Helka at Hadeland

mmp-xt1b4512I wore my long jacket Helka for my Norwegian workshop Smart Knitting Techniques at Hadeland Glassverk at Jevnaker, in connection with their “Strikke 2016” festival. In bright autumn weather, my husband and I arrived early in order to have a chance to see the exhibition once more. Before the exhibition opened we used the time at the end of the beautiful Randsfjorden to take some new photos of me wearing my design Helka. Here I am sitting on the pier just outside of Hadeland Glassverk, when my husband captured this brilliant photo.

mmp-xt1b4502Here is my introduction to Helka: A long straight classical jacket with woven cables in a diamond pattern that ends in a rib. The cables are erased into a rib, then into stockinette stitch in the sides. Named after Helka the prosperous one, it has a deep v-neck and a double button band, leaving all the glory to the cables. Use it with a belt or adorn it with beautiful buttons like these jewelry ones by Siri Berrefjord.

dscn0568While I was holding a workshop in Japanese Patterns on Saturday, my husband went to a nearby industrial museum called Kistefos Museet, located at an old pulp mill from 1889, with a large International Sculpture Park incorporated into the beautiful and peaceful nature. The museum also has an Art Hall, which we yet have to located. You can glimpse the Randselva to the left in the photo above. Michael convinced me to come after my workshop on Sunday. I am ever so happy I did. One sculpture with its fountain took our breath away.

dscn0564The sculpture of the year is called Path of Silence and is by the Danish artist Jeppe Hein. A path takes you through swirls of narrow mirror slices ending in a fountain with layered swirls of splashing water. It is made by polished stainless steel, giant stones from the forests of Kistefos, Norwegian slater, Siberian maple, Norwegian moss and flora.

dscn0567The introduction reads: “Jeppe Hein’s art places the human being in the centre. His artistic expression is in the intersection between concept art, architecture and technology. Still, it is the meeting between the human being and the art, or the human being meeting him- or herself that mainly occupy Hein”. Above you see it in practice by yours truly.

dscn0565The Children and adults alike were running through the swirls of water and walking dry around inside the fountain. Take a look at it photographed from above here to understand the lay-out. The museum is closed in the winter season, but definitely well worth a visit in the summer season from late May to early October.

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Strikke 2016 at Hadeland Glassverk

544-strikkeI spent last weekend at Hadeland Glassverk holding two different workshops and visiting the knitting exhibition in the amazing new gallery, with the glass entry part designed by Snøhetta, during their knitting festival called “Strikke 2016”.  The exhibition was initiated by one of the owners Atle Brynestad, who started his first company a knitwear company at the age of 16. A selection of the first sweaters are exhibited together with photos from the -70s and -80s.  There are 19 participating Norwegian designers in addition to 4 International designers. Among them are Christel Seyfarth, Sonya Yong James, Tine Solheim, Sidsel Høivik, Tove Fevang, Nina Granlund Sæther, Bente Røvik, Vanja Blix Langsrud, Denise Samson and me. The festival, including the exhibition, opened on the 3. September and will hang until the 30. October.

dscn0538The yarn shower containing 1000 strands of yarn, sponsored by the House of Yarn is at one end of the exhibition while the coffeeshop and the beautiful view of Hadeland is on the opposite side.

dscn0542The intricate and colorful designs by Sidsel Høivik, accompanied by her first book and flyers for her second book. Sidsel now sell her designs as yarn kits directly from her website.

mmp-xt1b4531My part of the exhibition, taken by my husband so that I could stand next to my designs. I am wearing my long jacket, Helka and displayed are from right to left: Yellow Gold Pullover, Shalana, Hel, Kori and Ronette. I choose to display these designs since the Norwegian patterns are all found in the special magazine Familien Strikk now on sale in Norway.

dscn0535Danish designer Christel Seyfarth is know for her colorwork and pattern combinations. She is one of the designers giving a talk about her inspiration on the 22. October. Here is the full list of talks: Hadeland Glassverk.

mmp-xt1b4384Here is a view taken from the coffee tables next to the large windows seeing the shop part at the front.

dscn0527The shop with the Festival sweater hanging on the wall. The shop has a large selection of books, yarn kits, ready made knitwear, some knitting needles, patterns and accessories. I am happy to have my Norwegian book for sale there.

dscn0557I know the photo is dark but I wanted to share the amazing view as well as weather with the Randsfjord in the background. Here is the full program. So if you have the chance to see it, do! Do bring your knitting too!

