My Studio

I am so thrilled with my new studio. My husband finished refurbishing it while I was on holiday and it was ready when I arrived home last Monday. The original tiny windows – so typical for Norwegian “kjellerstue”/basement den – were replaced in mid August by large windows going nearly all the way to the floor. See below the installation of the windows into the frame Michael had made. So with plenty of daylight, I have no excuse for not getting on with my work anymore. He removed the wall panelling as well as the ceiling panels (added to ensure good sound for the former owner who loved listening to his favourite music in this room) and had planned only to paint the walls. But that was before Michael discovered that only part of the wall had wallpaper beneath, so instead I have new wall panelling but this time it is a thinner version than the original one, which was appropriate for a den. Also in white to give more brightness. You can see the old windows here: We Are Well Settled.

I still have plenty of books, boxes of swatches, yarns and samples to tidy, but I have a lot of space to do so now. Next door to my studio is a large storage room. Michael has named it the yarn bunker. It does sound like it is filled to the brim with yarn, but I can assure you, it is not. However, I have started sorting my yarn into producers and placing my sample garments in see through boxes. There is no need to use a torch to find what I am looking for anymore, like I used to do in our old house.

Here is a view of the yarn bunker before I started emptying the boxes and moved my printer in here. The entry is through the door on the right hand side in the first photo. Unlike some knitters I know, I keep it unlocked (read: there is only one way in). This storage room used to have a large paraffin tank (for the old fashioned gas heater that we had removed from my studio) and a large wooden work bench, so it is hardly recognisable from how it used to look. Both my studio and the yarn bunker feels a lot larger than they did originally, when we first saw them for the first time, last autumn. I will post some more photos when it is all sorted and my studio has been in use for awhile. In the mean time you will find me working in my studio and accessing that yarn bunker.

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Photoshoot at Ingierstrand Bad: Patent Poncho

Next series of brilliant photos taken by Eivind Røhne at Ingierstrand Bad of the gorgeous model Alexandria Eissinger/Nordic Model Agency, with makeup & hair by Jens J. Wiker and jewellery by Kaja Gjedebo, is the Patent Poncho. It is not a new design, but the poncho was only previously photographed by the Norwegian magazine Familien back in 2013. I wanted to style it my way and with Alex modelling it. I was very flattered that Alex liked it so much that she had to take a selfie, see my blogpost here: Behind The Scenes Photoshoot at Ingierstrand Bad.

Inspired by all the Fisherman’s rib patterns in fashion, I have designed a poncho in an oversized sweater style with longs splits in the side. The poncho is knitted in parts to create a contrast between the unstructured cable and the linear rib, called patent in Norwegian. The large splits on the sides make the poncho less voluminous. The sleeves are knitted long, to keep you warm on cold days. The poncho is knitted in a beautiful camelbrown Ask-Hifa 2, a pure wool with plenty of bounce.

Ask-Hifa 2 from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrik is made of 100% wool with 315 meters/344 yards per 100 g skein. The poncho in one size takes 6 skeins of Camelbrown sh 6098: 1890 m/2067 yds. The bust circumference is 150 cm/59”. The gauge is 16 sts and 20 rows in Fisherman’s rib, 24 sts and 32 rows in st st using 3 mm/US 2.5 circular needles equals 10 cm/4” square.

The poncho is knitted in 4 identical Fisherman’s rib side panels and 2 cable panels where the front is one pattern repeat shorter than the back. The sleeve is an extended cable panel with 3 cables instead of 2 and worked in the round. Just as the cable collar which is a continuation of the cable panels. The length, including sleeve length, can easily be adjusted by knitting the panels/sleeves longer or shorter. Please note that if knitted in pure wool the panels shrink in length, but grows in width.

The pattern is currently with my technical editor for a review, and will be updated as soon as I receive it back. You will nevertheless find one project made from it on Ravelry.

While I was on holiday, my husband completed my studio. When I have finished cleaning the building dust away, you will see it finished. It is so light and neat! And I cannot believe all the space I have in my studio and the yarn bunker (storage room), next door. I look forward to showing it to you!

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Postcard From Greece

My mum asked if I wanted to come with her on holiday to Southern Europe, and I could not refuse. After speaking to our friend at Ving, we decided it had to be Parga, North West Greece this time around. I had a long list of potential places I would like to go and Parga, was quite high on that list. In my youth, nearly thirty years ago I worked as a tour leader at Crete. So much has changed but some things are reassuringly the same like the good service and the food. The beach promenade view is breath taking. We are staying at a small family run apartment hotel called Sandras Studio’s in the centre. Parga has approximately 3 000 inhabitants and numerous tourists in the summer season. Yet, the number of Greeks holidaying here and the Greek inhabitants make it a charming and idyllic place to visit.The large beach in the centre is quite crowded and I had been recommended to take a boat to a nearby beach, by my hairdresser. She is one of several friends that keeps coming back to Parga. N0w, I know why. I have got used to travelling by taxi boat, and must say I wish I could continue to do so.

