Karie Bookish Dot Net

A Bit of Tryghed – the Last of the Hygge Patterns

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The Tryghed hat was released today – the hat’s the last HYGGE pattern and it’s rather sad to say goodbye to a project that’s been really close to my heart. All good things come to an end, though, and Tryghed is a really nice way to finish. I’ll write more about the hat itself in a second, but first I want to go a bit Scandinavian on you.

Hygge is really hard to define because it encompasses so many things. We’ve talked about how it means to be warm, cosy, spending time with good friends, taking your time over coffee, and just kicking back with a good book and candlelight. The feeling of tryghed is really key to hygge, actually. Tryghed can be translated as ‘feeling safe and sound’ but it is also a really tactile thing. I feel it when I’m wrapped in my favourite quilt or when I walk hand in hand with my partner. I feel it when I’m sitting inside on a rainy night and I am warm. Without tryghed, you can have as much coffee or as warm a quilt as you like – but you won’t have hygge.

So, I wanted to translate that feeling of cosy tactile feeling of security into both a hat and the knitting experience.

Tryghed is a fully written pattern which can be knitted by most people. If you can knit in the round, knit & purl, and do basic decreases, then you can knit Tryghed. I have included some sneaky details like the crown shaping and one clever lace round, but this is a hat for most abilities. The yarn is Thick Pirkkalanka, a worsted-weight yarn from Midwinter Yarns and the hat takes just one skein. It is warm, squishy and everything I love in a yarn – again, the idea of tactile tryghed came into play! It goes without saying that I chose to knit the hat in my favourite colour in the entire world..

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I’ll spare you the photos of me eating a cinnamon bun (we shot these photos on National Cinnamon Bun Day!) but I’ll link you to a few Scandinavian recipes for you to try out!

+ Swedish Cinnamon Buns (kanelbullar)

+ Danish Dream Cake (drømmekage)

+ Elderberry cordial syrup – for more Danish flavours, leave out the cloves and substitute with some lemon peel.

+ Gløgg, obviously! I really like this white wine version too.

It’s been such a joy to see all the beautiful things you’ve made. Keep sharing those photos with me and thank you for going me on this little adventure into my traditions and homelands.


On Body Shaming, Self-Acceptance and Growing Up

October 2015 054

Hey, this is me out walking yesterday

I was heading home from Yarndale last Saturday. I had been on my feet all day talking to awesome people all day, so was relived to find a supermarket next door to the train station. I bought a sandwich, a fruit salad and some drinks – this would be my dinner as I’d arrive back in Glasgow around 10.30pm. The train was busy with rugby fans heading home from Leeds, but I managed a seat. I sat down, sighed with relief and took a bite of my sandwich. Behind me came a drunk man’s voice: “”You should cut down on your sandwiches; you’re a fatso” and I paused for a second trying to process what I just heard. The man continued to insult every single female in the carriage before moaning about his ex-wife to his friends. The guy clearly had a problem with women – and I ended up almost feeling sorry for the guy. He was born into this world with all the privilege at his disposal (straight, white male living in a First World country) and yet his life was such a disappointment to him that he felt the need to lash out at other people with less immediate privilege than him.

Then I started thinking about body shaming and how insidious it is. I was the first girl in school to hit puberty, though I was a year younger than the other girls and so, for a very long time, I had a very weird relationship with my body. I am naturally ‘blessed’ with an hourglass figure which meant I received a lot of unwanted attention when I was an insecure teenager and in my early twenties – both from men who viewed my body shape as an invitation and from catty girls in my school who viewed me as a threat (I never understood the last one, by the way). I wore baggy black clothes for a very long time trying to hide my body.

