace swatch, a stitch pattern she had found studying a Donna Karan sweater. In a way we were helping her on the next step of the design. We knitted, changed needles, and then started thinking about how we could improve the swatch. I borrowed larger needles since I had brought too small needles, and discovered that due to the two slipped stitches with yarn in front of work, the yarn overs were covered hence a row need to be purled instead of knitted. The minor change I choose made a difference to the pattern, and the visibility of the holes created by the yarn overs. My swatch is second from left.

DSCN1180Above is the result of our knitting and experimentation; proof that we took part in the workshop. The task demonstrated how different a stitch pattern looks in a variety of yarns and fibers. We agreed that the grey ribbon yarn was totally unsuited for this stitch pattern, while the cream colored linen worked the best, followed by the two lighter blue cotton mixes. We learnt the importance of matching yarn and stitch pattern for a perfect combination. Our third and final exercise was to consider what kind of a garment two stitch patterns in a yoked pullover could easily be transferred into. There were lot of suggestions but none of us made the obvious connection to a hat. Other topics covered were her sources of inspiration: Ready to wear collections, nature (see my blogpost on her book: Knitting Nature by Norah Gaughan), science, other arts and herself. Norah uses Barbara Walker’s stitch dictionaries, and is introducing her at Vogue Knitting Live event in Chicago in October. Norah will often change a stitch pattern to simplify, or enlarge the scale of it, or make recombinations and changing the scale. Hence she has built up her own vocabulary of stitches and motifs.

DSCN1196Above is a selection of swatches Norah showed us. We studied the swatches in awe for ages. The large swatches are from the days when she sold swatches to agencies – they demanded large swatches or the whole front of a sweater – to sell on to the high end fashion houses such as Ralph Lauren. These are the ones, Norah could not bear to send off, but wanted to use herself. Her advice to us where to: “Swatch & swatch again; be open to surprises; be one step removed from copying; think of something, then make it easier, be determined, but not in a hurry.” Thank you so much, Norah for a superb workshop! And also to Strik Bornholm for making it possible for me to join this amazing class! My head was spinning for days afterwards. This month she is holding a 4 day workshop called “Cable School” where you are part of her design team, near her studio in Harrisville, New Hampshire. I would love to be there, but if you go, do let me know. Here are more details: Four day workshop modern cable design.


Strik Bornholm – A Knit Festival

10264385_689151927786538_7555932351586898028_nSeveral months back I was invited to take part in Strik Bornholm, a knitting festival which takes place on the Danish holiday island of Bornholm from Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th September. I was thrilled to be asked and will hold two workshops in my native Norwegian; one on Japanese Patterns and one on Finishing. In June there were 341 participants who had signed on and several of the workshops were fully booked. On the program is an open exhibitors hall, knit cafés, workshops, excursions with knitting lessons, and a festival dinner with presentations by the star attraction; American designer and former Creative Director of Berroco Yarns Norah Gaughan as well as Inga Walløe from Hendes Verden/Her World – a Danish magazine for the creative among us. To my surprise my husband wanted to come – it must have been the drive through Southern Sweden to Ystad and my suggested stop-over there that tempted him. Why Ystad? Because this is where Kurt Wallander, the crime fiction character by author Henning Mankell, lives and works. From Ystad we will take the ferry to Rønne on Bornholm, where a holiday flat with a sea view is waiting for us. I look forward to this knit event, and I am so delighted that I was able to book a space on one of Norah Gaughan’s workshops: Number 62 (out of the 69 on offer by 20 different holders): Pattern Stitch Development and Design Possibilities. At least one if not several reports will follow. Here is the rest of my workshop schedule for the autumn, all in Norwegian since they are all held in my native language:

Strikkedesign, lørdag og søndag 20. og 21. september i Oslo, se

Montering, lørdag 27. september for Strikk og Drikk i Stavanger, se gruppen på Facebook:

Japanske mønstre, søndag 28. september for Strikk & Drikk i Stavanger, se gruppen på Facebook:

Strikkedesign, lørdag og søndag 25. og 26. oktober i Oslo, se

Strikkedesign, lørdag og søndag 15. og 16. november under Strikkehelgen i Stavanger, se strikkehelgstavanger og min bloggpost: strikk-og-drikkknit-and-drink-in-stavanger


Strikk og Drikk/Knit and Drink in Stavanger

10264385_689151927786538_7555932351586898028_nThis is a large group of knitters that have a monthly knit night at a pub in Stavanger. It started with a knitter wanting some company and suggested meeting at a pub, and it did not take long before the room was packet. I have met a few of the knitters online on both Facebook and Ravelry, and has been invited to hold two workshops in September and a weekend one in November; when they are organizing their knitting weekend. The dates and information for the knit nights are on their group on Facebook, while the Knitting Weekend has its own website: StrikkehelgStavanger. A knit party, knit night, shop stands, knit exercises especially for knitters – made by Bettany Shaw; a personal trainer – and workshops, are all part of this exciting program for the weekend. The term Strikketrim/Knitting exercises needs a bit of clarification: “Encompasses a ‘sports specific’ workout to make you the strongest, most dynamic knitter you can be. All  important areas include mobility and function of the shoulders, a strong core and of course movement of the major muscle groups to prevent back pain and kick start that metabolism!”, according to Shaw herself. That sounds ever so essential to me, but I am holding a 2 day workshop in Knitting Design in Norwegian, more details in this blogpost: knitting-design-workshop.

I am very excited to visit this busy group of knitters, and wonder whether the workshop will fill as quickly as Montering/Finishing on Saturday 27. September did. In my opinion there is a lot of pleasure in finishing a garment to its uttermost perfection. There are still a few places left on Japanske Mønstre/Japanese Patterns on Sunday 28. September; where I will teach how to read patterns in schematic form and how to work complicated charts from my Japanese Book library. I cannot wait to meet my test knitters and friends I only know digitally, in real life.