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Kathe Cardigan – Again

Interweave Knits/Harper Point Photography

Interweave Knits/Harper Point Photography

I realized that Interweave Knits Fall 2016 team with editor Meghan Babin had chosen more amazing photos of my Kathe Cardigan for the 20th Anniversary Edition which I wanted to show off. So here they are, all taken by Harper Point Photography. Here is the introduction to the cardigan: “The Kathe Cardigan is an elegant and feminine modern classic. The leaf lace panels pair with the luscious open collar to make a stunning garment. This comfortable knit can be worn with a skirt and heels to the office or dressed down for the weekend.”

Interweave Knits/Harper Point Photography

Interweave Knits/Harper Point Photography

It is knitted in the stunning SweetGeorgia Superwash Sport, using 3 mm/US 2.5 needle with a gauge of 24 stitches and 36 rows in stockinette stitch. The cardigan is worked back and forth in separate pieces and seamed. The tuck on the collar is worked with 2 circular needles held parallel. The collar ends in an I-cord bind off. All parts are cast on using a provisional cast on method, which is removed and then replaced by an I-cord bind off.

Interweave Knits/Harper Point Photography

Interweave Knits/Harper Point Photography

I love this photo showing off the details of the stitch pattern as well as the collar finish. The stitch pattern is one of those that are incredibly fun to knit as it develops between your hands and is easy to memorize after a few repeats. The semi-solid hand dyed color in Tumbled Stone, a divine taupe color, which highlights the stitch definition. There is a large selection from colors to choose from in SweetGeorgia Superwash Sport, so you can easily pick your own favorite. The English pattern is available both as a single pattern or in the magazine, which has another 19 patterns to choose from. I suggest you check out the magazine patterns before you choose.

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Amara in SweetGeorgia Yarns Fall Collection & Draw

lookbook-coverI was thrilled that my design submission for Amara was accepted so that I could work the SweetGeorgia Yarns’ team again. Design Director Tabetha Hedrick is a pleasure to co-operate with. She e-mailed me to let me know that she was planning to use my sample for the TNNA (The National Needlearts Association) Fashion show in Washington DC in June. I was beyond chuffed to hear it! Would I be attending the TNNA trade fair, Tabetha asked. I wish I was, but the cost and my current work load did not allow it. But I was delighted that my friend and Norwegian designer Tove Fevang did go and spotted it at the Fashion Show. Then a few weeks later the pattern was sent to the first tech editor Charles Voth, then on to  second tech editor – no other than my own tech editor – Corrina Fergusson, before I received a copy with updates for commenting. Both contributed to improve the pattern and had corrected my mistakes. Finally the collection has been launched, a week after I received the beautiful photos taken by Tabetha herself.

teaser-2-daysAmara means eternal, like the beauty of the cables that travel across the back, fronts, and sleeves of this fitted cardigan. Gorgeous details, such as the double hem and deep v-neck, highlight the luxurious depth that enchants from start to finish.

SweetGeorgia Yarns/Tabetha Hedrick

SweetGeorgia Yarns/Tabetha Hedrick

The cardigan is knitted in SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash DK with 234 meters/256 yards on each 115 gram/4 ounce skein, and available in numerous stunning hand dyed semi-solid colors such as the purple color called Empress, I choose. I consider it a quick knit since the yarn takes a 4 mm/US 6 needles with a gauge of 20 stitches and 28 rows measuring 10 cm/4″ in Stockinette stitch after blocking.

