I did it! I have set up a group on Ravelry and one of the responses was “Finally!”. Oh, I must admit I am enjoying this! To call the group “Linda Marveng Fans” was way over the top for me so I chose just to stick with my name without “Fans”. I am delighted to have Nina Hove Myhre and Jane Brindley with me as moderators (read: + moral support)! The group was set up on 16. May, the day before our Independence Day so I have been celebrating for days now – see photo above taken by my husband. From the introduction to the group: “Welcome! This is a group for all those who love Linda Marveng’s beautiful knitwear designs from her book “To rett en vrang. Designstrikk” and other designs. We will have test knits and KAL’s you can take part in. We hope to inspire by enjoying each others pictures, comments and friendly discussions. As well as supporting each other and ask questions regarding any of Linda’s patterns.
Just as in the introduction to her book, this group want to share this intention on a lager scale:
“I hope the book will inspire you to knit one, preferably more, garment and that you will enjoy the photos. Create your own personal expression by choosing color or make your own melange color in double yarn. Follow the pattern laboriously or make the adjustments you find necessary, if you prefer. I love long sleeves but you are welcome to make them shorter, for instance. Do check all measurements and gauge before you start knitting even though it is time consuming, it is worth it and will make the garment fit as it should. You will become a knitting expert quicker that way and develop your potential as well as your own creative abilities. Enjoy the photos, be inspired, knit the patterns and use the garments you have knitted with pride and pleasure.”
Please come and join us if you have not already done so! Our first test knit will start on Monday. Here is the link: ravelry.com/groups/linda-marveng. The banner is made by my Creative Director aka Photographer aka Husband!
I am so delighted to show you Janie’s Milanese Shawl, designed for my book, knitted in the original yarn Wollmeise Lace in Sabrina, a stunning teal shade photo-graphed on her mother. Janie ordered the yarn from Loop in London by telephone (details here: loopknitting) after checking their Wollmeise updates in their Ravelry group. The demand for this marvelous lush hand dyed yarn is greater than the supply, see: wollmeise-one-of-my-favourite-yarns. The shawl requires nearly a full 300 g skein (1591 m/1740 yds) of Wollmeise Lace (rohrspatzundwollmeise) or Malabrigo Sock (malabrigoyarn) or Anzula Cloud (anzula) or Kauni Effekt Garn (kauni) or Rauma Lamullgarn (raumaull). Thank you, Janie!
The shawl is rectangular with buttons on one side of each end so that it can be buttoned up into a shrug or a vest and therefore easier to use than a triangular shawl in my opinion. Holes in the pattern are used instead of made buttonholes. The lace is framed by garter stitches on all sides and has a ruffled bell border on each end. Hence it is cast on with a temporary method which is unpicked at the end and the border knitted on. The shawl, measuring 46 cm/18″ wide and 150 cm/59″ long, is knitted using a 3 mm/US 2.5.
The pattern is not only available in Norwegian and Finnish in my book, but also in English as a downloadable pdf from my Ravelry store here: ravelry. Below is the beautiful Anna Pfeiffer wearing it in the colour I chose for the book: Petit Poison No 5 dark, photographed by Kim Müller.
A deep rich wine red shade was a perfect choice for a leaf vines stitch pattern in lace, which makes up the sleeves of this summer sweater. The A-shape is created by the frame to the lace pattern and worked in twisted rib, while the rest of the body is made up of stocking stitch. The bottom hem is knitted double and folded while the v-shaped neckline is single and rolls up to the purl row. The sweater is knitted in a pure mercerized Egyptian cotton called Luxor, available in more than 60 stunning shades from Hifa, here: ull. The pattern has been bought by the Norwegian magazine Familien/The Family and will be photographed professionally and published this summer.
The sweater pattern is made in size small to extra large, with bust measurements from 90 cm/ 35½” to 114/45″ cm while the hip measurements are from 110 cm/43¼” to 134 cm/52¾” and length from 74 cm/29¼” to 77 cm/30¼”. To knit it requires from 600 grams to 800 grams of Luxor (100 % mercerized Egyptian cotton, 100 g, 253 m/277 yds). Both the body and the sleeves are knitted using a 3 mm/US 2.5 and worked in the round to the armholes, then flat. The lace pattern is demanding but the shapes guide you through it after a few repeats. Hence I found it satisfying to knit both sleeves at once using magic loop, see my post magic-loop-two-sleeves-at-a-time. I also preferred a simpler body stitch pattern to highlight the intricate sleeves. That also means that the body is quick to knit, and a nice rest after working the sleeves. The neckline needed a bit of pondering and I ended up with a different solution than I had planned. As most designs it had a life of its own and did not want a double neckline but a softer simpler one. But if you do decide to knit it, make the neckline you want and do the adjustments you prefer. I look forward to seeing it photographed professionally and will keep you posted when it will be published in Norwegian in Familien and later when it will be published in English on Ravelry.
