Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 26-02-2016
Tags: Arne & Carlos
On Tuesday, the day finally arrived for knitting superstars Arne and Carlos to visit the Craft Barn. It was a much anticipated day, we had all been looking forward to meeting them for many months. The workshop room had been decorated with their books and yarn dotted about the place, we even had life size cardboard cut outs of them in the Craft Barn! (kindly loaned from Coats Crafts).
Last week I had taken on the task of winding all the balls of yarn in preparation for the workshop, it was then neatly tucked up in delicate organza Rowan bags ready and waiting.
The day started with a fabulous workshop. Arne and Carlos taught everyone how to make a pair of Fair Isle wrist warmers in the round (5 Wise Virgin Wrist Warmers – pattern from Knitting Scandinavian Style). It was the biggest workshop we have ever held at the Craft Barn, with 23 people in total. Every time I popped in to take a few photographs there was a real buzz in the air, with everyone chatting away to Arne and Carlos as they worked their way around the room.
Sara joined in with the workshop too and overcome her fear of Fair Isle. Not usually her favourite choice when knitting, Sara now plans to knit a sweater from Knitting Scandinavian Style by Arne & Carlos. Here she is showing off her progress so far.
Once the workshop finished it was time for a quick turn around and a moment to relax for Arne & Carlos. Whilst tables and chairs were moved around them they managed to have a bite to eat before the afternoon lecture. They especially enjoyed the lemon and ginger cake from the tea shop!
They managed to sign a few books for us too!
With all of the workshop tables out and the room now filled with enthusiastic listeners, we were all eager to find out more about their lives as knitting designers.
It was interesting to get an insight into their lives and hear about where they lived, how they became designers and what inspires them. There was so much to take in within the hour lecture, having the photos was great too as it added something extra whilst they were talking. Not only are they lovely, interesting people they are also really funny and were making little jokes here and there throughout.
Here is a photo of where they live in Norway and what their house (a disused railway station) originally looked like when Arne bought it back in 1999. They are so creative in all aspects of their lives, not just knitting.
One of the most inspiring things that I picked up on was when Carlos talked about their magnificent garden in Norway – “Designing is all about trying and failing, and trying agin”. This was said in the context of creating their garden (a place where they love to knit) however this linked in nicely with their designing too. Below is a photo of their garden which they created from nothing and was the first thing that they did with the house, added a flourishing garden.
The garden is very important to them as this is their main source of inspiration. They take this inspiration from the abundance of colour and incredible lighting.
They covered all aspects of their design work from Knitted Dolls, Regia sock yarn collaboration, Kim Kardashian to taking inspiration from Arne’s Grandmother’s traditional Norwegian knitwear. ’55 Christmas Balls to Knit’ was their first ever book which is now available in 17 different languages. They told a funny story about how the publishers got a little mixed up with the title, which should have actually read ‘baubles’, not ‘balls’.
Did you know that the colour palette’s for these sock yarns were inspired by Edvard Munch paintings? They joked about originally wanting to name the shades after his paintings; perhaps ‘The Scream’ may not have been too popular as a yarn name.
They even have Knitted Dolls of themselves; can you spot them in the photo above? This photo was inspired my Kylie Minogue’s Slow video.
They didn’t know who Kim Kardashian was, but after seeing her photo around the internet they thought it would be fun to knit her ‘break the internet’ pic!
The photo above is of Arne’s Grandmother on a skiing holiday wearing a traditional Norwegian knit. This type of design has inspired the Fair Isle patterns that the duo includes in their own designs today.
A huge thank you to Coats Crafts for organising the visit from Arne and Carlos. We all had a fantastic day, both staff and customers. We hope to see you again soon on your next visit to the UK.
Arne, Sara and Carlos in the Craft Barn. Keep an eye out for Sara’s finished wrist warmers popping up on Facebook soon.
For those who couldn’t make it to the Craft Barn we are giving away the Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Dk yarn to make the wrist warmers and Knitting Scandinavian Style where you can find the pattern for the wrist warmers and many more. Simply comment on the blog post and a winner will be chosen on Friday 4th March 10am GMT. Good luck!