This week on the blog I will be celebrating the work of some amazing women, and a few men, I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know through what I am lucky enough to call ‘work’.
You may already be familiar with the work of Ann Myhre who goes by the Ravelry name, Pinneguri and designs as The Needle Lady. Ann wrote a wonderful post last Advent with a recipe for making marzipan and this year I’m thrilled to introduce a beautiful pattern book she has been working on with 7 of her Norwegian friends.
The ladies are a mix of professional designers, enthusiastic knitters and yarnies, collaborating under the name ‘Vottelauget’ which translates as The Mitten Guild. Besides Ann, the group includes Wenche Roald, Tori Seierstad, Merete Toft, Frida Engeset, Cecilie Haugland, Anne Skøyen and Judith Seland Nilsen who works with Sjølingstad Uldvarefabrikk, a working spinning museum factory in the south of Norway.
The collective have recently published their first e-book, the delightfully titled, ‘Mittens From the Fairy Forest‘, a collection of seven amazing mitten patterns inspired by fantastical Norwegian folk and fairy tales. Originally written in Norwegian, it has now been translated to English and, if you’ll pardon the pun, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy!
Amongst the colourwork designs you will find motifs and blooms from the forest floor flowers, bears, wolves, foxes and the Billy Goats Gruff.
Keep an eye out for the Nøkken, a mythical creature who will lure you into the sea, or is it just a lonely beast, looking for friends who will swim along with it in the dark, dark waters?
The majority of the patterns cover sizes to fit children through to women and are worked in 4ply to DK weight wools, with the stranded patterns providing a double layer of fabric to keep little and big fingers warm. There’s also lots of information on the construction of your mittens making it a good book for those wanting to take a step into colourwork mittens and looking for interesting projects to get started with. Each pattern comes with a variety of ideas for customising your mittens with different cuffs, thumbs, and colours so your project can be truly unique.
I threw caution (and Christmas gift knitting) to the wind and have cast on the Tornerose pattern using the smocked cuff instructions, which will be wonderfully cosy and I’m planning a rummage in the button tin to find a few embellishments.
The book is an absolute delight and I love how it has grown through friendship founded in knitting – I think this is what gives it the truly magical quality it has…and a sprinkling of fairy dust too! A second volume titled, ‘More Mittens from the Fairy Forest’ is due to be published very soon with an English translation to follow, but you can take a sneak peek at some of the patterns over on the Eventyrlige Votter blog.
Mittens From the Fairy Forest is available to download from Ravelry at a stupendously good price,
but Vottelauget have very kindly offered a copy of this beautiful e-book to one of my lucky readers. All you have to do in reply to this post leaving a comment telling me your favourite fairy tale. All entries will be put in Mr K’s hat and a winner drawn at random. You have until midnight tonight (GMT) to enter so don’t hang about! The giveaway is now closed – thank you for entering!
All images © Ann Myhre with the exception of the fourth picture which is © Frida Engseth.
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Mittens from the Fairy Forest for review.