We chose the closest and longest beach, called Valtos Beach, which is in walking distance but due to the climb, we choose the taxi boat. A very good choice, indeed! Here I am photographed by my mum at the beach. The water is lovely, both in temperature and clarity. Our flat had a terrace with shadow in the morning and the late afternoon, which was perfect for us. Ideal for our breakfast and recovery after the beach. It also had what seemed a very Greek view with a very limited sea view. The family running the hotel was lovely and came to meet us as we arrived by coach from the airport.

On our first day in Parga we went on a town walk and received a number of tips what do do and where to go. We decided to take the small tourist train to the Ali Pasha Castle, 400 meters above sea level with a fantastic view of the town. The view was magnificent from ruins of the old castle. Even the trip up the hill was worth the one hour  journey from the town centre.

Here is the view towards the island of Corfu. As you can see we went up on a fairly cloudy day, the weather forecasted was rain but we did not have any rain during the day. It started raining late in the evening.It was hard to capture the amazing views from the castle, but here is another view showing some of the hills. This train ride was just one of several exciting excursions. I was tempted by all of them: Albania (Sarandë), Corfu, Paxos & Anti Paxos, Meteora Monasteries. I think I just have to come back. We found a Spa at Bacoli and guess what, the Spa Manager was Norwegian. She spends the summer here and the winters on vacation (read: a very smart woman). While my mum had her Deep Tissue Massage and Pedicure I waited in the Pool Bar – I know it is a hard life! Before it was my turn to become realigned and reassembled, at least that is what it felt like. The new versions went happily back to our apartment. I have to keep wearing my sandals when I get home, together with my woollen sweaters! We are having a great time in Parga and enjoying our holiday! Greetings from Parga, Greece!

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Beckside Again

I wanted to show you the photos of me wearing Beckside, made for Fell Garth II by The Fibre Company photographed by my husband in our garden in our old house in early March last year. It was freezing but the photos do not exactly blow your mind like the stunning images of it worn by model Emma Ross captured by photographer Tommy Martin. You need to see them in full size, so look here: my blog post and Fell Garth II Lookbook. This is how it looks on a normal person (read: mortal person). Thank you, Em for making the pullover appear divine!

I have used exactly this cable combination before in my Aran Bolero, made for my Norwegian knitting book. But since that jacket is cropped and intended to be worn with little positive ease, I wanted to make a pullover version using two of those cables. Beckside is knitted in the new and lovely tweed yarn Arranmore Light using 3.75 mm/US in Orla, the same deep bright orange as I worked my swatch in and comes in 6 sizes with bust measurements from 90 to 132 cm (35.5 to 52″).Beckside, is a classic cabled sweater initially named after the ruins in Hawkside, with basket cables adorning the center front and back, framed by a braid on each side. Stockinette stitch fills the background to allow the cables to shine. A saddle shoulder allows the center sleeve cable to continue to the neck.The Fibre Co. wrote a much longer and wonderful introduction to it: “In every knitter’s wardrobe we would hope to find a timeless cabled sweater, rich in texture and beautifully twisted stitches. We believe that Beckside is everything we need from a classic sweater: rich cabling, a slightly boxy shape but with all the finishing that make it crisp and easy to wear for most occasions. The deeply textured centre panel is flanked by softer, undulating cables to add something just a little soft to this otherwise unisex style. Worked in pieces from the bottom up, Beckside is seamed for a stronger, more flattering shape. The tubular cast on gives the finished garment a polished look. For a boxy fit as shown, opt for 5-10 cm (2-5 in) positive ease, Beckside would be equally flattering as a more fitted sweater with less positive ease.” I am so proud to be part of the Fell Garth II collection!

