Spring is in the air!

I hope you all had a lovely Easter or Spring break! I was in England and had a whole week without knitting. You might ask if that is a good break or not? I had a sore hand so I think it was nice. I stayed in places with no wool or knitting needles so I managed to give my hands some rest form knitting. I popped by Loop in Islington London – but it was Monday and they are closed in Mondays. That is how I knew I was meant to rest!

Loop is one of the best yarn stores in Europe!

Loop is one of the best yarn stores in Europe!

In London we stayed at the lovely country house style hotel The Rookery in Clerkenwell. It is quirky and lovely. We stayed there to get to know a new part of London – and learned that it is one of the oldest part of town.

The lounge at The Rookery

The lounge at The Rookery

After a few days in London we headed to the countryside for the rest of our stay. There are so many nice places to see and walks to be had.

I could imagine living in this lovely cottage in Alfriston.

I could imagine living in this lovely cottage in Alfriston.

 

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Wilmington has a lovely church yard.

Everywhere we were greeted by nodding daffodils and what better way to enter spring! Back home in Oslo spring is a bit further away, but I know it will come. During rainy evenings I started working on a pair for socks inspired by the lovely hues of nature waiting for bloom.

Back to knitting!

Back to knitting!

 

 

 

Thank you Wonderful Knitters!

I just came back home to Norway after a wonderful tour in the US. The real treat of a trip like the one I did is the people I got to meet, all of them. A conversation starting over yarn and needles can end up anywhere. I have been to yarn stores and other venues signing Knit Nordic and sharing some of my designs available on Ravelry.

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Maurice loved the attention he got at Fibre Space in Alexandria, VA.

Personally the most exciting part of the trip was my visit to Minnesota and Iowa. It was the first time I visited this part of the US, and I know I am not the first Norwegian to do so!  I saw several Setesdal cardigans in the hotel lobby on my night of arrival! All the descendants   of Norwegian immigrants seems to have nurtured their cultural heritage well – and even better than we have here in Norway on might say.

 

I did a trunk show at a lovely yarn store in Northfield, MN. Northfield Yarn is a treat to the community and I had such a lovely evening and got a lovely knitting neeIMG_2885dle gauge that will always remind me of Vanessa and the other great people I meet.

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Vanessa and the lovely Hardanger embroidering ladies at Northfield Yarn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Northfield I drove to Iowa and the town of Decorah which hosts the Norwegian American Museum, Vesterheim, and has done so since the 1880s!  Again, I was taken by how much of the Norwegian heritage is still alive and cherished. The Museum is so much more than a collection of old artefacts. While I was there they has Knit-In with interesting talks and people to meet. There were classes goinIMG_2719g on everywhere and the program they have made me want to move there right away!

I listened to Laura Ricketts very interesting talk on Sami Mittens. She is documenting and sharing a part of my cultural heritage we don´t talk much about in Norway. There is very little interest in Sami culture in Norway so Laura is a very important keeper of history and skills. Do I have to say that she also is a very lovely and interesting person!

My talk at Vesterheim was on the history of knitting in Norway, Iceland and the Faroe Islands, how they are connected and how they have developed separately. I was delighted to meet Anna Burke, a young student at Luther Collage who had designed a beautiful sweater based on traditional Norwegian patterns. She has a future in knitting design if she choose to!

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Anna Burke in her gorgeous self made sweater

My weekend at Vesterheim Museum was such a treat and I also had the opportunity to look some of the items in the archive. I think I will leave that to another blogpost!

The trip to the mid-west was a great opportunity to explore a bit too. My rental car was a white Beetle and the two of us had a jolly good adventure!

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For the love of lace knitting

For years I have enjoyed The Knitter magazine. To me it is a magazine that has a feel for what the knitters want to make and read. Even though I might not cast on for one of the many beautiful projects right away, I will plough through the pages and enjoy the articles about interesting people in the knitting world. I have learned so much about the history of the wool industry, knitting traditions and also where the hand knitting world stands today. Editor Juliet Bernard has made this magazine loved by knitters all over the world.  A cup of tea and feet up is the standard when the The Knitter arrives in the post.

The other day I got hold of the Lace Collection form the magazine. I think it is marvelous that the lace gems from the magazine are made available. 24 beautiful patterns can be found in the collection. You will find shawls and stole, and there are many not so obvious projects. I love the laptop case “Elsa” by Ann Kingstone. Other favourites are AmandaJones “Dulcie Tunice”, an elegant top. It is hard not to be smitten by Melody Griffiths’ “Clarissa Cardigan” too. There are patterns for hats, a bag, sweaters and cardigans and a stunning blanket. Some of the projects are at beginners level and others require more experience.

Photo: Future Publishing

In addition to the patterns there is a great deal of good reading in the Lace Collection. I enjoyed the presentation of lace knitters form around the world. A lace knitting master class is very easy to follow and helpful, as master class articles always are in The Knitter.

With my next cup of tea and feet up session I will read about the lace knitting traditions in the Shetland Islands. The Lace Collection is a keeper!

It’s for sale online and makes a great gift too!

 

The Little Knits

To many people this time of the year is knitting season. It certainly is for me! I have deadlines to meet and my head and note pads are brimming with new ideas for knitting patterns. This does not leave me with much time to sit down and enjoy our craft. However, I managed to sneak in half an hour and knit a cosy for a jam jar. Why would I do that? Come Sunday and dinner time I could sport a new vase for the beautiful flowers form the garden!

All you need to make a cosy for a jam jar is some scrap yarn, sock needles and an idea of how many stitches you need to make the cosy fit the jar. A good way to judge that is to see if the jar is the size of your ankle of lower arm and think how many stitches you would cast on for a sock or a sleeve. I used 40 sts and doubble pointed needles size 5.5mm (US size 9) for this jar that is 31 cm (12″) in circumferance.

My next little knit is another jar cosy to cover my pencils box in the office.

Traditional Norwegian knitting turns not so traditional!

 

 

Knitting patterns are not just flying off knitting neeldes these days, it’s printed on all sorts of home decor items.

Inspired by classical Norwegian patterns you can decorate you bedroom and bathroom in ski sweater style!

Coffee mugs, t-shirts and towels are found printed with traditional motifs from the Setesdal sweater and what later was delveloped into the icon sport sweater called Marius.

Setesdal was originally knitted in natural colours, like black and white and grey and white. Later on, when dyed yarn became readily available, it was knitted in other colours. Blue, red and white were the colours used for the Marius variety, and the pattern combination and the colours are still making fashion.

 

You can make your own cool accessories in no time at all. The sweater patterns lend themself to all sorts of fun things.

You don’t have to have a granny that knits, or knit yourself to be able to wear the iconic patterns. T-shirts and One Piece can be yours without tears and tangled yarn.

You can get snow boards and even a bean bag printed with the knitting pattern. I love the bean bag from Tjukkas!

 

The traditional black/grey and white patterns are seen in printed versions too. SeeMe reflection strips can be bought in a veriety of knitting patterns.

D&G are clearly inspired by the Norwegian knitting traditions this winter season, and I think is is fun to see how their knitwear designers interpret our patterns.

 

Traditions live on trough new way of seeing them!