Spring is finally here and the last of the snow has melted. Our neighborhood is busy again and our neighbors can be spotted in their gardens. We still need to do some gardening, but have been to IKEA to buy a few comfortable garden chairs for our terrace. Above is the view from our closest tram stop and I also wanted to share some of the old, amazing timber houses in our area of Bekkelaget at Nordstrand in Oslo.
We do not know JB nor the family living here but it is one of the poshest houses in the area, though not located at Solveien/The Sun Road which is one of the most expensive addresses in Oslo since the early 1900 century even though it is east of the city centre. Many of the old houses which used to house only one family now houses several, and numerous plots of land have been divided into smaller ones. Read more and see more photos at this great blog: mylittlenorway.
My friend Nina has finished her 3. project from my book, and I am thrilled to show you the spectacular photos taken of her with gorgeous company at an alpaca farm, called Alpakka enghaugen here in Norway, close to Fredrikstad to be more precise. The jacket is knitted in the original fabulous silk yarn in a stunning indigo shade; Jaipur Silk Fino from BC Garn, 100% mulberry silk on 50 g spools with 300 m/328 yds, available from Loop in London (order online here: loop), Nøstet Mitt in Oslo (more details here: nostetmitt) and others, see their website: bcgarn. Nina bought an extra spool and modified it by making the size medium longer to fit her perfectly! The pattern is included in my knitting book and available only in Norwegian and Finnish for the time being.
I was lucky enough to see the finishing process, since I was teaching a weekend workshop on Professional Finishing and Fairisle organised by Larvik Husflidslag/Craft association – larvikhusflidslag - and Nina took part. At home her cat, Tussi was inspecting the ongoing work and assisting, see below. For more details and to keep updated on everything Nina is doing follow her blog on: fiberandart (read: I do and I am in awe of her neverending skills!) Thank you, Nina!
The stitch pattern chosen for the Mulberry Silk Jacket/Morbærsilkejakken is the Lucina Shell pattern with edges and shaping done in garter stitch – to avoid decreasing inside the lace pattern – finished off by a rolling stocking stitch edge around the front opening. The jacket is knitted using a 3 mm/US 2.5 while the front band is knitted using a 2.5 mm/US 1.5. I adored the olive shade which I chose for the sample in the book. See the beautiful dancer Francesca Golfetto wearing size small, photographed by Kim Müller for my book below. I will show you more of Nina’s projects and my latest lace project, shortly. I hope you will enjoy Nina’s photos as much as I do!
I was gobsmacked by Irene’s stunning Mohair Poncho Jacket, instead of sewing up the front as I had suggested she left it open and sewed a slightly longer seam at the back to hold it in place! Irene chose the Norwegian yarn Iris Alpakka in a classic black shade by Rauma (74% suri alpaca, 22% wool and 4% nylon, 50 g balls of 130 m), more here: raumaull. I love her styling and how gorgeous it looks on her! Thank you, Irene!
The pattern is from my knitting book, “To rett en vrang. Designstrikk” available in Norwegian and in Finnish but also available as a single pattern with wristwarmers, only in English as a pdf download from ravelry. Below is another beautiful model, dancer Cristiane Sá, photographed by Kim Müller. If you knit it or any of my other designs, I will be honored to show them here on my blog!
I have been to another book presentation, this time a joint one given by Arne & Carlos and Tine Solheim at their (and mine) publisher Cappelen Damm in Oslo. More than 250 people were there. We were welcomed through the book shop and given Garden Wine from boxes designed and served by Arne & Carlos, in addition to free raffle tickets before finding some seats in their canteen. I were in the very good company of fellow designer Nina Granlund Sæther (blog: syl.tynn), designer Sidsel J. Høivik (webpage: sidsel-j-hoivik) and her editor Ann Kristin Nås Gjerde from Gyldendal – Sidsel’s book is out next month and it looks marvelous! In addition, I met my editor Inger Margrethe Karlsen and other friends who were there, not wanting to miss this event.
Tine Solheim started by presenting her 5. book called “Masker og Interiør”/Stitches and Interiors with a focus on comfortable knitwear and fashionable interior items to knit and crochet. A huge selection of ponchos in different shapes, cushions and throws just to mention a few of her new designs. One throw was inspired by a pair of shoes she had bought in Paris and it was great fun to see her inspiration. You can read more about her and her designs here: tinesolheim.