Looking back, I have been every clothes size imaginable – from a UK size 10 (EU 38, US 6)  to a UK size 22 (EU 50, US 18). I wasn’t very happy when I was a 10 nor was I very happy when I was a 22. My unhappiness had very little to do with my body and far more to do with my lifestyle: when I was a size 10 I was recovering from illness; when I was a size 22 I had just graduated from university into a job market that had hit rock bottom. Over the years I have learned that I feel most comfortable when I hover around a UK size 16 (though clothing sizes are very arbitrary at the best of times) – and I have realised I feel happiest when I don’t hide away in baggy, black clothes. My body is not a shameful object – it is just me.

As I get older, I feel much more comfortable being me. I have also become increasingly aware of how I live in a society that tries to fuel all kinds of insecurities to make me conform and consume. As a woman I’m told: be attractive! be attractive in a really specific way! be attractive in a really specific way and don’t have any opinions because that is unattractive! be attractive and then we will tear you down for being attractive! I happen to work in an industry that is full of strong women who run their own businesses. I see a lot more diversity in my industry (though we can always do better, but that is a big discussion and one for another day) than I see in mainstream media. I feel inspired and invigorated by the people who surround me – from the smart, intelligent conversations on Twitter to the slow fashion ethos I keep witnessing at yarn shows. I feel really empowered by the women around me – I am sure most of you don’t even realise how fantastic you are!

But if I had not just been at Yarndale; if I hadn’t stumbled into this industry where I see awesome women being themselves; if I hadn’t accepted myself for who I am; if I hadn’t realised that society doesn’t want me to be happy unless I conform (and bah to that!); if this train journey had happened to a younger Karie in another place and another time, I think I would have had a very different reaction. And that is actually the thought that’s haunted me for the past week or so.

(Yes, that is a new hat pattern. More on which later.)

PS there are a tonne of great resources on how to deal with other people trying to take ownership of your body, how to deal with body-shaming, and how to be a positive role model for young women in your life. I’m not going to add any links to this blog post, but feel free to share links on Twitter etc and I’ll happily do a round-up.

Yarndale, pt 2: Yarns & Friends & HYGGE

At the moment I am on a self-imposed mini-break, so I am a bit late talking about the things I saw at Yarndale. Still, it means I can look back and write about the things that really made an impact.

Firstly, Yarndale turned out to be one of my favourite yarn shows so far. The venue was decked out with crochet bunting, crochet mandelas and a lot of handmade signage. It felt very cheering and welcoming – in other words, very Yorkshire! The vendors were a good mix of perennial favourites, old friends, and small vendors who rarely do shows. I managed to get lost a few times and I know I missed a couple of vendors I wanted to see, but here are some of the vendors that stood out for me:

I completely missed her at the EYF marketplace, so I was determined to seek out Laura’s Loom – both her hand-woven fabrics and her yarns are gorgeous. Her materials are sourced from the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbria – and the colours are both rich and subtle. Blacker Yarns was another must-visit. I loved being able to browse their breed-specific yarns and work out future colour combinations in my head. I had lucky enough to previously receive a pre-release sample of their birthday yarn – the gorgeous Cornish Tin – and I tried to ferret out whether Cornish Tin was to remain limited edition or not. The fabulous Sonja said that when it is gone, it is gone. So get your mitts on it now!

The Island Wool Company and I go way back. They backed and supported me when I did Doggerland and we have another collaboration in the works. However, I had actually never met them in person – just a lot of long phone conversations! – so it was a huge thrill to finally meet one half of the team at Yarndale. Many hugs were exchanged and hopefully you’ll like what we have in store. Other friends with stalls included Sarah Alderson (who launched her book An Elven Reckoning at Yarndale – my personal favourites are the Norui jumper and the Rhien shawl), Ripples Crafts, The Crochet Project, Joeli’s Kitchen, my style crush Jess with her Ginger Twist Studio, Tilly Flop Designs with Julie’s amazing knitting postcards and tea towels (I lost track of where you were!), and the ever lovely Ann Kingstone. I also happened upon my old boss from my years with Rowan Yarns – it was so nice to catch up with Jem and see her designs. We both agreed that the past fourteen months or so have been such a whirlwind!