SweetGeorgia Yarns/Tabetha Hedrick

SweetGeorgia Yarns/Tabetha Hedrick

The body is worked from the bottom and up, flat while the sleeves are worked in the round up to the armhole. The sleevecap is worked flat. The hem is knitted with 2 needles held parallel, followed by a garter stitch band, while the button band is picked up and knitted afterwords. The shoulders are shaped with short row shaping and bound off using a 3-needle bind off.

SweetGeorgia Yarns/Tabetha Hedrick

SweetGeorgia Yarns/Tabetha Hedrick

Take a look at the beautiful lookbook, and then you can find the individual patterns on the SweetGeorgia Yarns website or on Ravelry.

Discount: Do note that that you can …. Celebrate the Fall with SweetGeorgia launch with us and get the pattern for 30% off! No coupon code necessary, but sale ends at midnight CST on September 14th.

Draw: SweetGeorgia Yarn is offering a free digital pattern of the winner’s choosing from the Fall collection vol 2, so do comment below with your chosen pattern. I will be curious to know which one you choose.

I will use Random.org to pick a winner based on your comment number on Friday 18.00 GMT and e-mail the winner, as well as forward the e-mail address to SweetGeorgia Yarns so that they can send out the pattern. Good luck!

Winner: Wenche Ruud. Congratulations!

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Bornholm Art Museum

mmp-xt1b4270-1Bornholm Art Museum, located outside of Gudhjem – which literally translates to God’s Home – was bound to be spectacular. The building itself certainly was with its play of light inside, with its unexpected window placements, making it a spiritual experience, and that is before we even consider the art exhibited, the viewing tower, the walking bride. “The museum building was built in 1993 and expanded in 2003 and is regarded – even by someone other than ourselves – for some of the best in modern Danish architecture.” The architectural firm is Fogh & Følner, who wanted to create a building with a series of view points to the magnificent landscape outside as well as to the wide angle ocean view. Do take a look at the stunning architecture gallery photos: bornholms-kunstmuseum.dk. The art museum is located by the sea without any other buildings in sight, so it is hard to miss it arriving by car or by – the preferred means of transport at Bornholm – bicycle.

xt1b4280-2

I was wearing light colors, despite the rain, and fitted well into the interior. If you are a knitter you might be able to spot that I am wearing Adoe knitted in the lush Rowan Truesilk. The two brilliant photos above are taken by my husband. There were many visitors equipped with cameras on our visit. As for the art collection, it ranges from the early 1800s to the present day with emphasis on the Bornholm painters, a group of artists who worked on the island in the first half of the 1900s. Their works give a full impression of Modernism in art. Not only in painting but also in sculpture. You can take a virtual tour here: www.google.com.

dscn0518A water well began at the entrance and ran through the amazing central hallway or Museum Street as it is called like a spine down 3 levels to the exit to the walking bridge and ending in a wishing well. Above you see it running down the last set of stairs.

dscn0522-bWe did need a break after touring this museum and located the café. Yes, it did have delicious cakes as well as lunch offerings. A perfect place for a meeting, in my opinion. Here you see it from the museum street and looking down into it, with the sculpture park outside. Do not miss  Bornholm Art Museum if you go to Bornholm, that is my advice.

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Strik Bornholm 2016

XT1B4221I was delighted to be invited back to Strik Bornholm, 2 years after the first knitting festival on the divine sunshine island in the Baltic Sea. Just as last time my husband wanted to join me and take on the long drive from Oslo to Ystad, Southern Sweden – 6 hours but since we needed several breaks it took us close to 7 hours. We stayed one night at Hotel Continental from and were thrilled to find it upgraded to pure luxury. The next day, Thursday 1. September we were ready for the ferry – an Australian catamaran – from Ystad to Rønne, which takes only 1 hour and 20 minutes. Strik Bornholm was held in the small town of Allinge, approximately 20 minutes drive from the largest town Rønne at Bornholm. Above is the Woolspire stand with designer Charlotte Kaae talking to Diana Belea and Ann Vindelev from Woolspire. Ann, the Woolspire intern, learnt to knit while at Strik Bornholm, have a look at the photos in this blogpost: woolspire.com

