Every once in a while, in amongst the sea of emails that try to drown you every day, one jumps out at you in your inbox and you read something rather exciting.
That’s what happened to us a month ago when we were approached by Australian Country Spinners with the offer of co-hosting an evening with Norway’s most famous export – no, not Carlsberg beer - textile designers Arne & Carlos! We were understandably pretty excited and after excitedly jumping up and down quite a lot we quickly replied with a ‘yes please’.
And then it became one of those events that just took on a life of its own and happened effortlessly – everything about it was right – the boys were a huge drawcard, and everyone we mentioned it to wanted to come, so the tickets sold out in a matter of days, to our regulars, their friends, even people from interstate who’d never previously shopped at Crumbz. Heather the events manager at Healesville Hotel took the event on personally and handled all the logistics beautifully at her end, and goodies bags were compiled and yarn kits prepared for the big night.
But nothing could have prepared us for just how fantastic Arne & Carlos would be as presenters. Talk about entertainers! Australian Country Spinners had brought them out from Norway to Australia on tour, to showcase a collaboration between Cleckheaton’s Superfine Merino yarn and the European knitting duo – who had designed an easy-to-knit collection using the stunning yarn, grown here in Australia – so a tour here was the perfect way to showcase it.
100 people packed the dining room at Healesville Hotel and enjoyed canapés and a glass of something before Brenda McGahan, CEO of Australian Country Spinners, opened the evening with a presentation to give us some background about their company and yarns.
When Arne & Carlos were passed the microphone it wasn’t long before laughter was ringing out around the room as they amused us with tales of their life back home in Norway, where summer temperatures reach just above freezing and where it’s light at 11.30pm. It was fascinating to hear about their earlier careers and their decision to move from Oslo to a remote part of northern Norway to run their business from home.
Poor Carlos regaled us with tales of the old railway station ‘dream home’ Arne bought one weekend and which he arrived at for the first time, after a rather long drive. It wasn’t quite the idyllic picture he’d been imagining, in fact the piles of gravel and run down house were quite a shock, and the concrete platform was another mental hurdle that required quite a leap – pretty much the house needed totally renovating and a garden designing and creating from scratch!
Their ‘can do’ attitudes and opposite styles of approaching life seem to work harmoniously and the before and after shots they showed us of their home and gardens (above and below) they are now enjoying are truly inspiring. We can now enjoy picturing them back home, knitting away in their garden, wrapped in their blankets, watching the light and the changing colours in their garden and taking them as inspirations for their projects. It will be exciting to follow them and see if any Australiana colours influence their future works, as they were delighted by our trees and colourful birdlife.
I wasn’t alone in wishing they could have talked for longer (many of you included this in your feedback) as we were enjoying the amusing photos and accompanying stories they were sharing, of comments they receive about their Christmas balls, Magnus Cyrus mouse on his wrecking ball, the number of hits their provocative doll received on social media – the pair could have entertained us for hours.
Their Q&A session ended with them posing for photos and happily signing peoples’ patterns and then they came down to the shop as people were buying their project kits to go home and knit up an Arne&Carlos throw or scarf.
Many of you know Alison our knitting teacher – and won’t be surprised to learn that she embraced Arne & Carlos’ visit wholeheartedly, knitting up a pair of Arne & Carlos birds and blushing with delight as they posed with her for photos after signing her collection of their books! She is an accomplished soft toy knitter so was in her element with them. If you’d like to have a go at any of their designs or would like to try your hand at knitting a soft toy, Alison is the perfect teacher so book yourself in for a knitting lesson and she’ll guide you every step of the way.
Shara our Crochet guru (teacher) even included Arne&Carlos in her latest Shara Made podcast. They were quite a hit!! And I’m already looking forward in years to come, to pulling on their scarf and remembering how fun it was to meet them in person, hear their stories and meet the brains behind the scarf I’m enjoying wearing – craft is like that, every piece we make has a story of who gave us the yarn or where we first saw the pattern or who made it for us or how many times we had to undo it and start again!
If you’d like to hear of future events Crumbz Craft will be running, sign up to our newsletter here. And if you’d like to purchase the Arne&Carlos scarf or throw bundle and get 5% off, just enter ARNE&CARLOSBLOG in the promotional code box at the checkout.