My purchases were modest. I have a lot of things on my plate over the next few months, so I wasn’t looking to spend a lot. However, I felt inspired by the Knit British single breed swatch-along, so I went looking for yarn that fit the bill. As Louise pointed out afterwards, I was meant to look for undyed wool but I crave COLOUR at the moment.

Yarndale purchases. Carefully plotted over the course of the day. #yarndale2015 #knitlocal #planning #singlebreedyarn

A photo posted by Karie Westermann (@kariebookish) on

I was quite taken with the Exmoor Horn Wool – the colour range was really, really nice and the yardage is good – and I am looking forward to seeing how it works up. According to the lovely people on the stall, the yarn is a recently off-shoot from the Exmoor Horn Breeders’ Society’s work on preserving one of Britain’s native sheep breeds. I am weak in the presence of a good story – especially one which involves heritage and landscape – and so two balls came home with me. I do have plans for them that involves more than just swatching, but I am not giving myself a deadline! I also bought one of the Wovember badges from Laura’s Loom – it matches my winter coat perfectly!

But Yarndale was also the book-end of two very, very stressful months. I spent my last reserves of energy that fabulous Saturday and I have been exhausted as a result. So, I had a very strongly-worded conversation with my boss (i.e. me), and she allowed me to take most of this week off. She should probably allow me to do this more often! However, the final HYGGE pattern will be a few days delayed, emails have remained unanswered, admin has been pushed to one side, and I’ve not done any design work. I am sure the world will not end.

PS. The BBC has a really nice article about the concept of HYGGE today. Thank you to everyone who passed me the link xx

Yarndale, pt 1 – All the People, So Many People

“You travel a lot, don’t you?”, Lindsay (aka The Border Tart) said to me when we bumped into each other at Yarndale. Sometimes you need other people to state things. I do love a good train journey even when it means loud people at 6.30am or drunk people at 7pm. I love sitting by the window and watching the mist obscure newly tilled fields, the sun set over faraway hills, and the birds heading south in intricate formations. Alas, I don’t have as much stamina as I’d like and so a good train journey often means recovery time at the end of it. I had a seven-hour round-trip to Yarndale Saturday and I spent Sunday reading in bed. Today I am knitting whilst watch the sunlight play in the trees across from the living room windows.

Yarndale was really lovely, actually. I work from home and often I don’t really realise how many of you read this blog, knit my patterns, and follow me on Twitter/Instagram. I live in a little yarny bubble in my little leafy neighbourhood where I know everybody. Then I go to a place like Yarndale and you are all so very real and so very, very lovely. It was so overwhelming in such a fantastic way – so many stories, so many hugs, so much laughter .. it felt very special. I don’t really want to single out anybody but I want to mention two people in particular.

First, the lady from Northern Ireland who unfortunately caught me just as I was heading out to lunch. I am so sorry I had to dash off and not be able to spend more time with you – I really, really needed to sit down and have something to eat. I do hope we manage to see each other in November, but I understand if you cannot make it to the work shop.

Secondly, I was so incredibly pleased to meet Charlotte B. who I have known online for many, many years and whose support & encouragement over the last five years has meant such a lot to me. I would have loved to have spent more time talking to her because I would not be doing what I do today with her stubborn encouragement. Thank you, Charlotte.

I want to show you two moments from Yarndale.

Still thinking about this two days on. #regram @kateheppell and the #scollayalong meet up at #yarndale2015

A photo posted by Karie Westermann (@kariebookish) on



We had a Scollay cardigan meet-up following the BritYarn and Knit British knit-along this summer. This is one of the most amazing/surreal/strangest/fantastic moments of my life. Look! I was so incredibly pleased that I was grinning like a loon! And I loved hearing all about the modifications – from the gorgeous woman who had turned Scollay into a jumper to the lovely lady who knitted the sleeves flat – and seeing ALL THE COLOURS.

