Saturday, 10 November 2007

Norwegian Fibre Adventures

I wrote this post a while ago, but I hadn't taken any relvant pictures, and work has been more than usually ridiculous. 60 hour weeks. That sort of thing.

So, fibre adventures in Norway.
I didn't get to do as much as I would have liked, but I did get to do more than I'd planned, so I can't complain.

The first fibre related thing I did was to buy some gloves. We took the ferry over from Tørvikbygd to Jondal in order to go and visit the glacier. Just outside the ferry car park there was a little charity shop (I think) full of hand-knitted and crocheted things. My hands were cold, and the fingerless gloves fit my silly little hands. Plus, they're sort of sweet, and like absolutely nothing I would ever knit.

Fingerless Norwegian gloves
Exhibit A

At the nearest town of reasonable size (Norheimsund) there was a lovely yarn shop which I spent some time in. I eventually bought this Ego Tweed yarn because it was just so lovely. I have no idea what to do with it, but that's what stash is for, isn't it? They had lots of other lovely yarns, but I have come to the realisation that moving back to Australia really means that I should be looking for cotton and silk yarns, or thinking about making bags. For all practical purposes, the number of scarves I need in Australia is zero. (Well, maybe one if I plan on taking a winter holiday in New Zealand.)

Ego Tweed

I did visit a couple of yarn shops in Bergen, but although they did have lovely yarn, there wasn't anything I needed. Plus, since we spent rather longer than intended at the place of interest mentioned below, we were rather strapped for time.

My partner pointed out to me that there was a advert for the Norwegian Knitting Industry Museum on our tourist map, and that it was just north of Bergen. I have no idea what possessed her to mention this, but I'm grateful that she did. We went there. They seemed rather surprised to see us, but gave us a tour anyway (I suspect they mainly cater to school groups). The flat knitting machines were cool. The circular knitting machines were cool. The drum carders were not only cool, but seriously pretty. The spinning, winding and plying machines also had a certain cool quality. There was a film about the factory's history, which indicated that they mainly manufactured men's underwear from a cotton/wool mix until they started being unable to compete with the Asia. They were saved briefly in the 70s by a fashion obsession with 'icelandic' sweaters, which they were able to make easily and fairly cheaply, but eventually had to close down. There was fine-gague knitting goodness and a lot of 19th century machinery. What more could a girl want? This girl, anyway.

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