Occupation: Knitwear Designer
Business: Designing Knitting Patterns
Likes: An open mind
Favourite Designer/Role model: Iselin Hafseld of Tinde for her stunning patterns and shaping, Shirley Paden for her intricate patterns and finish.
All photographs: Copyright Kim Müller
The dream of designing goes as far back as my childhood. Even as a girl I designed clothes for my paper doll. It was not the sewing that attracted me but the knitting. I learnt to knit by my mother.
At times it took more patience than my crafts teacher had. An early pastel knitted mohair knitted sweater of mine became my brother’s favorite from the start. Many years later it was still worn but then by my uncle and not by my younger cousins as my mother had intended.
I have knitted my way through numerous Norwegian patterns. But it was the book ‘Norsk Strikkedesign. A collection of Norway’s Foremost Knitting Designers’ by editor Margaretha Finseth which lifted my knitting to completely different level than previously.
Kari-Anne wearing Japanese Vest in Huldra Kamgarn
After completing my Masters degree in architectural history and many years in the architectural field in London, where I worked with marketing/PR and, not to forget, met my beloved husband Michael Puckett, I chose to go back to my old designer dream and applied for a job with the English yarn producer Rowan as a Design Consultant.
When editor Inger Margrethe Karlsen from Norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm asked if I wanted to design a knitting book for them, I was ready
During my time as Design Consultant, both at Peter Jones and John Lewis department stores in London, where I assisted customers, on yarn choice and pattern, and professional designers tutoring workshops, I developed my knitting technical expertise. With access to shade cards, free Rowan magazines and a direct line to the design department, I was close to ecstasy. The love I have for shade cards has only increased with time.
Francesca wearing Japanese Lace Jacket in Amoretto and Lacy Rib Shawl and snood in Colina
My pattern writing skills I learnt by translating patterns from Norwegian to English for Du Store Alpakka. While my network quickly grew with more colleagues and contacts, when I started working at the yarn shop, Loop in London. It was there I held my first workshop in Fairisle and developed further workshops. Teaching gave me a good knowledge of designs in demand and the innovation that exists among knitters.
I began experimenting with my own patterns, during my time at Loop, after having changed other designer’s pattern to my own specifications. When editor Inger Margrethe Karlsen from Norwegian publisher Cappelen Damm asked if I wanted to design a knitting book for them, I was ready.
Bokomslag ‘To rett en vrang. Designstrikk‘ och Francesca wearing Ruby Snood in Tencel
Natural luxurious yarn fibers for the projects was essential for my book, ‘To rett en vrang. Designstrikk’ (Two knit one purl. Design Knit) published in Norwegian January 2012, it fed my creativity. I searched at Loop, Handweavers Studio, in yarn shops in Oslo, and online. The yarn I have chosen is from a large collection of fibers and countries.
I found my ‘Missoni look’ yarn in tencel, a fiber made of cellulose with a shine and shade selection that makes you speechless. Obviously, I obtained numerous shade cards from yarn producers all over the world to my newly established library. Firstly, I am attracted to a color, secondly the fiber structure which reveal how evident the pattern definition will be.
Kari-Anne wearing Cabled Snood in Ultra Alpaca Fine
Numerous swatches later, those with the most texture and creative expression, inspired by my architectural history background, were chosen. Sculptural garments was my ideal inspired by designers such as Donna Karan and Ivan Grundahl. Hence it was not without reason that the Architectural Museum in Oslo was chosen as a background. Even photographer Kim Müller, was hired on the basis of his amazing architectural and nature pictures.
From the very beginning, I wanted professional dancers with their total body awareness as models. Their elegance, pose and superb posture has attracted me from my childhood days.
After searching, I received positive response from both Francesca Golfetto and Cristiane Sá from The National Ballet in Oslo, they gave my book an extra dimension. My other two models Anna Pfeifer and Kari-Anne Næssø, also have a dance background, and gave the book a larger age specter and a Norwegian imprint.
Half a year before my deadline, I realized that I desperately needed knitting help, I had designed and knitted 20 projects while more than 10 were left. First, I received help from my clever Loop colleagues, then by capable acquaintances through my friends. At the end I had 32 projects plus accessories ready for photography.
Cristiane wearing Tweed Jacket in Alv Kamgarn
Clothes styling, I wanted to do myself, since I have strong opinions about designers, style and fashion. The totality is essential to me, so shoes that matched the outfit and gave it an edge, designed by Camilla Skovgaard was bought on sale. Bold chic jewelry by Monies gave the garments extra glamour.
Professional make-up and hair styling was also a priority, since I wanted hairdressing and make-up for different occasions well fitted to the knitted garments. I found Line Sekkingstad Sigberg who gave the models a look I wanted. My aim was to make the backgrounds I had chosen to be a homage to Oslo, my childhood city.
Anna wearing Blackberry Sweater and snood in Egyptian Cotton
My hope is that my designs will inspire you to knit. I encourage you to create your own personal expression by choosing color or make your own melange colour, when knitting in double yarn. That is one of the advantages of working with two strands of yarn and a reason for my love of yarn on cones, whether it is intended for machine knitting, weaving or lace knitting.
I have continued to design using Thomas Kvist Yarns, in my new favourite beautiful yarns such as Colina and Amoretto. The patterns will be available in Norwegian and English, awaiting professional photography. My book will be published in Finland in January 2013 and I live in hope that several other countries will follow their lead.[spacer size=”20″]