Secondly, then was the book launch party at the Eden Cottage Yarns stall.

Hijinks, I tell you, hijinks. I had never met Louise Zass-Bangham before but often admired her work – and we got on like a house on fire! Not sure Victoria of Eden Cottage Yarns will ever allow us in the same place at the same time ever again. On a more serious note, Louise had sage words to say about friendship in the knitting world. Many of us are like-minded people who share interests and passions – why not make friends with the people you meet? I see so many posts on the Ravelry designer fora about “competitors” and I feel that line of thought means these people miss out on some fabulous conversations with pretty amazing people.

I am so glad that I made it to Yarndale despite a very early start. I hope to be back next year because I really like the atmosphere – it was colourful, warm, and very Yorkshire. I like Yorkshire.

Tomorrow I’ll share my very few purchases and talk about some of the vendors I met.

Yarndale, Hygge & Drift..

This is the week of everything.

My best friend is turning mumble, mumble – but she is in Sweden and I am in Scotland. I cannot celebrate with her and though it hurts every year, this year it feels worse than ever. So happy birthday to Christina, the light of my life. I miss you so much.

This is also the week in which I release three patterns (stay with me) and I’m going to a woolly event in North Yorkshire. It is the week where many other special people celebrate big events. It’s the week where I look at my to-do list and wonder what has happened to my sanity.


This is Top Hygge – I was feeling very whimsical when I named it! It is the hat that spawned the entire HYGGE collection and the name is Danish slang for ‘peak hygge‘ -when things just cannot get any more chilled or happier. We shot the pattern photos during a picnic on Glasgow Green. It was a slightly damp day, but we had a picnic blanket and food with us plus the most amazing garden surrounding us.

The hat uses exactly one skein of Thick Pirkkalanka from Midwinter Yarns (worsted weight, it runs 170m/186 yrds per skein). It is a slouchy, relaxed hat with easy lace columns and a big pompom on top of the crown. The pompom eats up a lot of yarn, but thankfully the pattern is written so you just keep making the pompom until you run out of yarn!

I’ve been chatting to Estelle of Midwinter Yarns about Thick Pirkkalanka. It is a great woolly yarn with a lot of bounce and I found myself wondering what ‘100% wool’ covered. According to Estelle, the yarn hails from Norway before it is processed in Finland (I believe) and the wool comes from Dala and Rygja sheep. For some reason I thought there was a bit of Spæl sheep involved, but I cannot find any trace of that in our correspondence. I do love a bit of added Nordic-ness.

The next pattern from the HYGGE collection will be released this Friday. Dave and I went north this past weekend and somehow landed probably the best photos we’ve ever shot. It helps the yarn and the pattern are ridiculously photogenic, but I’m still really pleased!

bryggasmThe next pattern is called Brygga. It is a squishy, chunky cowl knitted in two hanks of Ullcentrum Lovikka (again from Midwinter Yarns). I rarely knitted with very chunky yarns, but I really enjoyed working with Lovikka which felt crisp and had great stitch definition. It is a Swedish yarn which is normally used for making mittens in Lapland and neighbouring regions, so I felt taking it out of that mitt-making context would be a lot of fun.. and it was!

Like all HYGGE patterns, I wanted the knit to be cosy and relaxed. I also wanted it to be really wearable and practical. In Scandinavia you are never far from the sea (we are the Viking nations, after all) and everybody spend so much time either on boats or watching the sea from the shore.

Brygga means jetty in Swedish – the quintessential place to watch life go by during the summer (either hurling yourself into the water or dangling your feet) and a fabulous place to rest during a chilly autumnal walk. We shot the photos in a small Scottish fishing village overlooking the North Sea – thoughts turned both to the lost landscape of Doggerland underneath the calm surface, but also of Scandinavia just beyond the horizon.