After a short break, Arne & Carlos started their presentation and slide show. We were all envious seeing their beautiful garden, the source of inspiration for this latest book called “Håndarbeid fra Hagen”/Crafts from Our Garden. Packed with projects like the stunning throw on the cover and many fun smaller ones like the garden mouse called Magnus. Their newly released book has already been sold to 10 countries and will be published in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, the Netherlands, The UK and the USA this year. Arne & Carlos are busy with promotion and working on patterns for the Japanese Knitting and Crochet Magazine Keito Dama in between enjoying their house (all 4 buildings which used to be the old Tonsåsen Train Station) and their garden! Here is their blog: arnecarlos. Both books in Norwegian are available to order from Cappelen Damm, here is the information in English on how to order: cappelendamm.
The raffle tickets were drawn and the prices were one neat sewing machine, two bags stuffed with yarn and other goodies plus another one I could not spot. As you can see from my photos it was packed but an ever so enjoyable and inspiring event!
I have been reading Hadley Freeman, fashion journalist in The Guardian, and had to laugh when she asks “how many accessories is too many accessories? When you rattle? When you have no spare hands and you haven´t left the house yet?” I do have amazing jewelry from Monies (if you didn’t know, see here: monies-jewellry) that rattle hence I do not wear it often enough, but looking at fashion icon Iris Apfel I know I should! Due to the relative cool spring we are having here in Oslo, I am still wearing cowls and will continue to design those until I tire of wearing them. The key, says Hadley Freeman of the guardian, is to have fun and enjoy the small touches of joy, accessories truly are and to wear them in a way that is comfortable for you.
The American businesswoman and Interior Decorator, Iris Apfel’s bold choice of jewelry, magnetic bright colors in her fashionable clothing and distinctive glasses makes her one of a kind. Well into her eighties she is an icon, going where others would not dare to go. I have been drooling over the magnificent photos of equally stunning clothing and jewelry in the book, based on the exhibition of Iris Apfel’s fashion collection, by Eric Boman: Rare Bird of Fashion, The Irreverent Iris Apfel, published by Thames & Hudson. Harold Koda, Curator of The Costume Institute, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York describe her so well in his introduction: “Even in the flock of New York style setters, she stands apart as a rare bird. Mrs. Apfel, who has the gift of an “eye” that can ferret out treasures from a morass of flea-market junk and mark-down racks, is endowed with the yet rarer ability to collage objects of autonomously assertive beauty into compositions of a larger, unified whole. Her joy of the hunt has resulted in a collection of astonishing beauty, but it is in the incorporation of her treasures into her daily life that they take on a fuller conceptual richness.” The book is available at amazon and in Norway at tanum.
I find the photos a true inspiration, the colour and jewelry combinations pure bliss. When creating my own book I had a vision that I wanted a similar bold, lavish and generous layout in my book. I did tell my editor about my visions, and she gently brought me down to earth. At least I believe I managed to capture inspiration and I have been told that I have made people who don’ knit take up their knitting needles. And that makes me proud as well as humble! I will continue to design garments with accessories, because I believe those small (read: at times rather large accessory projects like the cowl above photographed by Kim Müller) makes a difference to the look of the garment itself, adding another layer of joy!
I have become increasingly fond of my Destiny solid rosewood needles made by Lantern Moon, from certified sustainable forests. So much so that I recently ordered some more from jimmybeanswool and have been lucky enough to have some delivered by hand from New York, by a friend. Unlike bamboo, rosewood needles adorn my hands, feels more polished and firmer in addition the stitches slide better on them. They are also a lot sturdier than bamboo which might easily snap or the tip split in the smaller sizes. I prefer using rosewood needles to my Nr 1. Signature needles when I am working with silk and other slippery fibers as well as with complicated lace pattern when I need to knit more concentrated (read: slower).
The needles are made in Vietnam in a factory run by the family father Thuan. His amazing story and destiny has given name to the knitting needles he makes. “As Thuan reflects back on that time he recalls, “Each time we tried to leave we had less and less for the pirates and the police to steal, but things were also getting a little better in the country so I thought there must be something we are supposed to be doing here.” And, according to Thuan, that something turned out to be the needle factory.
“After 1975 it seems like I spent all my waking hours trying to keep the family together and get out of the country so that I could take care of them but for some reason it never worked. I never understood why until the opportunity to make the needles came along. Now it is what we do. It is why we are here. It is how we stay together. It is how I take care of my family and it was our destiny.”
Is it important to know who makes your needles and to know that they believe in destiny? We think so. Uncle Huyet asked me recently, “I spent two years in prison trying to gain my freedom. If my attempts to get out of Vietnam had been successful, who would make your needles?” End of quote, read the full captivating story here: lanternmoon.