Behovet av värme

En påminnelse om Maria Knappmakerskans behov av garn och plagg! Om du har bra garn i gömmorna, skänk dem till Maria och hennes stickare! Eller sticka plagg och skänk dem i stället. Eller få garn av Maria, sticka, och ge henne de färdiga plaggen.


Jag är en sockstickare. Jag stickar långt fler sockor än jag och familjen hinner använda. Jag samlar dem i min låda, och emellanåt tömmer jag den och ger innehållet åt knappmakerskan, som jag vet att jag kan lita på. Sockorna hamnar där de ska.

Spinning with friends in Sweden


In August I was in Sweden and met old and new spinning friends. The photo above is from Luleå, where spinners meet quite often to spin together. As you can see, E-spinners are popular! Nancy is showing her blending board, and Yvonne is spindling.


Fibers! Britt-Marie is a skilled dyer.


More fibers. The group members buy, sell, and swap fibers. I came home with lovely red and green BFL/silk tops, and a beautiful grey Cashmere/silk top that I long to spin. I also have several bags of fleece.

After a couple of lazy and fun days in Luleå with Britt-Marie, we went still further north to Överkalix, where a couple of new spinners met up. We stayed at a self catering cottage, and spun in the evening before the final day of Överkalix Craft Week, when we spun in public in an old house that is now a museum.


The main building is an impressive building, especially when you know how harsh the conditions have been here in the north. It’s filled with beautiful furniture and artefacts, and also has a fine textile collection.


There are two rows of rooms in the house. Two spinning wheels, painted blue as they often are in northern Sweden:



A distaff for flax tow:


More distaffs:


The furniture is gorgeously decorated.


Louise Ström, one of Sweden’s best band weavers, taught a weaving class in the old house. These are some of her tablet woven bands:


A man showed ropes and cords made from different animal fibers: camel, yak, horse etc.


I forgot to take photos of us spinning in public in that fascinating house… so I can’t show any. But here’s a display of Swedish wools shown by one of the sellers at the market place:


Sweden has a lot of interesting old sheep breeds, with wools from harsh to super fine and soft. I have only spun Swedish Finull and Gotland so far.

Kasper stayed at home with hubby, but I wasn’t totally dog-less. Britt-Marie’s two lovely dogs kept me company once in a while:


I was invited by my friends to Luleå and Överkalix, and I enjoyed it so much! Thank you all, and special thanks to Britt-Marie who kindly invited me to stay in her home!


First: my skilled brother made a notebook cover of leather for me. “Can you draw a ram’s head?” I asked him a couple of weeks ago. He could. It’s so beautiful!


This may be one of the last beautiful autumn days. The threshing is late this year, so we haven’t been able to walk in the fields until now. It’s also been very rainy and cold. Kasper is getting old, he’s 11 years now. He’s never liked to wet his feet, unlike a lot of other dogs. But he still takes long walks with hubby. With me he just shuffles along investigating things of interest for a dog.


He loves the fields just like me. The open space, the beautiful colours every time of the year.


The lustre of straw.


The last green blades of oats for a dog to eat!


And now he’s lost interest in my doings and clearly intends to run somewhere else. There are a bunch of greyhounds, laikas and other dogs in the direction Kasper’s nose is pointing. At this point I call him and put him on leash. He doesn’t protest, but if I’m not alert he runs too far away to bother to listen to me any longer.


Reflexions in water, always so fascinating. You don’t need much water or dramatic sceneries!


But this tree I feel sorry for. I don’t think it suffers like humans and animals suffer, but it doesn’t feel good to look at it. The barbed wire comes out on the other side. The pine is slowly eating it.


At home painting is slowly progressing. The next time we’ll get someone else to do this. It’s not a job for two elderly people with all kinds of disabilities like osteoarthritis and dizziness on high ladders. We can’t paint all of the white parts this year due to bad weather. Some of the boards surrounding the windows have to be replaced, so they have to wait for next summer also. But on the whole we’re satisfied. The new lighter red colour we chose makes the house much brighter. There are also new doors waiting to be installed, hopefully within a couple of weeks.


Hectic summer

Ordinary summer activities have filled my summer. It was cold and rainy for two months, so my attempts to grow herbs weren’t very successful. But the mini tomatoes in their mini green house gave lots of yummy tomatoes, and some of the garden flowers also liked the “British” weather.thumb_IMG_0350_1024 thumb_IMG_3564_1024

Hubby found a few cloud berries:





We’re fixing the house on the outside. The old earth paint had worn off, and some of the wood panel had to be replaced. I love to paint, hubby hates it. I can understand why when I sit in my room on the second floor and see him struggling on the ladder:


I paint the lower parts, and I love how it looks! It looks even better after I’ve painted the white parts also. Here they’re still in the old paint:


I spun in public a couple of times, and had friends visiting. Here’s Carina with her carders at Stundars, and I’m spinning.


Later in July I taught a wool class for an Estonian group:




In August I visited Carina in Sweden, and saw her lovely Dalapäls sheep, one of the Swedish native sheep breeds:



I met old and new spinning friends. Three nationalities in Carina’s kitchen: Carina and her daughters, Britt-Marie and Ingrid from Sweden, Natalie from UK, and me behind the camera from Finland:


Natalie’s Turkish spindles:


Scandinavians see European elks every now and then out in the wild, but we seldom see them as close as we could see them in Älgens hus, a park with elks you can actually touch! We loved it, and Natalie was excited, as she’s been out in the woods twice in Sweden trying to see an elk without succeeding. A note: European elk is a different animal than the American moose. You often see “moose” used for the European elk, but if you want to be precise,  call it “European Elk”. More on Wikipedia.