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Oslo Design Fair 2017

I spent both Wednesday and Thursday at Oslo Design Fair this time, since I tend to meet more and more people I know. Jewellery designer Kaja Gjedebo Design found me first listening to a talk about Fast and Slow Fashion. Yes, knitting belongs to the slow one, whereas fashion shows where you are able to buy the garments straight after the show belong to the fast one. Kaja captured my hand since I was wearing her stunning Wide Caprifol Ring. I just had to make sure she photographed a bit of the Kohno Kimono I was wearing too. Later I read on Instagram that Kaja after 15 years in the business still enjoys seeing people wearing her jewellery.I spent a lot of time at the Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk and made sure those that had not met them did so. Including the VIPs – at least to me – from the UK, Daphne Marinopoulous and Iain Stanley, owners of The Fibre Co. So I got to meet them for the first time in real life after working with them online for my contributions to the Fell Garth II collection (see below). But Photographer Eivind Røhne was first since he has not met them in real life before and could take a look at his photos decorating the stall. He had brought his camera and photographed the stand. While my husband photographed me below and talking to Iselin.

Managing Director Øyvind Myhr to the right. And me photographed mid sentence. Here is a more detailed shot with the Aki sweater on the cover of the brochure they have made with the 4 new designs I made in their Pelsull/Pelt wool yarn qualities: Tinde and Sølje. On the wall is Sulli jacket with a loop and the Aki sweater while the Iglu Poncho and Wa Shawl is displayed on a mannequin.I was thrilled to meet Iselin Hafseld again, she was on the House of Yarn stand launching her new book (in Norwegian): Strikk fra Tinde/Knit from Tinde published by Cappelen Damm as well as a collection for Du Store Alpakka. Iselin has now turned back to designing hand knits from machine knitting and her brand Tinde. She was instrumental in making my book happen and has been a mentor to me since we first met at Heimen Husfliden in 2000. It is her partner Kim Müller who has not only photographed her book but also made the brilliant lay-out. Yes, Kim also photographed my book. You can find Iselin at Instagram as tindeknits and her book available to order from the publisher Cappelen Damm.The fashion show also attracted designers Sidsel Høivik and Kristin Wiola Ødegård, and I photographed them sitting down as we were catching up.The most inspiring part of the fashion show was these three outfits made of thick woven furniture fabrics.

I was also fortunate to meet up with Marketing Manager Mary-Ann Astrup at House of Yarn, Agent Thomas Kvist of House of Hobbies and for the first time the two talented women behind the Norwegian new knitting magazine Bladet Garn– Unni Cathrine Eiken, Malsengarn (see Ravelry) and Solveig Engevold Gaustad, aka Surrehue. Yes, I did enjoy the fair tremendously and received more job offers than I can handle at the moment. Now, that is a vote of confidence I am so grateful for. Thank you!

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Kathe Cardigan Pattern Released

I loved the hand dyed SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash Sport from the moment I received it. Interweave Knits editor Meghan Babin choose a stunning Tumbled Stone colour for the Kathe Cardigan when she accepted my submission for the Fall 2016 issue. A crisp stitch definition shows off the beautiful lace pattern, and it is a bliss to knit with not only to look at. Take a look at the photo above taken by Eivind Røhne, modelled by the gorgeous Alexandria Eissinger with hair & make up by Jens J. Wiker and jewellery by Kaja Gjedebo Design. The English pattern is now available in my Ravelry Store and on Loveknitting, while the Norwegian pattern will be printed in Familien in issue 20 out on 2. October. Here is my introduction to the pattern: Kathe is a straight cardigan with a scarf collar enhanced with an elegant textural all-over lace. The reversible fern pattern adorns the body and sleeves while the collar is divided from it by a tuck and knitted in moss stitch. You can wear the collar hanging flat – overlapping – and pinned together or folded.

Sizes: XS (S, M, L, XL, 2XL)

Finished measurements:
Bust: 79 (85, 93, 100, 110.5, 120.5) cm/31 (33.5, 36.5, 39.5, 43.5, 47.5)”
Length: 49.5 (50, 51.5, 56, 57, 58.5) cm/19.5 (19.75, 20.25, 22, 22.5, 23)”
Sleeve length: 49 (50, 50, 51, 51, 52) cm/19.25 (19.75, 19.75, 20, 20, 20.5)”
Cardigan shown measures 93 cm/36.5”.

Yarn: SweetGeorgia Yarns, Superwash Sport (100% superwash merino wool, 300 m/328 yds, 100 g): Sample is knitted in Tumbled Stone:
4 (5, 5, 6, 6, 6) skeins; 1194 (1287, 1380, 1496, 1635, 1774) m/1306 (1407, 1509, 1636, 1788, 1940) yds. http://sweetgeorgiayarns.com/shop/superwash-sport/

Needles: 3 mm/US 2.5 straight needle for body and sleeves.
2 sets of 3 mm/US 2.5 circular needle (80 cm/32”) for collar.
Adjust needle size as needed to match gauge.

