New Design: Ovedine

Værbitt, aka Laila Henriksen, asked me this autumn if I wanted to design a small accessory for the Advents Calendar she was planning to sell on her yarn shop website. Laila hand dyes so many gorgeous shades and I am especially fond of her colours on Sølje and Tinde pelt wool by Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. I got to choose colours from her shop and loved “Dragegg”/Dragon Egg in green turquoise shades and “Lillebror”/Little Brother in darker navy shades the most. What should I design? I pondered for awhile and ended on a shawl or a wrap. How about a shawl you can wrap around you but also use as a scarf or a collar? Ovedine was born. Above you see me wearing it as a scarf, together with the new skirt Rebine I have designed for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk knitted in Tinde, photographed by Michael in Barcelona. We somehow ended up photographing on the coldest afternoon while we were there, which is so typical and why I look cold.

Named after an old female name from Norway is this shawl with tucks, short rows and garter stitch stripes in two colors. The hem and one tuck made on the wrong side, in addition to the double I-cord bind off, make the shawl two-sided. Choose if you want to wear it as a shawl, or a wrap around your body or as a shawl collar. Ovedine is knitted in two gorgeous hand dyed shades by Værbitt on the pelt wool Sølje from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk.

I developed further my earlier design Saqqara, but choose garter stitch instead of lace to show of the subtle depth of the colours and added more tucks. The tucks I worked in both the colours and I decided to do the same with the I-cord bind off.

Ovedine is knitted using 3 mm/US 2.5 needle for the garter stitch and 3.5 mm/US 4 needle for the tucks as well as the I-cord bind offs. The gauge is 21 stitches and 32 rows in stockinette stitch using 3.5 mm/US 4 needle so it is knitted with a loose gauge for the sportweight yarn. Ovedine requires 497 m/544 yds of Drageegg (2 skeins) and 315 m/344 yds (1 skein) of Lillebror, both dyed on Sølje from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. Each skein of Sølje has 350 m/383 yds on 100 g.

The pattern is already available from my Ravelry store and from Love Crafts in both English and Norwegian. I will soon share with you the brilliant photos Eivind Røhne took of model Olivia Lindtein at Mortensrud Church of this shawl.

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O-Chem Tunic Pattern Released

The O-Chem Tunic pattern rights have reverted to me and I have released the pattern in English my Ravelry store with new photographs taken of the gorgeous Kaja Kvernbakken,  with make-up & hair by Sissel Fylling and jewellery by Kaja Gjedebo Design, taken by Eivind Røhne at the Oslofjord Museum in May. The pattern was first published in Interweave Knits Winter 2019 and initially photographed by Harper Point Photography. The Norwegian pattern has been sold to the magazine Familien and will be printed at a later date. Below is my introduction to the pattern and its details.

The O-Chem Tunic features a striking central panel of hexagonal cables inspired by organic chemisty compounds. For visual balance with the three cables in the body, the sleeves have one main cable running down the arm, and all the cables in the sweater are framed with rope cables. The sweater sports a cozy standing collar and side vents in the rib at the bottom for a relaxed fit.

Sizes: XS (S, M, L, XL, 2XL)
Shown in size Medium.
Skill level: Experienced

Finished measurements:
Bust: 81 (88, 94, 104, 114, 124) cm/32 (34.5, 37, 41, 45, 49)“
Hip: 95 (102, 108, 118, 128, 138) cm/37.5 (40.25, 42.5, 46.5, 50.5, 54.25)”
Length: 74 (74, 76, 76, 78, 78) cm/29.25 (29.25, 30, 30, 30.75, 30.75)“
Sleeve length: 49 (50, 50, 51, 51, 52) cm/19.25 (19.75, 19.75, 20, 20, 20.5)”

Yarn: Tahki Yarns, Alden (50% merino wool, 25% alpaca, 25% acryl, 230 m/250 yds, 50 g). Sample is knitted in 06 Wine:
6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 9) balls; 1215 (1327, 1439, 1600, 1761, 1922) m/1323 (1451, 1574, 1750, 1926, 2102) yds.

