Friday, August 4, 2017

Souvenirs



Traveling abroad means bringing back souvenirs...and for me, this often means visiting a knitting shop and purchasing the local yarn to bring back home to make with it my own souvenir.  Yup.  I did it when I visited the Orkneys six years ago.  Purchased some North Ronaldsay wool, brought it home, spun it, and knitted it into wrist warmers and a headband, each christened with horn buttons from the self-same sheep breed.  On the rare occasion when I wear them, I always smile to think of the Orkney Islands with their spiritual Standing Stones...


This time, whilst in Bergen, Denmark, we visited a charming shop.  Bergen is almost fairy tale-ish in its charm, with its colorful buildings and steep-pitched roofs, to the shop windows filled with eye-catching knitwear and trolls (yes, they are everywhere in Bergen).  Why, even their manholes are charming!  I fell in love with the beautiful knitwear on display, as well as a darling antique yarn winder (they always steal my heart).  Perched on the top shelf, too, was a Norwegian wheel.  Beautiful, isn't it? It was there that I picked up a nice ball of Peer Gynt 100% Norsk wool, a lovely deep charcoal grey...







We knew we were on to something...even a sculpture on our ship reminded us to stay on our mission. We dubbed her the "Knitting Lady," but joked that perhaps she should be called the "Nutty Lady," as she was really holding her needles all wrong.  Way wrong, lol!


Our next knitting purchase was in Isafjordur, Iceland, from a lovely shop where I purchased two balls of Lopi Yarn, a set of 5 needles, and hand carved buttons from Denmark.  I plan to use those on the vest I am knitting.  Such a cute shop, and the proprietor "packaged" our purchases in hand sewn, recycled worn material with her logo stamped on it.  Too cool.  I fell for the rich pumpkin and brown shades...perhaps because I am subconsciously craving autumn...


The last knitting purchase was in Scotland at Cawdor Castle, home of the Cawdor Campbells, which may very well be my ancestry. Beautiful old castle and lovely grounds...


Lo and Behold! we saw a Wool Shop right there on the grounds, and managed to purchase some black Hebridean wool shorn from the Castle sheep...


I'd say we did it just right, having found local wool from each country we visited!  We decided to do a little "free knitting" (sans patterns) on the way home, and I will be making it into a pumpkin mat...adding an Northern Isles Raven, of course...



© 2017 Nancy Duncan

2 comments:

  1. how wonderfully beautiful! ~ from the shops' windows to the wool....castles and trolls oh my stars! I wish I could say I enjoyed knitting....it has frustrated me since childhood, even once had to cut the yarn off my needles from being so tight! {totally serious there}.
    I think this Winter I shall learn...wish we were closer, I would come learn at your side my friend ~
    Lori

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    1. Oh, haha! I'm no expert, believe me! I have knit a few lovely things, but I wrestle with the accurateness of knitting. It's quite mathematical, and I much prefer the freedom of embroidering and stitching-at-will. :) I wish we were closer, too...we could cut the yarn off our needles together while the Winter winds howled. ;)

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