XT1B4106Some of the 16 workshop holders – in charge of the 53 workshops – met up on Thursday evening just before the first of two evening knit cafés. Charlotte held a short talk and demonstration on the different cast-on methods. Yes, she does have her own YouTube channel in Danish. Above you can see me demonstrating how my Quamara jacket can be worn in 3 different ways depending on how you fold the long attached loop collar. Next to me is Mary-Ann Astrup, editor of the largest handicraft blog in Norway www.tusenideer.no and now also part of the Woolspire crew. I was so happy to be able to look at all the Brooklyn Tweed yarns and colors displayed at their stand. Of course I had to order some that will arrive in my mailbox very soon.

DSCN0509Strikkehjornet is the local knitting shop from Allinge which I discovered last time I visited. Owner Jette Jensen has for the first time made her own yarn, pelt wool from Bornholm, displayed at the front in three natural colors. Yes, it was one that had to follow me home. I was holding four workshop this time, all in Norwegian. Design your own sweater in part 1 and 2 as well as Japanese Patterns twice in one day. An extra Japanese Pattern workshop was added due to popular demand, while my Lace workshop was cancelled of the opposite reason. I was happy to meet several of the participants from the previous Strik Bornholm and even got to see some completed projects based on my workshops I held in 2014. Pure bliss! This time I was not teaching at Allinge Røgeri/Smokehouse on the beach but we were tempted and had to go there the first night for a portion on fish and chips.

DSCN0513Instead I was teaching at the old schoolhouse now called “Kærnehuset” but still marked as “Borgerskolen” on Friday and at Høiers Iscafe on the Saturday. As you can imagine the old school was perfect for a workshop while the Iscafé was a bit busy with ice-eating customers on the Saturday afternoon. Above is another photo from the large sportshall, Nordlandshallen where the sales area was offering a total of 24 shops. The yarn on offer is the locally hand dyed Fredsmindegarn. This year a number of German knitters visited the event together with a few Norwegians, a large number of Swedes and Danes. A total of        1750 visitors came by the sales hall during those three days.

XT1B4215Here is another photo of me and Mary-Ann, taken on the Saturday since I am wearing Oydis sweater with the cowl. I was so happy that Mary-Ann was coming and that I had the opportunity to meet the Woolspire crew myself since I now have a number of my patterns for sale in both Norwegian (on their Danish and Norwegian site) and English (on their English site).

DSCN0524This year the evening knit cafés and the party dinner on Saturday was held in a party tent at Storløkken Feriesenter. On Friday evening, Michael and I stayed in the same apartment hotel as last time, Klintely, with a lovely sea view as you can see from above. Unlike last time we did not have the opportunity to have breakfast with Norah Gaughan. And she was sorely missed by many of us. The star attraction this time was the Danish designer Vithard Villumsen, also known as the Prince of Knitting and as one of the judge on the Danish television series “Den Store Strikkedyst/The Great Knitting Challenge”. You will find a few episodes with English subtitles here on YouTube. He offered four different workshops, but the only one I had the opportunity to attend was an introduction to English knitting terms and that is one that I do not need. But to sum up the knitting festival: I had a great time! Thank you to all of you who I met, and to the organizers Team Bornholm!

DSCN0500I had some time on Thursday when we arrived and also on the Sunday to do a spot of sightseeing together with my husband. Here is one of the many lovely beaches on Bornholm, on the southern coast. But what really left a lasting impression was the Bornholm Art Museum, and it is coming next.