And then, finally, I am thrilled to say that I am one of the designers behind the brand-new Drift collection from Eden Cottage Yarns. I am honoured to be included with international names such as Thea Colman, Åsa Tricosa, and Justyna Lorkowska as well as homegrown talent such as Louise Zass-Bangham and Clare Devine (among many others).

I was asked by Eden Cottage if I wanted to design a shawl in the most soft, delicious alpaca you can imagine. I accepted the challenge and played with the traditional hap construction to come up with the Swale shawl.


(photo by Eden Cottage Yarns)

Like so many of my patterns, I tried to keep it simple but effective. If you have never knitted a hap before, this would make a great introduction to the construction. Swale is knitted almost entirely in soothing garter stitch with just the edging providing a little bit of space. The shawl is quite large – but I find that I often prefer large shawls these days and Swale is relatively to knit because ECY Whitfell is a DK yarn. The alpaca also allows for fantastic drape.

You can see all the other Drift patterns at the Eden Cottage Yarns stand at Yarndale this forthcoming weekend. I’ll be at Yarndale on Saturday (catching the dawn train from Glasgow!). I’ll be bringing the HYGGE samples to the Midwinter Yarns stand (meet me there at 12.30!), hopefully get together with the Scollay-alongers at 2pm (check out the Brityarn group on Ravelry for more info), and then see you at the ECY stand at 3pm! Hopefully I’ll also get a chance to browse stalls as a regular person as I missed out on the marketplace at Edinburgh Yarn Festival.

Wowza, what a long post but so much is happening at the moment! I’m off to have lunch and will then attack my inbox with gusto. Wish me luck – and if you are going to Yarndale, make sure to say hello!

Sunlight Shifting

So this is what September feels like: waking up, sitting at computer, remembering to have lunch, working, saying hello to David who quietly comes home, finally shutting down all screens, looking up, and seeing the sunlight shifting outside the window. Soon it will be dark. Soon it will be winter and I will wonder where the year went.

At the moment I am hanging on. I am happy because I am too busy to remember to be sad. I am content because I have no time to rue things. I am singing because I have no time to think. This is better than it has been. I miss my friends whom I haven’t seen for a long time. I miss hearing the birds sing and feeling the sun on my skin. I miss waking up and having an empty day. I need to relearn how to take time off.

We went north this weekend and I saw the sunlight shifting. The light is bluer up north. It is clearer, more translucent, and more fragile. I sat on a stony beach and watched the waves roll in. Then we had a photo shoot and I straightened my shoulders while the gulls cried. Now I am south again, back to warm light, asphalt and stolen moments.

The sunlight is shifting and I am moving with it.

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(photo by David Fraser)

HYGGE Pattern #2: Skovtur

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Time is a rare gift. This month sees friends and family celebrating big birthdays or momentous life changes; I am travelling a lot for work; and I struggle to find pockets of time between it all. The air now has a slight touch of chill to it in the mornings or evenings. The world is slowly tilting and I feel the pull inside me to embrace it.

Skovtur is the second pattern in the HYGGE collection to be released. Skovtur means “a trip to the forest” or “a walk in the woods” in Danish. I designed these fingerless mitts knowing that I’d be reaching for them again and again. Right now they are a perfect layer of protection against that slight chill, but soon the long cuffs will come into their own as the autumn winds hit Scotland. The colourwork lends an extra layer of warmth as well.

Sept 2015 055Skovtur [Skorw-tur] uses two colours of Thick Pirkkakanka from Midwinter Yarns. I used the Teal and the Deep Orange (I also used this colourway in the Fika shawl but in the thinner Pirkkalanka yarn) – but the world is your oyster when it comes to colour combinations.

Some possibilities:

+ Barely There Grey & Stonewashed = wintery North Sea colours.

+ Raspberry & Plum = fruity jams and preserves.

+ Mulch & Mustard = earthy, autumnal leaves.

