Nina Granlund Sæther’s love of knitting, sewing, embroidery and crochet started before going to school. She’s a trained craft teacher, and in 1987 she started her career as a journalist working for a Norwegian Arts and Crafts Magazine. She’s currently the editor in chief in Hus & Bolig, and in 2013 was honoured for her work by The Norwegian Specialized Press Association. She is now well-known for creating original and striking pieces in a Scandinavian-influenced style. We asked Nina about her favourite crafts, her inspiration and her book, Making Cushions & Pillows…
Which type of craft do you prefer – knitting, crochet, sewing or embroidery?
“That’s difficult, because I love them all. If I had to choose, I would say knitting, but for the last six months it’s been embroidery and stitching.”
Do you think that handmade cushions are better than shop-bought cushions?
“Handmade cushions are not necessarily better, but much more fun! It gives you an extraordinary feeling and makes you proud in a way that shop-bought cushions can’t: “Look, I made this!”. You can also make cushions that nobody will have ever seen before, and your sofa can become your own art gallery.”
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
“I find inspiration everywhere; I look at old artworks from, for instance, the late 1800s, and work by today’s famous designers. I read a lot of magazines and books – picking up one detail here and another there.”
Which is your favourite project from the book?
“My favourite projects are absolutely the newspaper cushions. I was so happy when I found out that I could make the front page of The New York Times from April 1912 and London Herold from July 1969 in crochet. I think it is because I’ve been working as a journalist and editor for so many years.“
How many cushions do you have at home?!
“Ooooh… I have a big house and several sofas. I think I have 13 or 14 pillows in use at home. And I have some at my summer cottage too.”
Do you have any tips for someone who has never made a cushion before?
“Start with something simple like granny squares; they are easy to make.“
What is your favourite method of fastening – zips, buttons, sewn closed?
“I think I prefer buttons. I used to find zips a little scary, but after writing the book, they don’t worry me any more!”
When did you start making things?
“Very early, long before school. An old lady next door taught me to crochet, and my mother taught me how to knit. I think I made my first sweater when I was nine.“
What was the first thing you ever made?
“I can’t remember the very first thing, but I do remember making dresses for my Barbie doll from my father’s old ties. I just cut the tie to the right length and made holes for the arms.“
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