Needles: 3.75 mm/US 5 circular needle (60 cm/24” and 80 cm/32”).
Adjust needle size as needed to match gauge.

Notions: Markers (removable), cable needle, stitch holders and yarn needle.

Gauge: 20 sts and 30 rows in st st measures 10 cm/4” square.
32 sts and 30 rows in Cable measures 10 cm/4” square.

Notes: The pullover is worked back and forth in separate pieces and seamed. A circular needle is used to accommodate the large number of stitches. The collar is worked in the round with an interfacing part. The sides on the body and the sleeves have garter stitches after the vent up to the armhole.

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Ravna in Bladet garn 10/2019

Co-editor of Bladet garn Solveig Jensen Engevold asked me at the Oslo Strikkefestival in September if I wanted to contribute with a design to their last ever issue. How could I refuse, especially since I had said a couple of years back that I would? I had also just spotted several gorgeous hand dyed shades by Værbitt, aka Laila Henriksen, on Sølje, pelt wool from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. Solveig said yes to this colour, Laila offered to hand dye on sponsored yarn from Hillesvåg for the magazine. So it was my turn to make design something special with the yarn and I thought I could easily do it in time for the deadline by mid-October. Solveig did grant me an extra week and I did make Ravna on time, despite knitting the bottom of the back several times. The brilliant photos are taken by Solveig and the one above fills the first page you see when you open the magazine next to the leader by Solveig and co-editor Unni Cathrine Eiken. It is after all a celebratory issue!

The four year old magazine goes out with a bang and presents seven new designs, as well as a pattern cavalcade; eleven designs printed in previous issues. On the cover is “Øst Genser” by Marte Nilssen knitted in a thicker version of the pelt wool called Blåne from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk. I wish to thank the editors for the inspiration and good luck on their future paths!

Ravna is an historic name from northern Norway, her charisma is given to this a-line pullover with a longer flowing shirt tail back. A cable medallion adorns the spine which is crowned by a high garter stitch collar. All the sides are marked by a strong garter stitch edge presence. Ravna is knitted in a divine hand dyed shade from Værbitt called Little Parsley, based on a childrens’ rhyme, on Sølje, pelt wool from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk.

I love this cable medallion that I found in Norah Gaughan’s inspiring Knitted Cable Sourcebook. I placed one at the center on the front and the back. The sleeves have a rib panel in the center because it shows off the colours in this hand dyed green so well and because the cable was too wide to fit.

My plan was to knit size Small but I calculated wrong and it turned into size Medium with a bust circumference of 98 cm/38.5″. I then decided to grade this pullover all the way from size XS to 5XL for the magazine. The bust circumference goes from 82 cm to 156 cm/32.25 to 61.5″. Ravna is knitted using 3 mm/US 2.5 needle with a gauge of 24 stitches and 32 rows in stockinette stitch measures 10 cm/4″ square after blocking.

The pullover is worked in pieces and seamed. The back has one more cable repeat and the center garter stitch band is twice as high as front garter stitch band. The side seam ends in the narrow part of the garter stich band. The collar is worked in the round and ends with an I-cord bind off.

The Norwegian magazine can be ordered directly from Bladet garn’s website in a digital format or in both a digital format and in print. Only a few of their stockists have this issue in stock. You can see all the patterns in the magazine on Ravelry.

Ravna will be available in English as a digital download, in my Ravelry store and on LoveCrafts, after the test knitting, beginning in early January, has been completed by mid-February.

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Norsk Strikkedesign Book Launch at Cappelen Damm

The “Norsk strikkedesign. Strikk din favoritt” book with editor Iselin Hafseld, was launched at Cappelen Damm’s offices in Oslo last Thursday. A “Pre-Christmas’ Eve at Cappelen Damm” said the invitation on Facebook. Around 120 people attended and above you see the Editor-of-Chief of Non-Fiction Anne Søyland introducing the book. Both Iselin and Arne & Carlos were travelling, hence not present at the book launch, but the remaining four of us where there: Kari Hestnes, Bente Presterud, Birger Berge and me. Three other books were launched the same evening: “Moderne tradisjonsstrikk” by Birger Berge, “Lindteinstrikk med stil” by Tove Lindtein and “Babytepper” by Marta Skadsheim. Michael took these photos, while I presented, listened to the other designers, signed books and spoke to knitters & friends.