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Hillesvåg Exclusive

spreadsMy four designs for Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk were launched on Thursday at Oslo Design Fair. Halli, Elfa, Idunn and Andor are all knitted in a lustrous pelt yarn, the first two in the new finer Hifa Sølje with 350 meters/382 yards on each 100 gram skein and the last two in Hifa Tinde – formerly Norsk Pelsull with 260 meters/284 yards on each 100 gram skein. Here are photos from the A-5 brochure made for wholesale and which will be available online later. On the cover is a photo of the sideways cardigan Halli.

spreads2On the following next 2 pages are an overview together with a brief presentation of me as well as the Hillesvåg Exclusive: “Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk have in connection with the acknowledged knitwear designer Linda Marveng compiled a collection consisting of four designs in Norwegian Pelt yarn. Linda Marveng loves to design feminine garments, especially with cables or in lace. She worked for Rowan Yarns as a Design Consultant in London and published her first Norwegian knitting book in 2012. Linda designs for both Norwegian and International magazines, proofread knitting publications, translates patterns and hold workshops. www.marveng-puckett.com/wordpress/. Hillesvåg Exclusive are collections made in co-operation with selected designers. The collections hold an extremely high quality and are specially made with the fashion conscious knitter in mind.

spreads3Idunn: Named after the Norse goddess of spring and immortality is this straight sweater with a Henley neck with center cables. Ribs frame the cables in each side and make the sweater figure hugging. One center cable adds texture to the sleeve. Yarn: Tinde Pelsullgarn.

spreads4Elfa: Elfa is an a-line long jacket with central cables along all parts. Tucks divide the different patterns giving a slight flair and a softer touch to the jacket. A large shawl collar crowns the garment, hence the given name Elfa – after the Norse king and warrior. The body is worked in pieces while the sleeves are worked in the round to the underarm. Yarn: Sølje Pelsullgarn.

spreads5Halli: A sideways cardigan with a reverse textural pattern, and deep waterfall fronts. Each front and sleeve has two tucks at the end; one in reverse stockinette stitch and one in stockinette stitch. Choose if you prefer to leave the fronts hanging loose, pinned loosely together or draped across each other. Halli, comes from Old Norse and means rock. Perfect for the stitch pattern and symbolicly for becoming the rock in your wardrobe. Yarn: Sølje Pelsullgarn.

spreads6Andor: A trendy oversized poncho defined by its pairs of ornamental cables on each wide shoulder part. The stockinette center part is crowned by a high neck collar. The poncho has sidebands that can be closed with buttons. It is knitted flat in two parts with shoulder and neck shaping. Andor is the Norse element for Eagle and its wingspan appropriate for this poncho. Yarn: Tinde Pelsullgarn.

spreads7Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk is a living handicraft company which has produced quality yarns and combed wool through four generations. In 1898 Mikkel Myhr started the production on the same wooden floors which today makes an historic frame around our wool goods.

With windows towards a quiet fjord north of Bergen, is Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk proud to be a completely Norwegian run producer of yarn, combed wool and Norwegian knitting design.

Credits: Photo: Eivind Røhne. Model: Alexandria Eissinger/Nordic Model Agency. Hair and Make up Artist: Jens J. Wiker. Thank you to Kaja Gjedebo Design for loan of jewelry. Photographed at Villa Malla, Filtvet.

www.hifa.no and www.ull.no

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Photoshoot at Villa Malla: Andor

20160601 LM Villa Malla 819The last of the Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk yarn kit designs is also the most popular, the poncho Andor. As always I enjoyed seeing it worn by Alexandria Eissinger, she made it look more stylish than I ever can. With hair and make by Jens J. Wiker and statement jewelry by Kaja Gjedebo Design as well as boots by Monica Stålvang Shoes, Alexandria was brilliantly captured by Eivind Røhne at Villa Malla by the Oslo Fjord. Wearing long gloves, boots, scarf and a woolen poncho in a sweltering heat reaching above 30 degrees Celsius/86 degrees Fahrenheit, she looked so cool while the rest of us were suffering in thin summer clothing. Andor is the favorite project of both Alexandria and my husband, of those photographed in June. The poncho knitted in Hifa Norsk Pelsull soon to be renamed Hifa Tinde, using a 3.5 mm/US 4 needle and 4 mm/US 6 for the turtle neck. The yarn kits will be launched at Oslo Design Fair tomorrow.

