isager – a danish success story

#isager #denmark lovely readers, have you missed me just a tiny bit? I am home, after 12 days of travel I am back in the comfort that is my messy studio. Here I sit, drinking tea and reminiscing about my trip to beautiful Denmark, meeting a bunch of wonderfully kind and creative people, learning to dye yarn and being part of the launch of some stunning new knitwear collections.

I spent most of my time at the Isager Yarn HQ, a Danish company who has been supplying beautiful quality yarns made from natural fibres for almost 40 years. Both loved and appreciated by knitters from around the globe, the yarns and patterns are sold in selected shops internationally. Classic yarn qualities made using only the best in natural fibres, in a colour range that rarely changes, and loved by knitters, weavers, embroiderers and crocheters alike. The yarns and colours have been created to work well together both within and across the qualities, and can be mixed to create unique pieces.

#isager #yarn #denmark had the privilege to spent some time chatting with both Marianne and Helga Isager about yarn, inspiration and forthcoming events, and I would very much like to share some of it with you.

Both Marianne and Helga are very much inspired by Japan and the Japanese culture. Marianne, who divides her living between Japan and Denmark finds lots of inspiration by living in Tokyo and visiting other cities and their markets. Helga, who studied Japanese in Japan and still travels there a lot, is influenced by Japanese style, their cities and culture. Young people and their individual style is also a great source of inspiration to Helga, and in contrast to Marianne for whom inspiration is followed by yarn and colour choice, for Helga colour and yarn comes first. Helga told me that the start of a new collection is the hardest thing and a lot of swatching is done before the first design is done to perfection. After that everything flows and a collection is put together with Helga almost always hand-finishing every piece herself.

Always full of enthusiasm, Marianne told me about the start of a very exciting new project. Having rescued the Old School in Tversted from demolition (the town Isager is based), she is going to set up a Textile Centre for knitting, weaving, spinning, dyeing, felting and much more. Here school children can come and learn everything about these old and traditional crafts, being taught by enthusiastic and knowledgeable teachers. There will be workshops for adults too and the programme for next year is being worked on as I write. #denmark #tversted #isager

Keep your eyes peeled on the Isager website for information about new developments as they happen. I can highly recommend a holiday combined with workshops in this beautiful landscape with never ending skies and light that is unique to this part of Denmark.

I had a truly magical time and have come home with a book full of sketches, inspiration and photographs. Marianne and Helga are both highly creative and inspiring designers. Both with their very own style and identity they have created a heaven of colour and tranquility that is the home of Isager…

…and the best news…they are coming to Ally Pally this year! (The Knitting & Stitching Show )

For the first time they will bring their beautiful yarns and designs to this great event. A great chance for you to come, feel and see all the yarns yourself and meet Helga Isager in person. I would love to meet you too, so go on and book your ticket now.

Hopefully see you there!



a knitting adventure – day 1

#isager #knitting #madewithloops#isager #knitting #madewithloops


After a rather hellish, almost fifteen hour drive, we arrived in Tversted near Skagen last night. As you can imagine we took it rather slowly this morning. A long sleep in, followed by a leisurely breakfast before Claudia took me to the Isager HQ.

She had promised me that I would like it, and boy did I like it. Like is really not enough to describe what I felt from the moment I saw the building and everything in it. Outside to the back there is a herb and flower garden with a small water feature, Japanese style, a dragon guarding and watching over proceedings. The back also hosts the dyeing station, perfectly organised for all manner of yarn dyeing fun, more about that in the next few days. There are areas to sit, enjoy a coffee in the sun and some knitting, as well as the stable of the resident Nordic Spelsau sheep.

It goes without saying that the inside was of even more interest to me, and as you can imagine many squeals of joy could be heard and a lot of fondling of yarn took place.

#isager #knitting #viscolin #palet #madewithloops


So much inspiration everywhere, so many lovely people to meet, truly a little Paradise. Just as well I am going to be going back every day for an entire week.

I hope you join me for the next step of the journey!


a knitting adventure begins

#watercolourpainting  #studio59 #markgittins

original watercolour by mark gittins

I am off on an adventure very early tomorrow morning! An adventure with my creative soul sister and co-producer Claudia. Together we are going on a knitting adventure in the far north of Denmark, near Skagen. We are staying in a beautiful Danish holiday house very close to the beach, a beach with beautiful white sand and natural dunes that stretch as far as the eye can see. With the North and Baltic Sea only a thin stretch of land apart, we are sure to enjoy some fabulous walks and beautiful sunsets. We will go in search of treasure washed ashore, shells, pieces of colourful glass, and maybe we will even find a little piece of Baltic Gold (Amber).

photo found on google images

photo found on google images

High on the agenda is research and inspiration gathering for future projects together, and I will be taking part in a three day workshop learning how to use natural, as well as synthetic dyes to hand paint yarn. This workshop will be taught by Claudia, who is the creative master behind all the Wollsinn hand painted yarns, and will take place at the headquarters of Isager Yarns.


To say that I am just a little bit excited is an understatement, I have been looking forward to this for ages. My case is packed, boarding pass printed and all I need to do is change some money at the airport.

As always, I will keep a travel journal, and providing there is WiFi at the holiday house you will be able to get an update most days here on the blog. Watch out for an interview with Marianne Isager and her daughter Helga coming soon too.

I leave you with a sneak peek of my latest design, “Santorini”, fresh off the needles. Pattern coming soon!

#knitting #shawl #design #madewithloops

Enjoy! X.


new design – teaser 2

… and so the story continues…

Isager Alpaca 2 and swatch, Karen Blixen's farm MBagathi in Africa, Her home Rungstedlund in Denmark, sample of design - photos all author's own

Isager Alpaca 2 and swatch, Karen Blixen’s farm MBagathi in Kenya, her home Rungstedlund in Denmark, sample of design – photos all author’s own

Shetland meets Africa and Denmark!
Launch date tomorrow 9 April 2015
All will be revealed!

Postcards from Rungstedlund







me at kb house


I finally made it to Rungstedlund! I waited many years to visit the home of one of my heroines, Karen Blixen, and finally I was there. There in the house where she lived most of her life, I walked the same wooden floors that she would have walked and sat on the same benches in her beautiful gardens that she would have sat on, enjoying the tranquility and listening to bird songs.

Karen Blixen (1885-1962) is one of Denmark’s major literary figures and her fame as a storyteller spread throughout the world. Karen was born at Rungstedlund, a former inn, purchased by her father in 1879. For 17 years she lived on a coffee farm in Kenya, running it with her husband, Bror von Blixen-Finecke. Following their separation, she took over responsibility for running the business and during that time she met the love of her life, the British safari leader Denys Finch-Hatton. In 1931, after the coffee farm was sold and Denys Finch-Hatton had tragically died in a plane crash, Karen Blixen returned to Denmark and moved in with her mother at Rungstedlund.

It was here that she wrote her most famous stories like Out of Africa and Babette’s Feast.


Karen Blixen died in 1962 and is buried in the large gardens under an impressive beech tree. Before her death she set up the Rungstedlund Foundation who look after the house and gardens. The museum is a great experience, with original furniture and everything set exactly as Karen Blixen left it. There are freshly cut flowers in vases throughout the rooms, just like she would have had to welcome her many guests that came to stay with her during her life.

I had the most wonderful day visiting Karen Blixen’s former home, feeling her presence almost everywhere I went. There is a small movie being shown in one of the museums rooms, featuring her voice. At times it felt as if she was talking to me about her times on the farm in Africa, the people she met there and how hard it was to never be able to return to see it.



An awe-inspiring day…

Enjoy! X.

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