80 of the first people arriving was given a goodie bag, while everyone received a raffle ticket when they arrived. As you can see above, the Cappelen Damm canteen was full. I was sitting at one of the two authors’ table reserved for us.

So we were six authors present and we came around 4.30 pm with our display garments. Cappelen Damm had ordered pizzas and drinks for us, since only Christmas cakes and the hot Christmas drink “gløgg” was on offer. But you could buy drinks at the bar. Anne offered us free drinks, so Kari did check if they had Champagne but unfortunately not, so she settled for water instead. Before the evening started I had to show Tove the photos I had selected from the photoshoot of her daughter Olivia.

First out was Birger and he gave a presentation of his book as well as knitting experience. Above you see the cover of his book but also a photo of him as a child standing surrounded by sheep and he did tell us how scared he had been then. Quite funny considering how much wool he has both knitted and crocheted with since the photo was taken.

Next out was the book I took part in and the four of us sat in the two sofas present on the stage: next to me is Bente, Kari and Birger. Anne introduced us and then wanted to hear why each one of us thought knitting had such a resurgence. We all agreed it was several reasons behind it such as: Being creative, the meditative process (you have as a knitter not as a designer, though), taking back the slowness from an everyday where everything goes fast.

Then we talked about two designs each. I wore my Damara skirt and took it off at to wear it as a poncho.  It was easier said than done because of the microphone wire. Tove thought I had lost my marbles, but I hadn’t and did wear a second skirt beneath it.

My second design I had chosen to talk about was my Thia jacket, knitted in the hand dyed Mikkel Rev by Værbitt on Tinde pelt wool by Hillesvåg Ullvarfabrikk. I told the story about my idea for the five designs and how I had constructed my garments.

Bente had brought a tailors dummy for her stunning dress and spoke about her ideas behind it.

Next on the agenda was Marta talking about her book and her baby blankets.

Then Tove presented her book and several of her garments. She ended her talk by reading from her book. And no, it was not a pattern she read, but from her introduction which summed up her intent with the book.

Before the book sales and signing, the raffle prizes were drawn. Cappelen Damm had asked the yarn sponsors to contribute yarn kits for the designs and the Hobby Club (read: book club) had also contributed with several gifts. The happiest winner of them all was this woman who won yarn for one of Tove’s designs. It is presented to her by Linda Aagnes, head of marketing at Cappelen Damm.

Friends and other designers had come to celebrate with us. After the raffle we took our seats at the signing table. Above you see designer Rasa Ziburkute, aka GalgenDesign, waiting to have her copy signed.

I had a fun evening in great company! I met a number of knitters I knew but also some new ones! Thank you to everyone who came and to Cappelen Damm for hosting this fun evening!

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Photoshoot at Oslofjord Museum: O-Chem Tunic

Here is the last series of photos from the Oslofjord Museum for now, it is of the O-Chem Tunic designed for Interweave Knits Winter 2019 worn by the gorgeous Kaja Kvernbakken, with hair & makeup by Sissel Fylling and jewellery by Kaja Gjedebo Design, brilliantly captured next to the corten steel wall by Eivind Røhne. I decided to style the O-Chem Tunic with a burgundy Wolford tube skirt since the colours matched so well and with my red pair of Amanda Skovgaard shoes.

The O-Chem Tunic features a striking central panel of hexagonal cables inspired by organic chemisty compounds. For visual balance with the three cables in the body, the sleeves have one main cable running down the arm, and all the cables in the sweater are framed with rope cables. The sweater sports a cozy standing collar and side vents in the rib at the bottom for a relaxed fit.