Notions: Waste yarn, markers, stitch holders, yarn needle, 3.5 mm/US E/4 crochet hook.

Gauge: 28 sts and 36 rows in Reverse Fern measures 10 cm/4” square.
26 sts and 44 rows in Moss st measures 10 cm/4” square.
24 sts and 36 rows in st st measures 10 cm/4” square.

Notes: The cardigan in worked in parts back and forth and seamed. During shaping, if there are not enough stitches to work an increase (yo) and corresponding decrease, work the stitches of the partial lace as they appear. The tuck at the collar is worked with 2 circular needles held parallel.

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Photoshoot at Ingierstrand Bad: Wilma Lind Jacket

I am thrilled to show you the brilliant photos taken by Eivind Røhne of Alexandria Eissinger/Nordic Model Agency, with hair & make up by Jens J. Wiker and jewellery by Kaja Gjedebo Design, wearing the Wilma Lind Jacket at Ingierstrand Bad in late May. First let me tell you that Wilma Lind is a fictitious Police Inspector in Oslo. Author Hanne Kristin Rohde had the real job for many years, before she began writing crime and holding talks in business management skills. Hanne Kristin is also one of the presenters in a series called Åsted Norge/Crime Scene Norway (she is wearing the jacket at TV2’s autumn launch of season 4 in the video on Facebook). Our collaboration started last autumn and if you have not seen Hanne Kristin wearing the jacket yet, you will very soon.

A long a-line jacket with cables covering the back, and moving cables on the front. Instead of a shawl collar the jacket was given a deep v-neck and a loose shawl to use as a collar. The body is worked in pieces while the sleeves are worked in the round after the rib to the underarm. It is knitted in the in the lustrous pelt yarn with a mohair feel, Sølje from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk.The sample is beautifully knitted in size S on 3 mm/US 2.5 needles by Nadia Bresky, aka 77stricknadel on Ravelry. Hanne Kristin wanted one more jacket knitted up and placed a call for a sample knitter on her blog. Turbo knitter Grete Jenssen, aka ma9 on Ravelry was also prepared to take part, so two more colours were chosen and size Medium this time around: First in white to symbolise blank sheets in the new lambswool quality from Hillesvåg Ullvarefabrikk called Vilje, then in soft turquoise to symbolise the capturing of the universe in Sølje.Sølje comes in 30 beautiful colours, all with the natural blackness from the Norwegian Pelssau/Pelt Sheep wool. Each 100 gram skein has 350 meters/383 yards and is made of 100% pelt wool. The jacket is knitted with a gauge of 24 stitches and 34 rows in Stockinette stitch measures 10 cm/4″ square and comes in sizes XS to 2XL with a bust circumference of 84 to 126 cm/33 to 49.5″. Alex is wearing size S with 8 cm/3.25″ positive ease. You can see me wearing it here with zero ease.The weather changed dramatically and it turned humid as dark clouds appeared. So the lighting became very green compared to the sunny blue sky earlier in the day. I chose to style the jacket with Judith Bech’s long fringe skirt in black. Yes, it is a favourite that keeps appearing in my photoshoots. The dramatic train and texture of it makes it magical.

I chose luxurious vintage buttons in lacquer in black and made ten buttonholes. My buttons are from Perlehuset and measures 15 mm/0.52″. You can easily adjust the number of buttonholes to suit you.

The shawl can be worn as a shawl collar, or a scarf or as a shawl on its own. It ends in a rib just like the jacket, and has shaping in between the three cables.

The Norwegian pattern will be sold digitally on hannekristinrohde.no from 1. September, while the English pattern – which has been test knitted will be available shortly on Ravelry and on Loveknitting. Stay tuned to see it worn by Hanne Kristin in all three colours.

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Familien Strikk 2017

The special magazine Familien Strikk is out for sale here in Norway. I am delighted to have 4 patterns included in the magazine and a small photo of the back of the Irina Pullover on the cover. It is a very popular annual magazine, with a large number of patterns: 61 patterns from Norwegian designers, some translated patterns and some from different yarn producers. All my designs: Irina Pullover, Biondo, Embrae and Harding Cardigan were brilliantly photographed by Eivind Røhne, modelled by Silje Andresen/Team Models with hair & makeup by Sissel Fylling and jewellery by Kaja Gjedebo Design at the National Museum – Architecture in November last year. The long stunning skirt worn together with Irina Pullover and Biondo is by Judith Bech Design.Irina Pullover (made for knit.wear Spring/Summer 2016, but the rights have reverted back to me now) Named after the beautiful Russian ballerina Irina Baronova, a fitted pullover with elegant cables swooning across it in panels with garter stitch dividers for shaping. Timeless, knitted in the round from the bottom up to the armholes then flat to soft square neckline and shoulders. The sleeves are also knitted in the round, long to adorn the hands and set-in. A divine sky blue color, and luscious texture was made by combining Rowan Rowan Felted Tweed with Rowan Kidsilk Haze.

