Do you ever go to a function or an event and only think afterward of all the outfits you might have worn, instead of what you happened to throw on that morning? Well, that happened to me this past weekend. This was Yulefest at the Nordic Heritage Museum. A wonderful event – Nordic handicrafts, food and music spread over 2 days. And a dazzling array of colourful sweaters was to be seen. Plus many people in traditional dress as they demonstrated folk dancing and music from different parts of Scandinavia. And it was a cold weekend so what a great chance to wear one’s heavy sweaters. Yes, bitterly cold. I thought I was back in New England as the storm swept in.
But before we even were able to enter the Museum, people were streaming out of the building because the fire alarm had just gone off. And then it happened again later, as it had happened even earlier – 3 times in all. No actual fire which is just as well but maybe a fault in the system?? Those warm sweaters were very welcome protection against the cold.
the Seattle Fire Department on the scene
waiting outside for the firemen to investigate
this is an image from Annemor Sundbo’s book Everyday Knitting. The sweaters being worn by most people there at Yulefest were not the traditional handknits like theses but rather the Dale of Norway machine knit ones – very colourful but I still don’t really like the feel or the weight of them. I did find some Icelandic sweaters that were handknit and I thought long and hard about buying an unusual one done in black and red and yellow. In the end I didn’t buy it, remembering that I already have an Icelandic sweater and I haven’t worn it all that much. Still, the one for sale was very unusual and striking – who knows, maybe I’ll see it again and I will succumb, rather than getting around to knitting another one myself.
On Saturday it slowly dawned on me that yes, I too had a few colourful Scandinavian items but the cold snap had come so suddenly that I hadn’t made the transfer clothingwise.
this is my Icelandic knit, which I designed myself and knit with Lopi Lite
another one of my handknits which I designed myself. I knit it from the top down. And I used an old Norwegian book published in 1965, Norwegian Knitting Designs. Now out of print. It had straight forward and simple instructions for how to go about knitting a sweater that way.
I did wear this scarf and received many compliments. It is a Shetland knit which I purchased in a shop on the Royal Mile leading down from Edinburgh Castle. At the time I just wanted a sample of Shetland lace knitting. That was before my trip to Mull in 2004 when I met Liz Lovick and actually tried a bit of lace knitting myself. I think that shop on the Royal Mile is long gone now, sadly. They were in the process of closing when I was there. Alas, no more Shetland yarn to be purchased there.
Incidentally, speaking of Mull and things Icelandic, a friend and I found several books of Lopi Icelandic designs when we rummaged on the lower shelves of the general store in Fionnphort where you get the ferry to Iona. Fionnphort is also where I found a few of the Jane Duncan My Friends paperbacks which I have mentioned elsewhere. A man supporting the R.N.L.I. had used paperbacks for sale in his garage and all proceeds went to that worthy cause.
waiting outside the Museum for the all-clear
these dancers from the Skandia group were wonderful
my Norwegian classroom was transformed into the Bodega. Good spiced wine available there! Just right for the next day when I came in after riding my bike in the cold (this was before the snow which came the next day).
another very Norwegian looking item in my wardrobe. Ian bought this for me in the Joyce Forsythe shop in the Cornmarket in Edinburgh
I couldn’t resist purchasing these items at the Yulefest – beautiful handknit mittens. Fingerless mittens. And a crochet lady – isn’t she a gem! I never thought the day would come when I would find such an item attractive.
the tin whistle and the accordion in the Kaffestuger