A Bit of Tryghed - the Last of the Hygge Patterns

October 2015 045-horz 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..

October 2015 073-horz

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.


HYGGE Pattern #2: Skovtur

Sept 2015 307-horz 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 :)

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." Silence.

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.

Announcement: The Hygge Collection

hygge For the past five months I have been working on a mini-collection together with Estelle Faust of Midwinter Yarns. It is our first collaboration, but it has felt very fruitful. Not only do Estelle and I have a shared Scandinavian heritage, but we are also passionate about celebrating beautiful, natural yarns.

And now it is time to talk a bit about what we've created.

Hygge (Knit Yourself the Things You Love to Wear) is a mini-collection celebrating a truly Scandinavian concept. It is a concept that can be difficult to translate, but essentially it means "a feeling of comfort, cosiness, and happiness". Estelle calls it mys because she is Swedish and I call it hygge as I am from Denmark. The mini-collection contains five small projects all relating to aspects of hygge - from spending time with good friends to drinking a mug of hot chocolate after a long, cold day. We have made sure to include authentic Scandinavian tips on how to enjoy hygge. I'll also share a couple of Scandinavian recipes on this blog.

The knitting patterns are all small accessories knitted from a selection of Midwinter Yarns' favourite yarns. All patterns use between one or two skeins of yarns. With hygge being the overall concept, I wanted the patterns to give joy and comfort - both in the process of making and in wearing. The projects are also designed to make great little gifts for people you love. Spread the joy, the warmth and the happiness.

The yarns have been especially selected by Estelle to reflect the landscapes and traditions of Scandinavia. She chose a stunning colour palette that I cannot wait to share with you. It was important to us both that the yarns also reflected our shared sense of hygge - so you'll find an array of yarn thicknesses and textures within the mini-collection too. Estelle is currently enjoying a holiday, so we'll share more details about the yarns later!

What is next? The five patterns will be released over the next month and you'll be able to see more at the Midwinter Yarns stall at the Yarndale wool festival in Skipton this September.

I am going to start pre-orders for Hygge (Knit Yourself the Things You Love to Wear) this Thursday. The eBook will only be available via Ravelry but the patterns will be available as individual downloads from both Ravelry and Love Knitting. Pre-orders get the mini-collection at a discounted price, naturally.

And here's a little video about hygge from Copenhagen (sorry about the squirrel!)