Biondo – Italian for blond – scarf is reversible with a twisted stitch as a divider between each of the three cables. The stitch also work as a folding line, hence emphasises the more relaxed alternate side. The scarf is knitted in a divine silk and alpaca mixture for that lovely feel and sheen, Du Store Alpakka Baby Silk.Embrae, a fitted cardigan with a lace collar, is like a flowery embrace. A lacy leaf pattern adorns the sleeves and the back of the cardigan. The lattice at the center of the lace pattern continues on each side of it and covers the collar. The collar can be worn flat or overlapping and pinned together or folded. The colour Iris, in the stunning yarn; Anzula Squishy is perfect for the lace pattern. The English pattern is currently under test knitting in my Ravelry group and will be released as soon as it is over.Harding Cardigan: An allover telescope lattice gives this long, straight cardigan a textural feel. A cabled rib-cord collar adds a modern look to the Harding Cardigan. Wear it open or close it with a shawl pin or belt. The English pattern was first published in Interweave Knits Summer 2016. I suggested the rustic Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and editor Meghan Babin agreed with my choice and suggested the shade Foothills.

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 “Strikk17” 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 Biondo, together with Kathe Cardigan, Cablewing Sweater and Patent Poncho, will be exhibited at Strikke 2017 Festival at Hadeland Glassverk from 2. September to 29. October.

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Photoshoot at Ingierstrand Bad: Kohno

New brilliant photos have been taken of the Kohno Kimono, this time by my magnificent team: photographer Eivind Røhne, model Alexandria Eissinger, hair & makeup artist Jens J. Wiker and jewellery designer Kaja Gjedebo Design at Ingierstrand Bad in late May. New, because the kimono was first photographed by Harper Point Photography for Interweave’s magazine knit.wear Fall/Winter 2016 and the rights will reverted to me in October. Inspired by the sculptural aesthetic of architect Hugo Kohno’s work in Tokyo, is this oversized long kimono style jacket with short wide raglan sleeves. It is adorned with a domed check pattern ending in wide moss stitch borders at the front, bottom and in the sides.The Kohno Kimono is knitted in The Fibre Company Acadia made of 60% wool, 20% alpaca, 20% silk with 133 meters/145 yards on each 50 gram skein using a 4 mm/US 6 needle and a 21 stitches and 32 rows in Moss stitch measuring 10 cm/4″ square. The silk noil in Acadia’s rustic blend of silk noil, baby alpaca and fine merino wool, makes if feel so luxurious and lovely to both knit with and wear. Yes, I wanted more of this yarn and choose enough for a long cardigan as part payment for the designs I made for the Fibre Company this spring: See Beckside and Dash Falls. The Kohno sample is knitted in Sea Lavender in the third size (of six) with a bust circumference of 124.5 cm/49″ and modelled with 38 cm/15″ of ease.I chose to style the kimono with wide cream coloured silk trousers and a matching top for an elegant but comfortable style. The grey-blue-soft lilac shade of the yarn needed to be shown off at its best.

The kimono is worked back and forth in separate pieces and seamed. The front band is worked at the same time as each front. The sleeves have raglan shaping. When working in Domed Check pattern, if there are not enough stitches at the sides to work a complete cable crossing, work the stitches of the partial cables as they appear.

After mid October you will find the English pattern in my Ravelry store and on Loveknitting, while the Norwegian pattern will be published in the magazine Familien at a later date. Yes, the next design in Acadia is nearly ready, as knitting this kimono created a crave for more of this yarn.

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Morning Mist

Early Monday morning we woke up to an atmospheric vision. The heavy mist made the landscape into a movie setting. Above you see a view from our front terrace towards the Rødenessjøen (read: lake) taken by my husband. Below is the one I captured on my walk to the Gym (read: it makes me wake up as well as getting some fresh air) along the Rødenessjøen at 6.30 AM. As I walked the mist lifted to reveal a beautiful blue sky. It became a lovely day and one of the few warm and sunny days we have had this summer.Now it is a lot cooler and it feels like autumn is approaching.  For us jumper-loving knitters that is not a bad thing at all.

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