+ Denim & Natural Pale Grey =  your favourite jeans.

+ Blush & Soft Turquoise =  stones and the sea touching each other.

+ Black & Barely There Grey = class Scandi combination of high contrast

As long as you use two colours with sufficient contrast, you will be fine. If you are unsure whether there is enough of a contrast, take a black & white photo. Do the two colours look identical? Then you need to switch out one of them. Do the two colours do distinctly different? Then you are fine!

Note that Skovtur uses one hank of each colour – but in reality you are using roughly a quarter of a skein of the contrast colour. The next HYGGE pattern is also knitted in Thick Pirkkalanka and uses just over 1.5 skeins. In other words, if you think you might want to knit something to go along with your Skovtur mitts, you will want to order an additional skein of Thick Pirkkalanka in your contrast colour of choice. 

You’ll be able to see the HYGGE samples at Yarndale later this month (note to self: stop wearing them!) and Estelle of Midwinter Yarns will be super-happy to offer colour advice.

Enjoy – I am off to knit :)

In the Loop 4

Most of my late August was taken up by work for In the Loop 4. If you don’t know ITL, it is an academic conference about knitting and crochet. This year it took place in Glasgow – the culmination of many years’ work by the Knitting in the Round crew at Glasgow University – and I had been persuaded by the organiser, Linda Newington of the Knitting Reference Library at Winchester School of Art – to submit a an abstract. Lo, my paper on Faroese jumpers and Nordic knitting traditions was accepted and much time was spent researching and writing. I am very thankful for the staff at The Mitchell Library for being particularly helpful.


Miss @kariebookish talking at #intheloopglasgow

A photo posted by Louise Scollay (@knit_british) on

In the Loop was exceptional. While I talk knitting every single day, I found it invigorating and useful to discuss my discipline in a more academic way: Just how do we define the idea of authenticity in knitting? What role does gender play? How do we address the problem of sustainability within our practice? What about knitting and lifestyle commodification? These are just a few of the topics the conference touched upon. I felt my brain stretch with every paper and I left thinking about my own work in a new way. I also relished being able to spend time with my woolly chums: Louise, Susan, Jeni, Tom, Helen, Zoe, Anna and Anna. And meet new woolly chums like Tom, Alison, Anna, Siun, Helen and Mary. I salute you all for inspiring me, making me think and making me laugh.

There were many great papers. Here’s a short selection of the ones that have stayed with me.

Dinah Eastop on archives, preservation, and digitalisation. Some real problems facing the archivists trying to digitalise cultural heritage,

Annemor Sundbø on the Setesdal jumper. An absolute honour to listen to Annemor talk about the evolution of a Norwegian design classic.

Helen Robertson and her textile practice was incredible. Helen places Shetland textile practices within the landscape – I was blown away and completely inspired by her thoughtfulness.

Alison Mayne and Kate Orton-Johnson on knitting communities in the digital age. Two very different, yet very similar approaches. This is a topic dear to my heart (for obvious reasons) and both nailed their papers.

Rose Sinclair delivered an outstanding paper on 19th and 20th c women’s craft guilds, clubs, and societies. She also spoke with authority of the erasure of race within crafts. I really hope she publishes this paper – more people need to know about her research.

Jonathan Faiers delivered a plenary talk on knitting on the runway. This was my other ‘goosebumps’ moment as he moved from Schiaparelli’s bow-knot jumper through 20th C high fashion history towards today’s super-bulky knits. Very, very thought-provoking work on trompe l’oeil knitting. So thought-provoking that I had to skip the next session just to digest and unpack Faiers’ words.

Sustainability was given a lot of thought. Tom van Deijnen spoke about his visible mending work whilst Tone Tobiasson and Ingun Klepp delivered a call to arms about wool being part of a sustainable future. I found both talks incredibly engaging and inspiring.

