Oona

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Sweet as it is, Oona will challenge you to some extent, no doubt about that.

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The front panel, with the dominant embossed leaf pattern, is quite demanding but oh so pretty. The rest of the sweater on the other hand is a breeze; the simple garter and stockinette block pattern stays in the background, underlining the drama of the embossed leaf pattern, while the ribbed sleeves and collar pull the look together.

The buttons are optional, but for me they added the final touch.

The pattern is available at my Ravelry store www.ravelry.com/stores/elsebeth-lavold-designs

Photo by Anders Rydell

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Adele

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Lace patterns do not have to be delicate and dainty. Exploring that theme led to Adele, at first just a cowl, but I felt that the result was pretty enough for matching wrist warmers. Then one thing led to another, or rather two led to the third. I added a slouchy cap as well.

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The chunky yarn is pleasingly soft and shows up the pattern well. The lace pattern is easy to learn and easy to knit. Normally you would knit back and forth for the rhythm of one row lace pattern, purl one row, but I chose to work them around, both to avoid disfiguring seams and to save on finishing. Knit, weave in ends, done!

Knit one or knit all three pieces.

The pattern is available at my Ravelry store www.ravelry.com/stores/elsebeth-lavold-designs

Zia

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The pattern is is fairly easy and fun to knit and allows you plenty of opportunities to play with color. I have chosen to use three colors in my color combinations, but 2 colors would create a completely different story where the same color would appear on all the welts and the contrast color would repeat in the grooves. Selecting one color for the welt and a different color in each groove, is another possibility, so have fun with this.

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You could also add one more repeat lengthwise for a slouchier version of the hat.

The same goes for the loop which could be made wider by adding one or more repeats to the cast on stitches and lengthened according to your own desires.

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I chose to knit the loop in red/rust/purple to add color to my black fall coat, The Caribean blue and green hat and wrist warmers express my longing for summer;

So have fun and stay warm!

Photos as always by Anders Rydell

Fall is coming

D8C_9743_Frankie_Alt3_SRGB72It’s been a magnificent summer. July was the hottest monthh since they began measuring temperatures 260-something years ago! And the unusual heat continued through most of August too.

But now, the nights are getting cool, as are the mornings. So it’s perfect to wrap up in a luscious soft scarf to keep warm.

This scarf is super easy, just knits and purls, but arranged so that the knitting is a breeze. I’ve made mine fairly short, but for a longer scarf you just keep on knitting until you have enough. Each skein of yarn will give you approx. 15–16 in / 40 cm in length.

Now, for ease of knitting, this pattern is not symmetrical. This has the interesting side effect of making it perfect as a moebius. A moebius shaped cowl will automatically drape nicely around the neck. The moebius is created by knitting a shorter scarf and then twisting it once, so that back meets front, and sewing the short ends together as invisibly as possible. Or you can just hide the seam in the draping.

The Luscious Llama yarn is perfect for these projects, super softness, drape and sheen and perfect stitch definition.

Did I mention that they’re easy to knit?

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Sizes

Width 9½ in / 24 cm

Length Scarf 47 in / 120 cm

Length Moebius 36 in / 80 cm

Materials Luscious Llama

Scarf 300 g

Moebius 200 g

100% Baby Llama, 100 g = 50 m /55 yds

Needles US 10 / 6 mm

Gauge 14 sts x 20 rows in Stockinette = 4 x 4 in / 10 x 10 cm.

Adjust needle size to obtain gauge if necessary.

Cast on 41 sts and work in pattern: * K3, p1, repeat from * and end with k1. Repeat this pattern row all the time. Work until there is just enough yarn left to bind off. Bind off in pattern.

Happy Knitting!

Photo as always by Anders Rydell

Rooting for Norway

Anders and I are back from a visit to Norway, revisiting places from our last visit to Norway and revisiting my roots.

Our plans took us straight west, from the eastern coast of Sweden to the western coast of Norway, then around the southern coast of Norway, almost to Oslo, and back to Stockholm again.
I have been admiring the work of talented designer Linda Marveng for quite a while. When I realized that we would be passing right by her house, I brazenly invited myself and my husband in for a cup of coffee. Linda and her husband Michael, generously invited us to dinner and we had a lovely afternoon at their beautiful house in 
Ørje. So much so that none of us thought to take any photos despite both Michael and Anders being photographers.

The next day we visited the stave church at Heddal. The church has three towers and is Norway’s largest. It was constructed at the beginning of the 13th century and restored, first in the mid 19th century then again in the mid-20th. Anders took a photo of the copy of the medieval painting that is kept in the church, with Jesus looking like a laid back hippie saying “peace, dude”. The church has details at the top of the the staves depicting, according to the guide, Norse gods. Talk about hedging your bets.

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Then on to a reprise; the Raven Gorge. This is a steep cliff, 350 m, almost a 1000 ft, that boasts updrafts that will lift even large branches if you throw them over the edge. The view is absolutely breathtaking and returning on a hot summer’s day was an absolute treat. The perfect spot for a picnic.

