Recognized as one of Norway’s most talented knitwear designers, Irene Haugland blends her love for the natural beauty, people, and cultural heritage of the Telemark region of the country with her contemporary sense for color and pattern. Her book KNITS FROM THE HEART OF NORWAY offers stunning sweaters, cardigans, socks, hats, and mittens for men, women, and children, with step-by-step instructions, gorgeous color photographs, and the occasional finishing touch of traditional Norwegian embroidery. All the garments were designed and knitted in Lunde, in the heart of Norway’s Telemark region.
“I loved dolls of all kinds,” says Haugland, “and was already designing clothes for them by the time I was five years old…the incipient spark of design had been lit.
“When I was 17 years old, I entered the goldsmith program at Elvebakken Vocational School. It was absolutely fantastic, but living in an apartment in Oslo was a challenge. I missed my home, my parents, my friends, and Telemark. I was on of the eight students who went on to the second level, but in the middle of the second year, I wanted to go home, and so I dropped out of the program. Mamma and Pappa said that I wasn’t about to loaf for the rest of the year, so they sent me to the homemaking school in Seljord. There I got a certificate in handcrafts, although I refused to follow the curriculum in Hardanger embroidery and white embroidery on white fabric, etc. I almost lived in the handcraft room, creating fantastic clothes from woven and knitted fabric…
“In 1974 I enrolled in the Metals program at the National Handcraft and Art-Industry School in Oslo. After meeting the exacting drawing requirements, I was one of the few lucky ones. It was a huge honor to be accepted by the program. I was already halfway trained as a jeweler from before, so now i was able to engage in larger projects. However, almost all my free time was used for designing clothing. During my second year, I received permission to leave school. and change to a clothing and costume program.
“The fourth year was time for a comprehensive thesis in knitting…The next fall, my portfolio of knitted creations was ready. I designed and knitted a collection for Knitted…The collection was successful and I was asked to work at Dale of Norway where I had 12 exciting and productive years.”
KNITS FROM THE HEART OF NORWAY is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.
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Did you know…
Trafalgar Square Books, publisher of fine equestrian and craft books, is a small business based on a farm in rural Vermont.