The O-Chem Tunic is knitted in Tahki Yarns, Alden made in 50% merino wool, 25% alpaca, 25% acryl, with 230 meters/250 yards on each 50 gram ball. The sample is knitted in 06 Wine and only takes 7 balls. The gauge is 20 stitches and 30 rows in stockinette stitch using 3.75 mm/US 5 measures 10 cm/4” square.

The O-Chem Tunic sample I knitted was returned from Interweave in the US, so that I could photograph it again and release the pattern, when the rights returned to me after a year.

I have graded this from size XS to 2XL with a bust circumference of 81 cm/32 to 124 cm/49″. The sample in size Medium has a 94 cm/37” bust circumference and is worn with + 8 cm/3.25” ease on the model. I loved seeing this pullover on Kaja! I am so proud to have such a fabulous team to work with! Thank you!

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Barcelona Knits 2019 Part 2

I just had to share this lovely photo Michael took of the four organisers of Barcelona Knits with the popular male model for the festival pattern: Mediterráneo Shawl by Ester Romo Alonso – aka elleplusdesign – he was photographed throughout the day. From left to right is: Anna Chao, Eva Rodríguez, the man of the day, Marta Martínez and Kiara Bonini holding up the photo of him from the festival brochure. Their enthusiasm was non-stop throughout the weekend, I can confirm, as Michael and I met them at breakfast at 7am at our hotel and then again after my second workshop at 8pm.

In my first workshop: Smart Knitting Techniques, I also meet Giovanna Marrese, aka LanaWasi who had travelled all the way from Peru, who brought me a couple of lovely gifts from the company she runs together with her sister-in-law in Peru. I received a handmade doll with a shawl pin and an embroidered notions pouch. Thank you, Giovanna!

The market hall was separated into two halls, and the smaller one also had a coffee shop with a view to the nearby parked yachts. Do watch Grace O’Neil, aka Babbles Travelling Yarns Podcast from Barcelona Knits where she asks knitters where they have parked their yachts, as well as detailed views of the vendors in the Market Hall:

Here is a photo I took Monday morning after the festival, where you some of the larger yachts and ferries as well as one part of the World Trade Center buildings, see the round building to the right.

For the first time I could take a look at the yak yarns from Myak. I spoke to Andrea who is a vet and works very closely with the nomadic yak herdsmens. You can see an interview with co-founder Paola and him in the Fruityknitting Podcast Episode 56. Yes, do remember to watch episode 67, while you are at it, that is the interview with me.

Above is a photo inside the market hall taken on the less busy Sunday.

La Bien Aimee was also at Barcelona Knits, and I had the chance to present myself. I was wearing my Yellow Gold Pullover and it seemed to fit straight into her colour scheme.

The last photo I will share with you is from after the closing of the Market Hall and of the packing down of the stalls, the Walk Collection stand in particular, where I had agreed to meet Isabell Kraemer, aka lilalu72, and her husband. Isabell had promised to help pack down their stand before we all went for dinner together. The seven of us had a lovely dinner and a fabulous time close to the Walk Collection team’s Airbnb flat. It was the perfect end to a perfect weekend, really! Thank you to all the designers, vendors and knitters I met at Barcelona Knits!

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Barcelona Knits 2019 Part 1

I can confirm that Barcelona Knits! Several people have asked me just that after I told them I was going to the Barcelona Knits Festival 2019! What a festival it has been, I have had a blast and must admit that I have never been to a festival so well organised as this one! The four behind the festival, running for the second time around, are: Anna, aka misswasabi81; Marta, aka tricotoseando; Eva, aka lalanalu and Kiara, aka lalanalu. You can see them at the front in the Instagram photo below. Above you see me photographed against their wall, wearing the Yellow Gold Pullover.

The venue was the World Trade Center in the harbour, I was teaching in the Mohair Classroom and on the television screen outside the door was the name of the workshop, my name and my photo. The view from the classroom was magnificent, just take a look above.

