Episode 73 – Danish Designer – Bente Geil

We have a varied program for you in Episode 73 with two highly contrasting feature interviews. First, we go to Denmark to interview the designer Bente Geil, who is very well known in Scandinavia for her designs and her beautiful yarn brand Geilsk. Bente has actually done a Bachelor’s Degree in Handcraft, so she brings a lot of knowledge to her designing. Her very clever designs unusually cover the full range of 12 sizes which is fantastic!

Our second interview is with Nancy Irlbeck, who is a Professor in the Animal Science department at Washington State University. Nancy is extremely passionate about sheep and wool production as well as preserving the rare breeds. This is a super interesting interview because Nancy has a great understanding of the relationship between sheep and humans both from an animal scientist perspective but also at a very deep personal level. One of her greatest joys is teaching young people to work with sheep and to understand them. Apart from that, we take you to a stunning 13th century Welsh castle with amazing views, we announce the winners for our Cable and Lace KAL and give you an update on our projects.

Bente Geil

Bente is well known in Denmark as a designer and as a yarn producer with her brand Geilsk. Her patterns are very popular in Scandinavia and increasingly so in Europe. This is because they combine great craftsmanship with a typically simple Scandinavian style that’s fun and quirky. Bente has a masterful knowledge of fitting the female body and has a special focus on the larger lady. Her pattern sizing goes from around a 30 inch bust to a 55 inch bust, with a total of 12 sizes.

Many of Bente’s designs are designed to be worn in a couple of different ways. Ulrike, the owner of my LYS carries Bente’s yarn range and she loves and highly recommends them. She also really enjoys knitting Bente’s patterns both because of the Danish aesthetic and the quirky way the designs are constructed. You don’t have to be an advanced knitter to enjoy knitting them. There is a lot of easy plain knitting in the patterns.

Patron Discount – Bente Geil

Bente is offering our patrons a generous 20% discount off everything in her online store. Bente has a multitude of patterns for women, men and children. The patterns can be bought separately or together with the recommended yarn in yarn kits. You will find everything that she offers at her online webshop or you can buy her patterns only at Ravelry. Patrons will get the discount at both places and the exact details for this discount can be found as usual on the Patreon site.

Finding Bente Geil

Nancy Irlbeck

Nancy Irlbeck is our guest for the second feature interview. Nancy has a PhD in animal nutrition and for most of her career she has been teaching University students all about nutrition, wool and the ‘hands-on’ skills of raising sheep. She is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about sheep and wool, including the different sheep breeds and the important of keeping genetic diversity.

One of Nancy’s greatest joys is to teach young people how to work with sheep.

This interview will be interesting to all of us who want to increase our appreciation of this amazing fibre – wool that we really love working with, but it will be a special treat for those of you who either have sheep or dream of having your own sheep one day.

Finding Nancy Irlbeck

Andrea’s Hiking Jacket

Andrew has finally finished my hiking jacket and as you can see (pictured above) we are both wearing our hiking jackets. We think of these designs as our ‘Snowdon Hiking Jackets’ because they are replacements for hiking fleece jackets and are named after Mount Snowdon in north Wales. We take our annual Christmas holiday in Snowdonia and have climbed the summit of Snowdon now about 5-6 times. We are very much in love with the very dramatic scenery there.

Dolwyddelan Castle


While we are on the topic of Snowdonia we also take you on a hike through the area and show you some very stunning scenery.

We end the hike at a 13th century castle ruin Dolwyddelan Castle which was built by Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd and Wales.

Aberdeen Argyll by Martin Storey

I fell in love with Martin’s design Aberdeen from his book Scottish Heritage Knits not just because of its argyle patterning, which I love, but also because of the fantastic colour combination he used. I have tried to keep that colour combination using the Rowan Felted Tweed as a substitute for the no longer available Rowan Fine Tweed. His book Scottish Heritage Knits is no longer in print but you may be able to find a second hand copy on ebay or amazon.

Sculpted Frost by Linda Marveng

The back piece of my Sculpted Frost is finished and blocked, so I can accurately measure it and check my maths is correct. I’m knitting at a gauge that is very different to the pattern’s gauge which keeps me on my toes. So far, so good!

Cables and Lace KAL

Our two winners are entry no. 46 Mttcavin and entry no. 49 BikingBob. A huge congratulations to the winners and to every one who took part and contributed to all the discussion.

What are we wearing?

We are both wearing our Snowdon Hiking jackets designed by Andrea and knitted by Andrew – what a team! In the interview with Nancy Irlbeck Andrea is wearing Alice Starmore’s Eala Bhan

Music Credits

7 thoughts on “Episode 73 – Danish Designer – Bente Geil”


    Help! I recently watched a tutorial Andrea did on stranded color knitting, how to avoid long floats by twisting the yarn in the back of the knitting (maybe). How do I re-locate this? I’m a new watcher and patron and LOVE your podcasts. I’m learning so much! Thanks

    1. Hi Priscilla. Thank you for your support. You can try this link to find all the Tutorials on Patreon. When we get a free moment (…) we want to put together an index to the tutorials for our Patrons. But you should find it on Patreon – keep scrolling down! Cheers, A + A.

  2. I saw you two dancing at the Edinburg event! What a beautiful couple you are. Can’t wait for the next podcast, they just get better and better.

    1. Thank you, Bonnie! The ceilidh is heaps of fun – even if you don’t know how the dances go! We’re working on the next Episode – the EYF special – so hang in there! A + A.

  3. This episode was fabulous! Bento Geil was fun, and I LOVED the Nancy Irlbec interview. As a concerned animal advocate, it’s reassuring to learn about a shepherdess who’s so knowledgeable and who takes such good care of her flock. The sheep were adorable – and also Jack!
    Andrea, your interview questions are the best. I just learned about Fruity Knitting a few weeks ago and have been binge watching in no particular order. Thank you for giving me something to look forward to every day!

  4. Andrea,

    I wonder if you finished the beautiful Aberdeen by Martin Storey? I’ve been excited to see it and hear your thoughts about it’s ease or difficulties before I try it. I found the book at a rare bookstore online.

    Thanks for an update,

    1. Hi Langel. It was put on-hold for the summer. I’ll give Andrea a poke and see what’s happening with it. My recollection was that it wasn’t particularly difficult, but I think it was a fairly fine gauge. I think you should go for it. It’s very groovy! Andrew

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