20160601 LM Villa Malla 871A trendy oversized poncho defined by its pairs of ornamental cables on each wide shoulder part. The stockinette center part is crowned by a high neck collar. The poncho has sidebands that can be closed with buttons. It is knitted flat in two parts with shoulder and neck shaping. Andor is the Norse element for Eagle and its wingspan appropriate for this poncho.

20160601 LM Villa Malla 847The poncho is knitted in two parts, back and forth. The large collar is picked up and knitted at the end, just as the sidebands. The shoulder is shaped with short-rows and then joined using a 3-needle bind-off. Each sideband has two buttonholes.

20160601 LM Villa Malla 845Instead of wearing long gloves you could easily knit a pair of long wrist warmers in for example a rib. The poncho comes in one size with a bust measurement of 212 cm/83.5″, and a length of 72 cm/28.25″. You can easily change the size by removing or adding stitches to the center and or next to the shoulder part, or merely by changing the needle size.

The yarn kits will be available in selected yarn stores and online from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk after the launch at Oslo Design Fair. You will find the kits on this page after their launch: Eksklusiv Gjestedesign. Unfortunately I will not be at the launch at Oslo Design Fair but I am at Strik Bornholm and looking forward to traveling back to the sunshine island of Bornholm. I hope to see some of you there.

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Familien Strikk 2016

16_no_fao_05_forside_89646 jpegThe special issue Familien Strikk is now out in Norway with 79 patterns including 6 of mine: Kori, Yellow Gold Pullover, Ronette, Hel, Shalana and Githa. I am delighted to have a series of patterns included in this magazine together with Tine Solheim and Bente Presterud Røvik. None of my patterns are on the cover but there is a small photo of both Kori and Shalana on the contents page. Two of the patterns: Yellow Gold Pullover and Githa are available in English in my Ravelry Store and on loveknitting. The remaining patterns will be test knitted this autumn in my Ravelry group before they are released.

16_no_fao_05_linda_marveng__86895_Page_1All the six projects are brilliantly photographed by Eivind Røhne. The gorgeous model is Alexandria Eissinger/Nordic Model Agency with hair and make up by Jens J. Wiker, jewelry by Kaja Gjedebo Design, and tulle skirt by Judith Bech Design. I have named the series “Reiselyst” meaning “Wanderlust” or “Travel-lust” directly translated. “Water, beach and wanderlust have inspired this series by designer Linda Marveng. Intricate cables and lace pattern adorn the garments. Be inspired and travel and travel in the country or abroad. But do remember to bring your knitting!”. The introduction to Kori is as follows: “Kori is old Norse and means perfect; Kori is the result of a complex mathematical equation that cannot be calculated by the human mind. Just as the intricate cable that crowns this fitted jacket.”

Magazine spreadsOn the following page is a photo of the back. Yellow Gold Pullover is next: “Elegant chain link cables framed by a welt pattern adorn this gorgeous pullover. Playful tucks add life to the rib and give the pullover more texture. It is knitted straight from the bottom and up in parts and sewn together at the end. Jamieson’s Spindrift, a fine heathered wool was chosen for its lightness and color.”

Magazine spreads2Next is Ronette: “A central cable that ends in a bulb captivated me into designing this long a-line sweater with vents in the side along the bottom rib. A few garter stitches in the side makes the seam look like a zip. The sweater ends in an I-cord bind-off at the neck only shaped by the shoulders. It is named Ronette which means ”strong councel” in Old English, because the cable pattern did just that.” Also listed are the pattern details with yarn, sizes and needle. Followed by the vest Hel: “Sweeping Cables crown this long a-line vest with vents. The v-neck, framed by an I-cord bind-off, can be worn on the front or on the back. The cables have areas of rib in between hence a high rib became the obvious bottom band. Hel means complete in Norwegian and the Norse Hel ruled over nine worlds.”