All participants to each workshop received a free ball from one of the sponsors of the festival. I on the other hand received a large box from one of them: Las Hidalgas, a goodie bag from the festival and presents from one of the attendees after my first workshop.

On Sunday 17th, about 1,5 hour after the market hall closed, a group photo was taken of the organisers, vendors and workshop holders. You would not believe how far knitters had travelled to come to this festival. They had come from the US, Peru, Taiwan, Scandinavia, Germany, the UK and Spain, just to mention a few of the nationalities present. I even met two Norwegians I knew from Stavanger at the airport in Oslo going to the same event as me.

I knew that my test knitter, Heidi Torres was coming from Sweden together with three of her friends, since she wrote to me and told me that only two of them got tickets for my workshops “Smart Knitting Techniques” since they were too late in booking. Heidi, aka Heidi197 on Ravelry, was very easy to spot since she wore my design Mistale in a gorgeous bright pink. Above you see us, and I am wearing my Ena. After my first workshop, there were many that wanted to take a photo with me and that was fun!

Michael and I flew in on the Friday afternoon, leaving our house very early in the morning.  Barcelona Knits had booked our flights as well as the hotel for us, it was only about 10 minutes away from the venue. They also offered to organise a taxi from the airport, making it extremely easy for us. Arriving just after us was Susanne Sommer, aka SosuKnits, another workshop holder who flew in from Austria. We went sightseeing on Friday afternoon, before the festival began on Saturday morning at 9am. Just before the market hall opened, the queue to get it went around the inner courtyard, see above. For the second time, the festival hit another record with more than 2 000 visitors. The queue was still there, when I finished my first workshop, so I decided to visit the market hall on the Sunday instead.

My second workshop was “Perfect Fit” and not until 5pm. Straight after the workshop at 8pm, the “Tapas & Yarn Party” began. Michael had spent time in the backstage room (read: husband room) which had a fabulous supply of fruit, water, tea & coffee and snacks. Julie Dubreux, aka JulieKnitsInParis, who I first met at Bergen Strikkefestival; Isabell Kraemer, aka lilalu72, and Anna Maltz aka SweaterSpotter, who I first met at Vienna Wool & Design, all brought their husbands too. Above is one of the exciting yarns on offer in the market hall.

Eva introduced me to the yarn company Las Hidalgas, run by Alberto Diaz, who had asked to meet me and above you can see us talking. I discovered that one of the yarns he had showed me was not in the box I was given, so I came running back in on Sunday just after the market hall had closed. They had already packed down their stand but managed to find the ball I wanted!

The “Tapas & Yarn Party” on Saturday night was at a cool place called Ultramarinos at La Rambla only 10 minutes away from the World Trade Center. A smart move since I came straight from the second workshop to the party, which was limited to 200 people. Michael and I found seats next to the Norwegian yarn dyer Norne Yarn, who had a stand at the festival, and a lovely group of Spanish knitters & crocheters. The food was fabulous and never stopped coming, so many of us were too busy eating to actually knit! To be continued…

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Aife Knitted by Petra Friedrich

I am so pleased to present Aife test knitted by Petra, aka Petra777 on Ravelry and petra_friedrich on Instagram. She knitted it in a divine red colour called Zimtapfel (read: Cinnamon Apple) in Blend by Rohrspatz & Wollmeise in size Medium. The yarn is made of 70% wool, 20% goat and 10% polyamide with 499 meters/546 yards on each 150 gram skein. It knits to the given gauge in the pattern: 25 stitches and 32 rows in stockinette stitch using a 3 mm/US 2.5 measures 10 cm/4″ square. Petra initially thought the Wollmeise yarn she had ordered was lost since it took a long time to arrive so she tried a yarn from her stash first. But when it arrived, she wrote in the test knit thread on Ravelry: “I love this design and I cannot wait to see how it turns out using this yarn!” Petra did a wonderful job test knitting it and you can see how stunning it looks on one of her three daughters in these photos! Thank you so much, Petra!

