Norway: Winter Comes Early

Here in the North East we have already turned our clocks back and dusk arrives by 4:15 pm. Weaving and knitting with a bit of spinning, fill many afternoons. The latter is no secret to my family. Knowing this; they are always ready to fill up my photo gallery with fiber moments they encounter in their daily life.

My son was just in Norway. Evening comes around 3:30 pm to Oslo, with the sun not rising till 8:45 am. He sent me photographs (above) and a video from the Folk Art Museum. Look at the colorful bands/tape , beautiful weaving and Norwegian costumes. See the pair of mittens in the glass case. They are hand knit and spun. Nina Granlund Saether says, “In Norwegian folk tradition, mittens remind us that we are about to enter the colder season.”

Why not put mittens on your knitting needles! “Mittens from around Norway” with over 40 traditional knitting patterns was inspired by Norwegian Folk-Art collections and is written by Nina Granlund Saether. It is an interesting book of history, culture and pattern techniques of Norwegian mittens. There are patterns for men/women/children/babies.

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Each pattern has a bit of history researched by Nina and where in Norway it originated. The patterns are clearly charted. If reading a chart creates knitting difficulties, make an enlarged copy of the chart and color in each row completed. To simplify it further, knit the motif on the front side only or instead of repeated flowers or snowflakes; put in as many as your comfort zone allows.

The book has beautifully clear and detailed photographs. A pair of mittens from the book or the book itself, would make a lovely gift. As the colder weather approaches, we all could use a knew pair of hand warmers.

If anyone knows why traditional Norwegian mittens were so pointed at the tip…I am curious and would love you to leave a comment.

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Sabbatical is over: A Time to Share

Ready

Maybe you have been wondering where I have been this past year. After writing online for Examiner for 7 years as the “Knitting Examiner” about all things fiber, it was time to take a sabbatical. I recommend it highly. I took classes, lectures, read, knit, crocheted, wove, spun, volunteered, experimented, dyed…immersed myself in fiber and learning. Now, I am ready to pass it on to you in my revamped website.

Set

By no means have I become an expert in any field. What I have always known and enjoyed about fiber is there is always more to learn. If you have been following me in the past, you can expect the same and much more. There will be book reviews, tips, photos, fiber news from around the world, techniques, what’s hot: a quick note (tapestry weaving, knee-length cardigans in autumn’s new color grenadine red, woven wall fiber art, knit/crochet/woven ponchos)…

Go

Now is the perfect time to go through your yarn, fiber, textiles, books, tools etc., organize, donate and frog (rip it, rip it) the projects you will never complete. If you don’t have a fiber studio and always wanted one, maybe take an unused closet and transform it into your space. Have a fiber party, your cast offs are someone else’s treasures and vice versa.

Arnie & Carlos

Image Arne and Carlos live North of Oslo where the winter comes early and with that snow, cold and the sun barely rises. This allows for a lot of knitting time. The guys run a knitwear design company.

Now you have the opportunity to knit “Easter Knits”, “Knitted Dolls” and “55 Christmas Balls” for yourself in their style. Pick up one of their books. You will find you won’t stop smiling. Their books are almost magical in their miniature vignettes. There is so much to look at in their photographs. The patterns are great yarn stash busters too.

http://www.examiner.com/list/arne-carlos-knitting-book-list

Spring/summer knitting

You are sure to give the cover of the spring/summer 2013 Debbie Bliss magazine a second look. Turbans are the trend and this Great Gatsby design is so pretty, you will want to knit one up today.

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More about what’s inside

Knit Turban

Turban doll

Turbans are this spring’s fashion hair accessory. Perfect for the bad hair day. Barbie has on a tuban designed in the 1940’s. You can see other knit items for Barbie here:

This is the pattern for an adult sized Turban, the one Barbie is wearing. It is worked on size 3 knitting needles and is knit in the moss stitch requiring 800+ yds of fingering weight yarn doubled throughout. The result is a thick and warm head covering.

 

 

Russian hats to knit

ImageUshanka, shapka, troopers and the bombers hat are all similar. They have fur, ear flaps, a visor and chin strap. Ushanka is the Russian word for earflap. The Red Army wore this head covering as part of their uniform to keep them warm and protect their head upon impact with packed snow.

Faux fur yarn or the Astrakhan stitch can help you achieve the look you are going after for your handknit/crochet hat. Try the pattern from Drop Designs and/or TSC that follows

Breast cancer month – knit for the cure

ImageOctober is breast cancer awareness month. Connecticut (statistics as of 2008) has the second highest rate of breast cancer (down from the number one slot in 2003) in this country and comes in second for the highest rates of all cancers among females. This state has the oldest tumor registry in the United States and has been tracking tumors since 1935. From Environment and Human Health Inc., see the slideshow to see the map of Connecticut and the areas of high incidence of breast cancer.

For more info click here.