When civil engineer Ingvild Hernes Lunde (@strikkingvild) moved into a new house in 2011, she discovered that her new neighbour (@heimestrikka_) was an eager knitter. When they both had kids at the same time two years later, knitting became a true connector between the two.
“She was a big inspiration for me – we both started knitting a lot together. It’s been a big cause for why I intensified my knitting – and for my Instagram profile,” explains the 36-year-old, who lives in Bergen but grew up in Voss. “We have a lot of evenings where we knit and chat – and we pick up a lot of inspiration, tips and advice from each other.”
The first picture she put up on her Instagram account was of the Bella top, which her neighbour helped her with. Ingvild soon became aware of all the inspiration, colours and patterns on social media, and dived into the knitting community head first.
“I’ve made so many friends who I haven’t even met yet – I’ve met one on holiday in Denmark, I’ve had a few people come to my house and I’ve met a couple for coffee in town. I’ve been to a few knitting festivals as well,” she says.
“But in 2015 when I joined, there weren’t that many designers – they’ve popped up throughout the last few years. It was mainly Lene Holme Samsøe, who I’m incredibly inspired by, @_strikkelisa_ who I’ve test knitted for, and Paelas,” she explains.
Ingvild doesn’t exactly know how she grew her following to 10,000 and beyond. “It’s crazy– I don’t make patterns or sell knitwear, and I don’t really think that what I make differentiates itself from what others are making. But I’ve been relatively active on Instagram and think it’s a fun thing to do. I like that there are no expectations – it’s up to me how often and when I post photos,” she says.
“Can you knit this for my classmate?”
As a mother-of-three, Ingvild usually has her hands full knitting clothes for her children. Her 7-year-old is obsessed with knitwear and constantly asks if she can knit this or that, in all different designs and colours.
“I don’t think my eldest has been to school many days without wearing something knitted,” she laughs. “I let my kids help pick their colours, from the range of colours I’ve chosen – I don’t let them pick freely. They also get to pick the design, because that lets them be part of the process.
“The next day, my eldest will come to me and say ‘are you done with the dress now?’ and I have to explain that it takes a bit longer. She has also previously come home and asked if I can knit dresses for her classmates, because they wanted rainbow dresses as well.”
But apart from knitting smaller garments like headbands for her children’s friends, Ingvild saves the bigger garments for her loved ones.
“Knitting gives me so much,” she says. “To sit and create something is incredible. I’m so proud when I manage to do something, and it’s so fun – especially when the kids want to wear it.”
Ingvild believes that part of the reason kids are more inclined to wear knitwear these days is the change from itchy wool. “Wool these days is a lot more comfortable and softer to wear,” she adds.
You can’t buy it in the shop
She believes people really notice what her kids are wearing – perhaps due to the strong colours and combinations.
“I brought my eldest to work one day, and she was wearing a lot of strong colours in different combinations, and people were commenting on it a lot, saying ‘they don’t sell clothes like that in the shops’,” says Ingvild, who hopes her kids will always want to wear what she knits. “In a few years, it might not be as cool, but we’ll see,” she adds.