Today we have a Guest post from Cathy Wycliff (Luvswool) on her textile journey in Norway.
Norway has been recently named the country with the “Happiest People” in the World.
My May vacation to Norway was a nature lover’s dream, which is part of their secret.
We traveled with a group of weavers and knitters through the beautiful countryside, which
was dotted with waterfalls, fjords, mountains and lush greenery.
First stop was Oslo, where we witnessed Norwegian pride as the country celebrated their
independence day with parades and flag waving. We visited the Viking Ship Museum,
where carefully restored Viking long ships are on display, circa 700-800. There were textile tools on display, but only a few textile fragments have survived through the centuries.
The next two weeks were spent traveling through the rural areas, one of which was Rauland in Central Southern Norway. We stayed at the Rauland Folk Arts Academy, where we studied and learned about tablet weaving and Norwegian traditional loom weaving. I thoroughly enjoyed the floor loom weaving but did not take well to the tablet weaving. No matter, you could weave what you wanted to weave, as long as a loom was open. We used primarily Glimakra and Oxaback Swedish made looms, which seem to be the standard for Scandinavian floor loom weaving.
This was a new experience in weaving for me, as I am a newish weaver and have never before woven using patterns. My Saori loom is a floor loom used primarily for artistic “free weaving,” although it could be used for other types of weaving as well. I enjoyed trying to follow a pattern at the Academy. After four days of weaving we were ready to move on.
We also learned Hardanger embroidery in the quaint town of Utne, which is tucked into a mountain range and located on a beautiful fjord. If my eyes were only 30 years younger, I might have become addicted to this fascinating, but time-consuming type of traditional “white on white” Norwegian embroidery.
We visited several historical textile mills and museums on the west coast of Norway. At Osteroy museum, we were fascinated by the ancient floor looms and large collection of traditional textiles.
After two weeks of beautiful scenery, wonderful food and amazing textile experiences, it was time to say goodbye to the happiest people in the world.
Cathy, thanks for sharing this beautiful and educational journey with us.