Arne & Carlos Day at the Craft Barn

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 26-02-2016



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.

arne carlos workshop


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.

arne and carlos workshop




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.

sara on arne and carlos workshop

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’.

Arne & Carlos sock yarn

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.

knitted dolls arne and carlos

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!


Comments (15)

Looks like it was a great success, looking forward to seeing Sara’s finished wrist warmers.

Thank you so much for organising their visit. I was lucky enough to attend the lecture, which was fab. Hopefully you will be able to have them back again. They are really lovely to chat with and very inspirational.

Sooo jealous of the workshop as I love their work. Looks like a wonderful day had by all

Thank you so much for sharing the day with us. I was working that day but the tweets kept me smiling. I have made a few of their balls/baubles – the skier in the Easter book gets the best reaction as a gift. The knitted dolls are very special – how do you knit Kim K’s bum? I would love to win a kit.

I am so jealous! I have a knitted a number of the guys’ patterns from magazines but don’t have an actual book so would love to win this. Next best thing to actually being there.

Looks like a fab event!
What an amazing prize too. Feeling inspired (and scared) to give one of their patterns a try after reading this

Wonderful event with two lovely people. Now saving up for more of their truly inspirational books.

It looks like a fantastic time was had by all. They are such inspiring crafters. I’m just sorry I had to be in work that day so couldn’t attend either the workshop or the talk.

Thank you for sharing the day. And thank you for very nice foto

This was so interesting to read! Thank you so much. Thank you also for the chance to win such a lovely prize.

Beautiful patterns – so jealous I don’t live closer – lucky ladies

Congratulations Janet! You are the winner of the Arne & Carlos bundle. Please email with your address and we will post it out to you.

Amy x

I remember meeting both of them in Cologne, really lovely guys and so inspiring!

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful day

Thank you – I have the slippers book but look forward to doing the wrist warmers – long time since I did colour patterns

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