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On westwards and upwards, and suddenly, exiting one of the ubiquitous tunnels, a landscape so unexpected it almost blew our minds. Haukeli, at 1100 m or 3600 ft, a stark landscape of barren rock with grass, mosses and patches of snow and ice floes on the water. And yet, the temperature was in the around 21C/70F. Absolutely gorgeous and surrealistic to move around sleeveless in these surroundings.

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Then, on to the final leg of this day’s travels, to Åkrafjord where we spent the night. After dinner, and after viewing half a dozen of spectacular water falls, a final glass of wine on the balcony overlooking the fjord.

The next week was spent revisiting family, my aunt and uncle and cousins I hadn’t met for a long time.

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First a couple of days with my cousin Gro at her fantastic house. She and her husband are restoring an old general store and turning it into a gem. She photographed me and Anders in our Viking garb, dressed for an outing to Avaldsnes where a Viking market coincided with our visit.

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Then a trip down along the coast, which is very beautiful and varied: flat coastal areas and farmland as well as mountainous areas, some lush and green and others almost barren.

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On the way we passed Helleren, an awesome cliff overhanging two houses built in the late 1800’s. They are now a tourist attraction but were once lived in; hard to imagine. The surrounding landscape is a UN world heritage site. It has a unique geological history, which explains the fairly low barren mountains, barely more than 600 m / 1600 ft, yet with very little vegetation.

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We also visited a Bronze Age site with an unusual sculpted head called Rosselandsguden, the God of Rosseland. The site also contains a stone altar and two stone troughs. It is believed to be a sacrificial site, probably connected to the norse God of fertility, Frey.

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Then, on to Flekkefjord, a small town in the typical western Norwegian style, to spend a couple of days with my uncle and aunt.

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An interesting note, which I was unaware of: this stretch of the coast, from Haugesund to Flekkefjord, is so close to the amphidromic point at Egersund that it has almost no tide. Considering that the east coast of England has tides up to almost 8 m / 26 ft, on the other side of the same North Sea, that is quite mind boggling.

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The following day my uncle and aunt took us to see my family roots, we visited Lavoll (modern spelling with two ll’s instead of ld), a sleepy (just barely) village. We passed through the Lavoll tunnel (373 m/ 1224 ft) and went up the Lavoll hill. Finally a photo of me at the Lavoll train station (quite grand, isn’t it?). The line is now discontinued but has been revived as an historical railroad, and you can travel it on a draisine or railbike.

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Finally we visited my cousin Kirsti who now lives in my grandfather’s old house. It is located at the southern end of a long narrow lake that pretty much looks like a fjord. The view up the lake is always beautiful but the last evening treated us to one of its most beautiful moods.

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Our final stop in Norway was a return to Mølen – a place of sea and polished rocks full of bronze or iron age cairns and of magic. No wonder it is now a UN world heritage site. The bad part about that is that we didn’t have it to ourselves. Last time we visited, which was almost thirty years ago, the UN hadn’t discovered it and we were able to go to sleep and wake up with the fairies. This time we had a light drizzle and the place looked more stark but the magical feel was still there.

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Homeward bound, a final dinner with friends and then as always, several days of rest and recreation – time to process all of the impressions from a wonderful vacation.

Photos by Anders Rydell except the one of me and Anders which was taken by Gro Lavold. 

Summer knits

Here are two designs for summer, one completely new and one as good as new.

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Ellinore

Ellinore combines the graphic lines of k2, p2 ribbing with a small scale, delicate lace pattern. This creates a garment that is feminine without being girly. A sweet and cool top for all kinds of summer adventures.

The ribbing is worked around, and then, the work is divided for armholes and worked back and forth. The shoulders are joined with a three-needle bind-off for perfect pattern match. The edgings are worked in stockinette and folded and attached on the wrong side, with a garter ridge marking the transition from lace to stockinette.

Effortless knitting and easy wearability rolled into one garment shown by lovely Milka.

Agatha

Agatha was originally designed for my first cotton yarn, way back when, but has continued to be a personal favorite. So recently I decided to rework it in another favorite, Hempathy, my lovely cool hemp/cotton/modal blend yarn. A compatible combination. Add a vivacious sap green color, and it is ready for any summer adventure.

We photographed it on beautiful Kisanet at the Görväln Castle, a local cultural center.

The patterns are available from my pattern store www.ravelry.com/stores/elsebeth-lavold-designs

Photos by Anders Rydell

Lina

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Lina, rhymes with Tina.

I don’t design for children very often but here’s one where both model and design are too cute for words.

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This is just pure cardigan sweetness; two simple lace patterns and stockinette play against each other. The yarn is Hempathy, which is lovely to knit with and creates a pleasant drape in the cardigan. The edgings are narrow eyelet rows framed in garter and the eyelets also double as buttonholes at the front. This is really a case of the result being greater than the sum of the parts.

You’ll find the pattern at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lina-11

Photo by Anders Rydell