 I also wanted to show you how it looks from the back, with a slightly higher neck. Petra’s chosen yarn has a lovely stitch definition that shows of the cables so well. Here is my introduction to the pattern: “Aife was the Queen of the Isle of Shadow according to Celtic mythology. This elaborate cabled pullover with a slightly fitted waist, is made for a female warrior. A large cable panel, created by Devorgilla, is mirrored with two small cables at the center. The sweater ends in a generous turtle neck in ribbing. To show off the stunning hand dyed Pure Sport yarn by Dye Dye Done, the sleeves are in stockinette stitch with only two small centered cables. Aife is knitted in pieces for the ultimate fit.”

The pullover comes in sizes XS to 2XL with a bust circumference of 86 cm to 123 cm/34 to 48.5″ and a waist circumference of 80 cm to 118 cm/31.5 to 46″. The pattern is available in both Norwegian and English to download from both Ravelry and from Lovecrafts.

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Geilo Photos

I wanted to show you some more of the photos that Michael took at the ski resort of Geilo, while I was holding workshops at Strikkehelgen/Knitting Weekend organised by the Norwegian magazine Familien. When you are reading this, Michael and I will be at Barcelona Knits, which you will hear about when we are back home. Continuing on the theme of churches, here is the amazing Geilo Kulturkyrkje/Cultural Church. I only got to see it from a distance from the car on our way home, so I hope to see it up close at a later time.

Here is another view of the hotel we stayed at called Vestlia Resort, and as you can see the snow canons were at work preparing the slope!

Finally, I will leave you with this artistic photo of a fence, that reminds me of the mountains!

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Behind the Scenes: Photoshoot at Mortensrud Church

On Monday, I had a photoshoot at Mortensrud Church in Oslo. Yes, it was the day with heavy snow in Oslo (read: it felt like a whiteout) where the traffic was at a standstill. Only the make-up & hair stylist Erica Poppe, recommended by Jens J. Wiker since both he and Sissel Fylling where busy on other jobs, made it on time arriving by the tube. The gorgeous model Olivia Lindtein, hired on Saturday due to a cancellation, joined Erica shortly afterwards. While the photographer Eivind Røhne, Michael and I came last and one hour late. Anyway, we made it in time and managed to photograph all the ten garments I had brought. No, they are not all new designs; only six are new, three are returned from the UK (Ataraxia in two colours) and the US (Euler Cardigan) plus one old design (Harding Cardigan). Above you can glimpse one of the new pullovers that has a matching pencil skirt made for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk.

If you are Norwegian reading this and recognise Olivia’s surname, I can tell you that her mother is Tove Lindtein and that her Norwegian knitting book “Lindteinstrikk med stil” has recently been published by Cappelen Damm. Olivia and her sister Louise are models in the book and they feature on the cover of the book together with Tove. So I had seen a number of photos of Olivia before I sent the request via Tove. Olivia looked divine in my designs and I loved seeing them coming alive on her!

Michael and I were married in Mortensrud Church back in 2003 and we have been there for concerts as well as for my father’s burial in 2005. My mother still lives in the area and had planned to visit us during the photoshoot, but due to the heavy snow she stayed at home.

After I had placed all the designs and clothing on the clothes rail, Eivind and I walked around in the church to discover possible backgrounds. Further above you see us testing one, we did not use in the end. As we found several better than that, while Erica was preparing Olivia’s hair and then her make-up. I was wearing my Brewster Cardigan, in case you were wondering. Despite the delay, we took time to sit down for lunch, I had ordered catering from Eckers with juices and smoothies to keep us going, and we finished as we had planned at 3.30 PM, just as the daylight started to go away.

Michael made a behind the scenes video which will be available for all my patrons on Patreon only, after he has edited it and we are back from Barcelona Knits. So if you are interested in learning more about my life as a designer and want to support me, choose your level based on the rewards here:

We had a wonderful day and it was a magnificent photoshoot! Thanks to my brilliant team! I look forward to showing you the new designs – I still need to finish off those patterns – as well as selecting from Eivind’s photos!

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