Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Seeking Scandinavia: Knitting and Yarn

I'm sure that you won't be surprised to learn that I was looking forward to exploring the knitting and yarn-y culture of Scandinavia on our trip last June. All three of the countries we visited have strong knitting traditions, and I saw evidence of those traditions in all three countries. Unfortunately, I don't have any photos with knitting/knitwear themes from Sweden, but I did visit a yarn store in Stockholm, which felt a lot like some of the yarn stores I've been to in the United States: many wonderful yarns, beautiful samples and a welcoming atmosphere.

I while I didn't get any knitwear photos in Sweden, I did get this photograph:

This is a Gute ram that I spotted at Skansen, a wonderful folk museum in Stockholm. Gute sheep are an early Swedish breed, native to the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.

After Stockholm, we took a train to Copenhagen, and I made up for my lack of photos in Sweden in a big way by visiting Woolstock, a knitting and embroidery cafe.

A bit of backstory here: a few months before our trip I came across a post about Woolstock on Ravelry that included a link to the cafe's Instagram feed. At that time (around the end of February/early March), the owner, Louise, had completed a successful Kickstarter campaign and had just located a space to rent. I started following her progress on Instagram, and it turned out that Woolstock opened the weekend before we arrived in Copenhagen. Of course, I had to go visit, so on a Sunday afternoon, after spending the morning in the Danish National Design Museum, Mr. D and I found our way there for lunch. What a special experience! Louise was so warm and welcoming, our lunch was delicious, and the cafe was delightful. Here's a little photo tour:

Danish yarn was purchased, of course, and here it is, along with my official Woolstock bag, which I'm also holding in the photo with Louise, above.

If you would like to get a bit more of the flavor of Woolstock, Kristy Glass visited Woolstock about two months after I did and she did a video of the cafe for her YouTube channel. You can view the video here.  (By the way, this is probably the only time that I will ever experience something in the knitting world  before Kristy Glass does!)

Woolstock was definitely the yarn-y highlight of the whole trip, but I did find a bit more knitting and yarn when we moved on to Norway. First, in Oslo, at the Norsk Folkemuseum, I saw some beautiful knitwear—traditional Norwegian sweaters, like this one:

In Bergen, I went to a yarn store, Norwegian Spirit, that was conveniently located in the train station. I didn't take any photos there, but I did buy some yarn.

The two yarns on the left are from the Norwegian indie dyer, Garnsurr. The owner trains refugees to dye her yarn, and in the process, teaches them to speak Norwegian. This was a wonderful cause to support, and the yarn is gorgeous! Tweedy Todd is also a Norwegian indie dyer, and this colorway really spoke to me—definitely my color!

I haven't knit with any of these yarns yet, but when I do, I'll share my projects with you here on the blog, and on Ravelry, too. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Where Have You Been?

You may—or may not—have noticed that posts from me have been missing for several months, and you may have been wondering where I was. I'm still here, knitting, taking photographs and living my normal life, but I had to take a break to deal with a somewhat serious health issue. Happily, that issue is mostly resolved, I'm feeling great, and the new year seemed like a good time to pick up the blog again.

In previous years, I've come up with a number of goals for the year, but this year, there is only one: write regular posts on my blog. I'm not sure what "regular" means, but for now I'm going to say at least once a month.

I have definitely been knitting over the past four months, so I'll show you a couple recent finished projects.

This is my Poncho Adventures in Laceland (link is to my Ravelry project page). The pattern is the Silk Road Wrap, designed by my friend, Kate. I cast this on over two years ago. I would work on it a bit and then put it in time out for longer than a bit. A few weeks ago, I got serious about working on it and I realized I was more than half finished, so I got busy and FINALLY finished it on New Year's Eve. It's already among my favorite projects ever, so it was definitely worth the 26-month wait.

Below is my In Memory of Dolphins, the Dancing Dolphins Hat, by Sonja Launspac Kunstwerk Designs. This project did not hang around for two years. It did hang around for a couple months, but the colorwork was completed in less than three weeks. It was a Christmas gift for my cousin, who has a special connection to dolphins.

I'm especially pleased with how even my floats are!
That's it from me for today, but I will be back soon. Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!