I have a lovely new knitting pattern book. It is a Norwegian pattern book (a pamphlet really, but book is easier to write) from Rauma, one of Norway’s big yarn producers. The tale of how I acquired it is rather interesting, and I thought it would make good Saturday- morning-over-coffee reading. One of the things which I read most Saturday mornings with my coffee is Karen Templar’s Elsewhere post. If you aren’t reading Karen’s gorgeous blog, Fringe Association, you are missing something (her blog is very popular so it is unlikely that anyone reading my far more humble blog will not have heard of Karen). One of my favorite features of her blog is Elsewhere, published on Fridays, in which she provides links to content she finds interesting – these come from a range of sources, including articles, blog posts, and various gorgeous or inspirational textile-related things she finds on-line and shares. In mid-April, I read this Elsewhere post. One of the links took me to a blog post by Paper Tiger.
The Paper Tiger blog is written by Dianna Walla. She is one of my ‘friends’ on Ravelry and I have been interested in her stuff for awhile now. I find Dianna intriguing for a number of reasons: (1) she is a Linguist (I consider myself a “lapsed linguist” at this point, but you might say it’s in my blood), (2) she is a fabulous knitter, (3) she is a fairly new designer but her stuff is really good, (4) she now lives and studies in Tromsø, Norway, somewhere I have long wanted to visit, and (5) she can really write. The particular post which Karen linked to, which you can find here, is about the Norwegian wool, Rauma Garn. Rauma is an old company, and has a huge back-catalogue of patterns. Dianna notes that the company has been publishing some knitting pattern booklets with re-issues of old patterns that have been re-worked for modern tastes. The photos of these sweaters are mouth-watering (make sure you read Dianna’s post)! I was particularly taken with this photo:
I saw that photo, and thought “Hmm, I’d like to get my hands on this pattern booklet.” And, without further ado, I popped off an email to my friend Erun. Erun lives in Copenhagen, but she is Norwegian, and I know that she has a mother who knits. I sent a link to the pattern booklet and asked if it was possible to purchase it in Norway.
This was all done while sitting and reading on a Saturday morning in my house in Oxfordshire, England, and was soon forgotten. A month later, I made a business trip to Malaysia, where I was teaching at the business school. I knew that Erun’s job often took her to Malaysia, and I sent out an email to ask if she would be there. In a lovely and serendipitous fashion, she was also in Malaysia and we both had a weekend free. We agreed to meet up in Singapore for two days of sight-seeing and catching up. I made a brief post about this weekend trip, which you can find here. Here is a photo of the gorgeous Erun and me sitting on the deck at the Singapore National Gallery. I love this photo because you can see reflected in the window behind us the view of the harbour which we were facing. (By the way, the Singapore National Gallery is fantastic in every way – gorgeous exhibits, gorgeous architecture – and this deck may be the best place to sit in Singapore and enjoy a drink on a hot afternoon; but don’t order the iced coffee! It ranked extremely low on my coffee-o-meter scale.)
Imagine my surprise on this trip when Erun said, “Oh, my mother bought you that knitting book and I brought it with me! Here it is!”
And here I am, back in England, with my new knitting pattern booklet!
This booklet has some amazing patterns in it; I am especially impressed with the menswear. Here is the only other photo I seem to be able to download, but there are a number of men’s sweaters that are really fantastic. I will try to get photos of them at a later date.
Now I plan to enjoy this new pattern book, not only for the beautiful designs, but also for the opportunity to try to read Norwegian knitting patterns!
This pattern book had an interesting journey to my hand. From a blog written by an American student in Norway, to a blog written in Tennessee, to my cozy morning reading in England, to an email posted off to a friend in Copenhagen, to a request to her mother in Norway, to a weekend in Singapore, and finally back home to Oxfordshire! Many thanks go to Erun’s lovely mother!
This is a fabulous story!!! And, I’ve long had a hankering to knit a sweater out of one of the Rauma yarns; either a Rauma or Dale pattern. One of the interesting things about Dale is that if you buy the sweater’s worth of yarn, if the purveyor has the book/access to a book that is out of print, you can get the pattern, even though it’s out of print and the book is no longer available. There are a couple of US places that sell kits just like this.
HI Susan, I didn’t know that about Dale. They have some amazing sweater designs as well. Somewhere, I have a pile of old Norwegian patterns that Doug bought for me when he was travelling; I will have to dig them out. (Some husbands buy perfume at the airport when they are on the road for gifts, mine buys me local knitting stuff!)
What a wonderful Sunday morning I had with your blog. Hope to meet you some time. Love from Eruns mother 🌹
Liv, how lovely to hear from you! Thank you so much for taking the time and trouble to acquire this knitting book for me. As you can tell, it is much appreciated. I am glad that you are enjoying reading the blog. I enjoy my friendship with your lovely daughter. Someday, perhaps, I will make it to Norway and we can meet.
I live five minutes walk from Husfliden, the Norwegian expert on handicraft, visited by tourists and others who love authentic things. They sell Rauma yarns and are very helpful. So it was easy to find the one you asked for!
Right now I am knitting Marianne Isager, the Danish designer. A big scarf called Tokyo. I buy from a store in Copenhagen, Sommerfuglen (the Butterfly). You find them on internet. Another Danish designer is Hanne Falkenberg. I will knit her jumper Look to Erun, in lime. May be they also are on Ravelry, I dont know if R is for professionals too.
Love from Liv
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> Den 20. jul. 2016 kl. 11.21 skrev Knitigating Circumstances : > > >
I love Marianne’s Tokyo scarf; in fact I have bought the yarn for it already (in different colours) and am waiting for a good time to make it. Please have Erun send me a photo of yours when you are done! I also love Hanne Falkenburg. I have knit two of her sweaters, and I wrote about them in this post. Enjoy your knitting and the summer!
So you know the Scandinavians well! I have bought yarn for the model Studio as well. Love the yarn Sophistica with cotton and linen. I will send you a picture of Tokyo when Erun is back 😊
Wow, 2 new fantastic crafting blogs to follow. Thank you.
Me husband and I are in Tromso next June, I will look out for the yarn and the pattern.
Lovely story! Dale yarns just released a hard-back book with some if their vintage Norwegian patterns (edited by Siri Sparboe); it is good to see that the old patterns are made available! Greetings from Hege, Oslo, Norway!
Hi! Thanks for the news; I will keep an eye out for this book. I also have a stack of pattern books from the 1950s and 60s. I think perhaps its time to pull them out and consider knitting something vintage.
That is a treasure! Hope you will share some of your findings 🙂
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