It was time to meet my fellow knitters. After a very early start, the plane dumped me at Gotland airport, and luckily I found other knitters in the same predicament. We shared a cab all the way to the middle of the Gotland Island - Hemse (read: This means too far from swimming in the heat!) First day was great! I really felt like a lot of people actually wanted to meet me, which created a warm fuzzy feeling. A lot of dear hello's, and many familar faces. And also some new... What a great start. After a long introduction of all the teachers we could finally get into knitting: I took a short course with special pattern used in Sweden but probably from Faroese or something (no one never credits the right person for a pattern, sigh)... clumsy translation: lift hank, lay hank, knit hank and stitch together. That created this nice thick pattern. (A bit weird starting this knitting though, you have to read the pattern carefully). This course was tought by one of those really important strong knitting women, Kerstin Nilsson, who arranged last years knitting symposium in Åsa. She is a very entertaining speaker and has a lot of knowledge, but I heard rumors she is waiting on her pension, probably leaving this carousel and becoming private. Well earned, since she has been working at Hemslöjden for many, many years. Her true soul is of course with BINGE, a traditionally Swedish pattern group (and totally screwed up in some english written pattern books). So the "lay hank .."-pattern looks great in both thick yarn and thinner yarn, but should be knitted to 5 to 6mm needles. Not as fast growing, as one could think. But, as some patterns with a story, a very interesting experience to knit. In the evening we heard an seminar about Gotland's knitting tradition from a non-Gotland women Birgitta (who only lived there 26 years!) (OT: This says all about an attitude that I just can't understand. We all live in the same world? Who is counting years?) We got a Gotland history of knitting through her speculation, which I rather liked.Who knows without research, and unfortunately this women power have never been in focus or documented in such detal, that it can be truely known. Therefore the blogs will serve as a great research database for the future. But, Gotland knitting tradition with "trojkellingar" (hmm. sweaterwomen), was very interesting how these women earned something for themseleves. The Gotland pattern collection and recording is saved only because one Women: And a lot of the thanks goes to Hermanna Stengård, a strong women living many years ago (end of 1800), that collected knitted artifacts, and copied down their unique patterns. It has been documented in a book, "Gotländsk Sticksöm" which I have managed to get a copy of some years ago. Just an amazing book. Do not even try to look for it - It is an antique. But, since I'm a pupil of Britt-Marie Christoffersson, the number one mentor of all knitting for the last decades in Sweden (like US Elisabeth Zimmerman) , I already new most of this. Britt-Marie has been presented before on this blog, and I think almost all teachers and current knitting designers in Sweden is a pupil of hers. And I owe all my skills in knitting to her. Of course my first break I sneaked into Solveig's Bohus class,
and checked out her new patterns. Having broken her arm, she confessed she has been very bad for a long time - no colouring or knitting, so it was such a warm meet. I truely respect this wonderful women. Her coloursense is beyond words. I so much hope she will find strength to give the world more Bohus patterns as accurately as she does. It is such a true and rich pattern treasure, the world would be poorer without it. Finally my favourite collar is created. Look at Marianne posing in Grey mist. She does not look happy. But she, a wonderful friend really is one of those warm and generous persons. Second picture here Marianne is posing in the great yellow lace collar. Of course in my collection and on needles, but not that far gone. But, the true news here is "the Egg", small picture, which I of course immediately bought.
These very intricate patterns in the wonderful merino-angora (50-50) yarn is the peak of luxury. It is so filled with status, that one person told me, (story probably origin from Solveig in class, but great stories spread fast),anyway, this women had stopped some distance from Solveigs stand and started to cry when she say that blue shimmer was for sale as a yarn pack, since that was one of her highest wish in life, to become so wealthy to be able to own a true Bohus Sweater. Get it? Beyond our comprehension. But I have no problem crying over a Bohus pattern, it just moves me to tears too. It is so sensual at the touch to do these patterns. They are so great. And, my weird mind cannot remember the other new patterns name on this last picture (which is a bit fuzzy), but you get the picture? Beyond words. Note, Blue shimmer is not in these pictures. But on my needles. Also, For those US readers, do not miss my very distant Swedish friend that runs One of Susanna's, and makes it more easy to get Solveig's patterns in the US! Did that end day one? No, it became so busy and late that my head was spinning (hihi) before I fell asleep after a lot of knitting and discussions in the nice Swedish summer-evening.