Magazine spreads3Shalana: “A fitted pullover with Sand Cables that travel from the center towards each shoulder. At the center of the body between the cables is double seed stitch, framed by a twisted stitch which is increased into at the same time as you decrease in the stocking stitch on the opposite side of the cables.”

Githa: “A central wavy lace panel adorns this a-lined tunic tank with garter stitch bands. The lace pattern creates fans with boxes of garter stitch in between creating texture to the uneven chainette yarn made of a mixture of cotton, linen and viscose, Rowan Panama. The yarn make the tunic tank easy to wear during the summer or for a party. A generous shaped cowl covers your shoulders and dress up the tunic tank to make a perfect set called Githa, from Anglo-Saxon; to give or a gift.”

The magazine is available at selected news agents and super markets. If you are in Norway you can also order it by SMS just write “Strikk16” in addition to your name & address to 2205 or buy a digital version for iPad, see www.klikk.no. If you live abroad you can order the Norwegian special magazine by e-mailing kari.bachke@egmont.com and then transfer payment into their bank account.

The samples and the professional photographs of all these, except for Githa, will be exhibited at Strikke 2016 Festival at Hadeland Glassverk from 3. September to 30. October.

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Postcard from Bulgaria

DSCN0430 terraceI have spent the last week on holiday by Balchik in Bulgaria by the Black Sea with my mum. We have a small apartment at White Lagoon Beach Resort. With blue skies, sunshine and temperatures close to 30 degrees celsius in the air and 24 degrees celsius in the water, we are enjoying our holiday. It is the first time for us both to visit the country and to swim in the Black Sea. Above is our view from our terrace, where we have enjoyed our breakfasts and part of our evenings.

DSCN0431 viewThe standard of the resort is as you can see, tip top. We have tested one of four pools – no, not the one with the slide – the gym (which has been nearly as warm as the beach) the mini market, the two restaurants as well as the mini spa offering massages and pedicures which we could not refuse. Every day we had a morning swim before the pool became too popular and crowded.

IMG_5181Above you see my mum looking out across one of the two bays at the resort, with the white chalk cliffs in the background. We did find a good path into the water which had plenty of sharp rocks, as you can see.

Linda bassengHere I am on our evening walk down to the restaurant on the beach. Our favourite meal is the delicious fried Black Sea Shark. We had some beautiful evening skies. We wanted to see a little more than the resort and decide to take a sightseeing and shopping trip to Varna.

DSCN0435 varnaThe first stop on our excursion to Varna, the third largest city in Bulgaria – the second largest in the summer – was the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, built in the 19th century. We were lucky and witnessed a combined wedding and child christening inside. Below you see the photographer from inside the cathedral. The second stop was at the Grand Mall, and yes, it was a huge one. My mum found a beautiful pair of shoes – do not miss Bulgarian designer shop Sara Pen if you go – and I have finally found a new pair of sunglasses. It was time since my old ones are more than a decade old. I do prefer a souvenir I will use frequently.

DSCN0448 wedding

We also took the shuttle bus from the resort to Balchik yesterday, and had a walk around in the nearest village to our resort. I have seen only one single knitter here, on the beach. But with such high temperatures, I found it too hot to knit on the beach and have knitted very little in the evenings on our terrace.

IMG_5215Unfortunately, I have not found any yarn shops nor fabric shops in neither Varna nor Balchik. But we did find and tested a fish spa, where the “Garra Rufa fish nibbles on our skin and simulating the nerve ends, allowing blood to flow more fluidly”. It tickled less than I thought where I sat on a box with my legs from knees and down into an aquarium tank. Above you see me photographing at the beach promenade at Balchik.

DSCN0471 viewI will miss the 120 degrees view of the Black Sea, as well as the lovely weather, that is for certain. Today, we are heading home feeling recharged. Regards from Bulgaria!

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