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Meet Eline Oftedal, knitting designer and author of Knit Nordic

Eline Oftedal is a Norwegian knitting designer who recently made the move from international politics to craft. She has been knitting since childhood, often making up her own patterns as she went. Some years ago she started to write down her patterns and has since then been published in international knitting magazines like Vogue Knitting and The Knitter. Eline was born in Norway and lives and works in Oslo. She has a deep affinity for the traditional Norwegian knitted sweater patterns and her heritage can often be seen in her designs. She sells individual patterns on Etsy and teaches classes in knitting and how to achieve great colour combinations in knitting. Here, she shares some insight into her work and life.

What makes you passionate about your craft?
A lot of things make me passionate about knitting. The fact that you can take it wherever you go is one, another is that it’s such an fun and easy way to add personality and soul to the fast fashion world we live in. I love yarn and sheep and the history of knitting and I could go on forever about my passion!

Which is your most cherished childhood memory?
I have many great crafty memories from my childhood, and when we went to our summer house on the west coast of Norway for the summer we drove by a woolen mill. Me and my sisters were given money to buy huge bags of leftover yarn so we had something to keep us busy in the very likely event of rain! We knitted and crocheted the most hilarious toys and gave them even more hilarious names

What sparks your creativity?
Traveling and meeting people are great sources of inspiration for me. When I am taken out of my daily setting things happens with my creativity. Seeing other people’s creativity and listening to friends sharing thoughts and ideas are another way for get the imagination going so I can create new designs for my knitting.

Could you describe a typical crafty day in your life?
I have the luxury of a long and relaxed breakfast and then I sit down by the computer to deal with knitting pattern orders that comes via my Etsy shop. When that is done and dealt with I turn to ongoing design projects. I try to switch between writing knitting patterns and actually knitting and sketching. Writing a pattern takes a lot of concentration from me, and it’s lovely to have knitting breaks with a cup of tea! If it is a Wednesday I will blog about my adventures as a knitter on my blog, By Eline.

Organised mess or creative minimalism? What does your working space look like?
I am so tempted to say creative minimalism, because that sounds great! My workspace is more of an organised mess. When I am in the middle of the creative phase of designing I tend to have yarn everywhere and lots of ‘just started’ knitting projects around. After patterns are written up and projects are finished, things might look slightly more minimalist!

Eline Oftedal is the author of Knit Nordic (Collins & Brown, £16.99)