Finally, I want to leave you with this film by Anna Kouhia. I found it very moving and poetic. I was lucky enough to have a conversation with Anna about how our bodies influence our crafts – the movement of our hands, in particular. I hope you will enjoy this as much as I did.

PS. ITL4 featured a fashion show which included work by Gudrun Johnson, Lucy Hague, Kate Davies and myself. You can catch it here. I don’t usually think of my work as being part of fashion, so seeing it in this context felt a little strange (I need to think more about this, clearly). I also only had one sample home that I could lend the show which I slightly regret. Oh well. It was interesting.

Pattern: the Fika Shawl (and other Musings)

fikaWell, first of all, the Fika shawl is now available to buy on Ravelry. It is the first of five accessory patterns that make up the Hygge collection – a collaboration with Midwinter Yarns.

Fika is the Swedish word for ‘taking a break from the fast-paced world and hang out with friends (or yourself) over a cup of coffee and watch the world go by’. I bet having a word like ‘fika’ makes Twitter conversations a lot easier.

But releasing a pattern all about slowing down and allowing yourself to breathe is .. well, it strikes me as deeply ironic. The past three weeks have been hectic – even by my usual standards. I have been hard at work on this collection, magazine commissions, various future collaborations, and some overdue design work as well as writing/giving a paper at the knitting conference In the Loop (among other things – it was rather full-on!). I had two hours off yesterday and they felt amazing.

I cannot wait until I get a chance to grab my friends and head out for a really relaxing fika – maybe at the local Swedish cafe? That would be fantastic.


The Fika shawl is knitted in two hanks of Ohut Pirkkalanka – or Thin Pirkkalanka. It’s a fine-weight Finnish pure wool yarn – Ravelry calls it as 3ply/light fingering. I’d call it a heavy lace with a nice grip. The yarn is heathered and only blooms slightly when you block the shawl. I like it a whole lot and am curious if anybody knows what the ‘100% wool” covers? I could swear there was a bit of Gotland in there, but I am not an expert.

The next pattern in the collection is out next week. And the next is out the following week etc. But for now you can buy Fika (or the Hygge collection if you want to save money) on Ravelry. I am off to find some coffee and maybe ten minutes of quiet solitude.

Introducing: The Hygge Collection & Fika

August 2015 752aYesterday was a bit of a hectic day. We walked all over Glasgow trying to get good photos of the first pattern in the Hygge collection. After having posed in three different locations, David said to me: “I never asked. What’s the shawl’s name?” – I replied: “Fika. Fee-ka. It’s a Swedish word for a coffee-break where you spend quality time sorting out the world with your loved ones.”


And then he marched me to a coffee shop and we snapped a handful of photos there between sips of coffee.

In many ways, the Hygge collection feels different to the other things I’ve designed. I think that is why I struggled to understand what Dave knew instinctively: I should not be posing somewhere – I should just relax with a cup of coffee. This thing is more personal and very down-to-earth. Maybe this seems odd coming from a designer, but I am slightly shocked that I’ve allowed myself the freedom to be relaxed about designing. The stitch palette was fun: textures that let the yarns shine and some easy lace motifs. The colour palette was even better (I’ll show you more later but how good is that orange Pirkkalanka?).

I have worked on some very conceptual things in the past (and will again in the future) but Hygge is just about the little joyful things I find in my everyday life. While the collection is very much about my Scandinavian heritage, I think you can find your own pockets of hygge no matter who you are or where you live. 

Fika will be released as a stand-alone pattern on August 31, but you can pre-order the Hygge: Knit the Things You Love to Wear collection now. It’ll cost slightly different things depending upon where you live, but it is 25% off from now until August 31. The collection contains five small projects (Fika is by far the more time-consuming!) – all accessories and all items you’ll keep reaching for again and again.

I am now going to sit in the back yard with a cup of coffee, my pile of books, and I’ll get back to my research. August is a crazily busy month for me, but I do need to make time for myself. Sitting in the sunshine seems like a good start.