What is a Kofte? The word comes from Kaftan and can be open only in the neck or as a cardigan, it is worked in stranded knitting usually in two colors in traditional Kofte-patterns often with classic pewter buttons attached. A Norwegian Kofte is usually worked in the round without any shaping and steeked open at the front. Sturdy Norwegian wool is preferred by the majority. Freelance journalist Liv Sandvik Jacobsen started the large Kofte hunt/Den store koftejakten more than a year ago with the idea of gathering old traditional kofter (plural of kofte), and spreading the knowledge of these patterns as well as their history. A Facebook group was set up, initiated by Tone Loeng later assisted by Gitte Bettina Lauridsen, now with more than 26 000 members, magazine articles have been written, television programs have been made, exhibitions have been curated and now what everyone has been waiting for – the book is launched. The selected patterns have been checked, adjusted in size, color and yarn, in addition to new ones designed, with the expertise of Danish designer Lene Holme Samsøe, see hvem-er-lene-og-liv/who is Lene and Liv. All the samples have been knitted on a dugnad/orchestrated community work announced on the Facebook group, with knitters name & garment listed in the book. Many have been waiting for months for this book with their yarn ready to begin one or more of these projects. It was an incredible popular launch at Husfliden in Oslo on Saturday.
I was delighted to meet Lene again, so shortly after we met at the Strikkehelgen/Knitting weekend in Stavanger, where we both held talks and workshops. It was a great pleasure to also meet Liv who started this amazing Kofte-trend that is sweeping the country. They had brought with them a large selection of the kofter in the book which were displayed on a rail next to them and I enjoyed seeing them up and close. I convinced Makeløs/Remarkable stylist Kristin Elise Halkjelsvik, who styled my latest designs with redesign in the Autumn issue of Made by Me to join me. The photo above, taken by designer Ellen Andresen (read: so much clearer than any of mine), shows Liv on the left, and Lene on the right, with stylist Kristin Elise behind Lene, and me next to her. I am wearing my Shawl Sleeves, pinned together with the cowl from Autumn Symphony. Husfliden Shop Manager wanted all four of us in the photo. If you are in Norway, you can order the book from this page: kofteboken.no or in a number of book or yarn stores around the country or if you are abroad from the yarn shop Sommerfuglen in Copenhagen: sommerfuglen.dk.
Here is a close up of my outfit for the day, and since it was a cold day (just above 0 degrees celsius), I used the black shawl pin to hold the two ends of the Shawl Sleeves together, folding the upper layer in addition to closing the gap under my arm. One additional safety pin was needed to close the gap lower down and a second one holding them together on the right side. As you can see I choose to pin the Autumn Symphony cowl together too, all in the name of keeping warm. The last photo is taken by my husband with his new camera on our terrace on the beautiful day just before the book launch.