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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October 9, 2012

October 9, 2012
Home Again with Stories

July 14 through August 18 found the Connors aboard the MS Maasdam of the Holland America Line. The cruise was called the Voyage of the Vikings and we following the route of the Vikings complete with wind and high seas. We were thankful to be on a luxury liner instead of an open ship like the original Vikings.

Along with the Viking experience this was also a knitting cruise. I took several classes onboard and  made several new and wonderful friends. Thanks to the telephone, e-mail, and Ravelry we are keeping in contact.

To some of the knitters this was a 35-day shopping trip. However, Ed and I were there to see the countries and to visit with local fiber folk. If we saw a yarn shop and had time, we went in. Even with such good intentions I came home with a few (too many??) skeins! I plan to get this Blog updated and will tell stories and show pictures here. Since this piece was originally written for the Yuma (Arizona) Weavers and Spinners, this article will be limited to weaving.

Right now I have to stop and BRAG. I’ve been to Greenland. I actually stepped foot on that land, and I bought, well, some yarn with the label Greenland, and of course at least one book. So that vast chunk of ice that I’ve looked at on maps since childhood is now real. Oh yes, I picked up a couple of small rocks so a bit of Greenland is right here in Wisconsin.

Autographed copy of apparently a bio of
a well known weaver. Also contains
beautiful pictures of the area and her
weaving drafts. I should be able to
figure out the drafts.

I visited a handcraft shop in Molde,Norway and saw the most beautiful Finn weave I have ever seen. This is something I must learn! I also bought a couple of weaving books in Norway and several magazines. Beautiful pictures, but unless I learn Norwegian or fiddle with Google Translator the text will remain a mystery.

The current issue of a
handcraft magazine which
features various artists including
a group of weavers. Surely wish
I could read this one.

Festband is devoted to card weaving.
It includes one technique which
looks just like knitting, but is
in fact card weaving. The book
has good diagrams so a card
weaver should be able to figure
it out. My friends, Erika or Elaine would
be just the ones to do that!

These magazines seems to emphasize
regional historic costumes. Photography
is beautiful and there are a couple
of knitting patterns which I should be able
to follow.

This is the Finn Weave shown in Molde, Norway

The reverse side of the weaving on the left.
To learn more about Finn weave go to the following links:
Another beautiful piece of
Finn Weave in Molde.

Leaf Bread
We also visited a most interesting shop in Akureyri, Iceland. In the old days flour was very precious because the climate was not conducive to growing the type of wheat necessary for bread. Thus flour was used sparingly, however, at Christmas a special cookie called "leaf bread" was made. Actually it was somewhat limited to Northern Iceland.

Tool used for cutting the bread.
The dough was rolled flat and cut into a circle with a special cutter. Designs were formed by slitting and folding the dough. As a note, this same type of design is made with paper and has now entered quilt designs in the US.

Door to the shop.
The young woman who ran this shop was executing this design and some traditional Norwegian  designs in brass, glass and textiles.  She designed towels and had them woven in Finland because she said there was not a good weaving tradition in Iceland and she could not get good quality textiles. They were woven with cotton and linen. The two combined for color changes in the item. Naturally I bought a couple of towels and a brass ornament.

Textile end of the shop.
Towel with leaf bread design
Also shows the wrong side.
The combination of linen and cotton
form the color changes.

Towel with Norwegian design
Towel with leaf bread design
Also shows the wrong side.
The combination of linen and cotton
form the color changes.
Can you feel the Icelandic sunshine in these windows? This was a very sunny day, but also very windy.  I really liked Iceland, and I think I would enjoy living there.  We also saw it in the rain, in fact, we got very wet!!
 Learn more about Leaf Bread here:
Making Leaf Bread

leaf bread iceland

That's all for today. Next we shall visit Newfoundland with knitting, knitting, knitting!

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