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. 

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More summer

More summer

Hempathy has been a long-standing summer favorite. This season we introduced a print version of, Hempathy Prints. Ten different color combinations were selected to match solid colors in the Hempathy line. You’ll find the print colors here

https://knittingfever.com/elsebeth-lavold/yarn/E-HEMPP

The fiber content and length/weight is the same as for the solid colors but the Prints are available in 100 g balls.

My first project was this simple basic sweater in the Bear in Mind colorway. I edged it with cast-on + 1 row using the matching solid green.

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Then came Bea

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Bea is an airy top, straight with a boat neck and short sleeves. The pattern is placed in a V-formation that comes naturally with this pattern. It is placed mostly above the bra line so its transparency is not an issue.

The name of the lace pattern happens to be Bumble Bee because of its resemblance to my favorite pollinator and the name Bea was chosen because it is homonymous with said insect.

I figured that the pattern is distinct enough to be highly visible in the print version of Hempathy, so I chose the New Orange colorway, and I was right. Here shape, pattern color and yarn co-operate to create a true summer favorite. And it’s fairly quick and easy knitting too.

Bea is available for download at my Ravelry store

http://www.ravelry.com/stores/elsebeth-lavold-designs

Photo as always Anders Rydell

More designs

Here are two more designs in my lovely Silky Wool.

Devin Sizes XS (S) M (L) XL

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Talk about not seeing the forest for all the trees. These trees are made by combining yarnovers and garter on a stockinette background. The patterns is bordered by cables and the rest of the sweater is plain stockinette with rolled edges. The cable is echoed at the neck, where it is knitted separately and attached afterward.

Jeanette Sizes Smaller (Larger)

The neck piece with matching cuffs could be considered either something to keep you warm on a cold day or it could be seen as a decorative neck piece, knitted jewelry. Your choice, but either way they are pretty and versatile pieces, feminine without being girly. Quick knitting with a bit of challenge.

Photos, as usual, by Anders Rydell.

Kul med Ull

Kul med Ull

I lördags var det Kul med ull i Kallhälls Folkets hus.

Massor av garn- och textilgalna människor hade samlats för att lyssna när Lena Köster höll föredrag om ull. Dessutom fanns det möjlighet att delta i workshops, se demonstrationer av olika textila tekniker, handla ull, garn och redskap och annat på marknaden eller bara fika och mingla med alla garngalna människor.

Bilderna visar ett litet urval av mina plagg exponerade på ett mikrofonstativ (det är inte första gången Anders bakgrund som musiker kommer väl till pass), litet av människomyllret sett från vårt stånd och min demonstration av hur man stickar flätor utan hjälpsticka.

En härlig dag med god stämning och massor av sköna textilfantaster!

Foto / Photo: Anders Rydell

Report from a local event focused on wool; with lecture, spinning classes, mini workshops and yarn and fiber market.

The photos show an array of my designs displayed on a microphone stand (!), a view of the crowd from our stand and my mini workshop on how to cable without a cable needle.

 

 

 

Viking Life / Vikingaliv

The Time Machine worked! This past weekend I was at a Fall Celebration in Årsunda, an event attended by almost 150 vikings.

Here is my beautiful sister Anne-Berit and myself outside her tent. My beloved Anders posing outside the Vi, the sacrificial area, in his new winter coat. I made it! Anne-Berit and her Anders waiting for the Thing to open. They are both seasoned Vikings.

The weekend was full of events; marketplace, a pig roasting, Viking games, people cooking over open flames, the Thing (Viking parliament), a feast in the Hall with the giving of gifts, celebrations and music, sacrificing at the Vi and a spectacular performance with fire in the dark starry night. We had a wonderful time.

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Tidsmaskinen fungerade! Den gångna helgen var det höstfest i Årsunda och nästan 150 vikingar samlades för att fira.

Bilderna visar min vackra syster Anne-Berit och mig i samspråk utanför hennes tält, min älskade Anders poserande i sin nya vinterrock, som jag har sytt,och Anne-Berit och hennes Anders i väntan på att tinget ska öppnas, de har varit med förut.

Lördagen var fullspäckad av upplevelser: Marknad, grillad spädgris, vikingalekar, tingsförhandlingar, fest i hallen med gåvor och firande, offer i viet och en eldshow i den mörka stjärnklara natten.

Tack Fafner för ett härligt evenemang!

Photos/foto Anders Rydell, except the one of him which is taken by/ utom det av honom som togs av Anne-Berit Lavold

Viking Knits and Ancient Ornaments; reviews

I’m so happy that knitters out there appreciate my work. It gives me great pleasure to see that there are people who knit my designs, those who use the patterns to create their own designs and that even people who are not going to knit Viking Patterns can enjoy the historical aspects of my work.

Thank you Jasmin and Gigi at Knitmore Girls for a great review. I’m honored and delighted by your in depth analysis of my designs.

The Knitmore Girls Podcast: Not the Math Episode – Episode 388
http://www.knitmoregirlspodcast.com/2016/08/not-math-episode-episode-388-knitmore.html
You’ll find the review at 30:45 (but the whole podcast is thoroughly enjoyable).

I’ve also a couple of other reviews (apart from all the reviews at booksellers):

Knitty had a review in their Deep Fall 14 issue:
http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEdf14/FEATdf14stuff/FEATdf14stuff.php

And a lovely review by the Knitting Scholar, thank you for that:

Review: Viking Knits & Ancient Ornaments