New Design: Quamara

XT1A2804I discovered Zenta by the Danish yarn company and agents Permin last December, and was instantly drawn to the vivid lime color as well as their full shade card in a luscious wool and silk mixture: 50% wool, 30% silk, 20% nylon, 50 g, 180 m/196 yds. I decided to design a straight cardigan with a combined lace and cable stitch pattern to adorn the back, sleeves and the generous loop closure named after a beautiful elf, for the special issue called Strikk by Familien to be published at the end of August. The loop collar can be worn loose, folded once behind the neck or twice in front or three times around the neck in a ballerina style. I thought the idea was brilliant until I realized how long I actually need to knit the loop to make it work as I wanted: 300 cm/118″ consisting of two parts joined together at the neck and at the front. Permin could sense my stress, when I phoned them desperate for 2 more skeins to be able to complete the loop to my preferred length. Above you see me wearing it with the loop twice around my neck.

XT1A2786Place the loop around your neck to put the cardigan on, and leave it like that, see above. The photos are taken by my husband, but only give an indication of the cold and the strong wind we experienced at the end of May. Hence I do not look my best. The cardigan has garter stitch edges at the bottom, at the end of the front, as well as a fake garter stitch side seam to add a bit of structure to the cardigan.

XT1A2792The sleeves, knitted in the round, have one pattern repeat with what looks like 3 panels of lace, just as the loop which is knitted flat in two parts and then joined. The back has two pattern repeats with what looks like 5 panels of lace. The garter stitches in the side are divided by one stitch in reverse stocking stitch which give the appearance of a side seam.

XT1A2799The body is knitted in one piece to the armholes, then divided into 3 parts. The loop collar is knitted separately in two pieces, bound off on 3 needles and sewed on from the back neck, while the cast on edges are joined by mattress stitches. Maybe some knitters will opt to make a loop closure at the bottom instead of sewing it together? Or make a shorter scarf collar? The sleeves are knitted in the round and set-in.

XT1A2781Above you see it worn in ballerina style, three times around the neck and with a safety pin at the bottom of the fronts to make it stay flat. With the loop worn like this the cardigan gathers around the bust and the back, making it appear more like a fitted cropped bolero. Hence you have two cardigan in one: a straight casual one and a close fitting one.

XT1A2810The best way to illustrate the length of the loop is having it hang loose as above. I am sure there are more ways to wear the loop if you want a more avant-garde style. I plan to have the English pattern test knitted in my Ravelry group this autumn before it will be released. But long before that I will share the marvelous professional photos Eivind Røhne took of modell Anne Dorthe/Team models.


Behind the Scenes: Familien Strikk Photoshoot

DSCN0121Would it stop raining for our scheduled photoshoot for Familien Strikk on Friday 29th May? It did, it was sunny but still cold. To plan the event I had booked photographer  Eivind Røhne, hair & make up artist: Sissel Fylling and model: Anne Dorthe from Team Models. Then I convinced former Made by Me editor Mary-Ann Astrup to join us to for her essential advice. That my husband would be part of the team was obvious from the start. Next on the agenda was picking a location venue, and it is not easy, but I opted for Henie Onstad Kunstsenter because of the building itself and its location with a nature trail and marina. For styling, I borrowed from dress designer Judith Bech her magnificent fringe skirt, jewelry designer Kaja Gjedebo a selection of gorgeous jewelry and then obviously also Monica Stålvang some stunning boots. Above you can see Eivind and Dorthe in action with my husband assisting. Dorthe is wearing Quamara, a jacket with a loop closure knitted in Zenta by Permin in a mixture of wool and silk.

DSCN0114It was no surprise to hear that Sissel wanted to cut Dorthe’s hair, and that she was allowed.  Just as last time, we could easily have formed a line wanting just that. The meeting room, Onstad, was our base for the day and the storage for all our suitcases packed with equipment and clothing. While Sissel was working away on Dorthe’s make up and hair, we discussed photo locations and order of garments. The strong sun was an issue we had to resolve at times, as well as the strong wind. As a result a couple of our prime locations such as the pier and next to the sculpture in the water with the Marina in the background had to be given up. Above, you can see how Mary-Ann is providing necessary shadow for Dorthe whose legs are covered in blankets, while she is wearing Nuala, a shawl buttoned up with a cowl knitted in Rowan Softknit Cotton.

DSCN0110Sissel is busy putting on nail varnish on Dorthe’s nails, just as we are ready for the first project to be photographed: Hertha shawl with loose sleeves knitted in Jaggerspun Zephyr Lace held double, worn together with Judith Bech’s fringe skirt. The stair case on the side of the building was first out as first back drop. If you look closely on the photo above, over the roof of the black tent you will see part of the sculpture of a banana. Now, using that as a backdrop would have made a very different photoshoot, we agreed!

XT1A3210Here we are looking at locations; 3 geniuses at work as Eivind put it, photographed by my husband. The marina is just in the background but also in the sun, unfortunately. But we did find another suitable location instead. We photographed 9 new designs for Familien, and a secret project. Sissel made sure we had a plan allowing only 30 minutes for each garment so that we would have time for a delicious lunch at Bølgen & Moi as well as finish before we needed to vacate the meeting room at 16.30. We made it, thanks to brilliant co-operation. A marvelous team work, thank you all!