They are impressive! I’m so happy I had the opportunity to see them like this!

We wouldn’t be spinners if we didn’t think about spinning elk hair – but it’s not very tempting when you see it close. The guard hair is stiff and wiry, and the wool hair is shorter than short:


My trip in Sweden continued with two spin ins and one Spin in Public. I’ll show pics in another post, so I finish this post with the gorgeous young elk bull:



Only in Swedish today – but for your information, dear English speaking and reading friends: a friend and I went to a world wide knitting day event (only there were no knitters…) to crochet and spin for two days.

Knappmakerskan / Garnmorskan Maria och jag åkte söderut till Kristinestad för att virka och spinna i två dagar. Det var Öppna Portar i staden, man kunde gå in på folks gårdar och titta på deras vackra trädgårdar nu när grönskan är som skirast och vackrast, och försommarens blommor slagit ut. Det var också vänortsbesök från Danmark, och under de två dagarna träffade Maria och jag många turister från andra orter i Finland.


Här sitter Maria i ett tält och monterar en filt av mormorsrutor. Nån timme senare flyttade vi inomhus, för trots att solen visade sig ibland var det kallt. Försäljarna i sina bodar var ordentligt påpälsade, men på söndagen blev det ändå väldigt kallt för dem. I husen runtom innergården fanns en keramiker och en dockhusutställning, och en Vänstuga där man fick mat och kaffe.


Maria och jag fick sitta i en underbar lokal: Kristinestads hemslöjdsförenings vävstuga. Arrangörerna hade ställt ut 150 par sockor som ska delas ut till behövande:


De hade också en fin utställning med virkade sängöverkast. Här är en detalj av ett överkast, den kända ruta som ibland kallas Gagnefrutan tror jag. Ni får gärna hojta till om jag minns fel!thumb_IMG_0250_1024

Jag hade med mig några sländor. En av dem var min älskade Precious, den lilla minibossien i pink ivory från Journeywheel. Här har den fått fint underlag, en ljuvligt vacker handvävd löpare i poppana.


Jag tog också med resespinnrocken Louet Victoria, som mina kompisar döpte till Peerie (“liten” på shetländska) när hon var alldeles nyfödd, nyinköpt ska det väl heta. Jag fyllde två rullar under de två dagarna.


Arrangörerna hann också fästa trådar för Marias filtar:


Och här är en blivande filt som de flesta av oss blev väldigt glada i. Maria virkar ihop de hundratals rutorna till filtar med olika färgteman. Rutorna virkas av restgarner, och det är många som donerar rutor. De har följaktligen olika storlek, men Maria har hittat ett sätt att foga samman dem så att det inte stör i den färdiga filten. Den här filten har färger som gamla glasfönster tycker jag:


Det fanns en spolrock i vävstugan. Den används för att fylla vävspolar med garn.



Kristinestad är en kuststad i Sydösterbotten med lång historia inom sjöfarten. Numera är det mest småbåtar som löper in i viken som ligger mitt i staden. Kristinestad är känd för sina små nätta trähus med inbyggda gårdar med fina trädgårdar, och alla de smala gränderna som löper mellan husen. Här är en utsikt från östra sidan av viken in mot stadens centrum, med Ulrika Eleonora kyrktorn i bakgrunden. Finlands svenska historia är ständigt närvarande i byggnader, ortnamn och sevärdheter. Staden är uppkallad efter drottning Kristina.


Det kvackades utanför mitt hotellfönster på kvällen, och när jag tittade ut såg jag en familj gäss. Vitkindad gås, tror jag. Annars är det mest kanadagäss som bor i våra parker. Det fanns gäss på flera stränder längs viken, vilket säkert inte är så värst trevligt om man tänkt sig att promenera på stränderna. Inte för att fåglarna verkade aggressiva, men för all spillningen de lämnar överallt. Vackra är de i alla fall! De gav sig av nån annanstans till natten, så det blev helt totalt tyst och jag sov djupt hela natten.


Vi hade ett fint veckoslut. Det var fin publik, trevliga arrangörer, underbar lokal, och vi fick dessutom mycket gjort både Maria och jag.

I bought a whorl and made a spindle shaft

A Swedish ceramist, Lena Bergsman, who is also a spinner, made spindle whorls for sale in the Swedish FB group Spinnare. I bought two of them. Here’s one of them, now with a shaft I made:


The wool i Grå Trøndersau, an extremely rare Norwegian breed that was thought to be extinct until a flock was found  in the 90s. The breed has very fine and soft wool. The sample I have is also short, 2-3 cm, so carding and spinning on a supported spindle is the best way to spin it. Long draw on a walking wheel or Saxony wheel would also work fine. I found the lovely spinning bowl in IST’s booth at Woolfest some years ago.

The woodworking process:


First you go out and find a piece of wood in the fire wood shed. This is birch. It has been drying for a year.

Then you shape it with your knife and sandpaper:


Then you test spin. I shortened the shaft to 27 cm, which is suitable for me as I’m a short person. I also made the shaft thinner. The result is a spindle I probably will use very much, as it spins very well. This is the first whorl formed like a cone in my spindle collection. I now understand why they have been so common in many places all over the world: they spin fast and long. My whorl weighs 35 grams, a good weight for the short and fine wools I often spin.

I bought the whorl here: Rostocks keramik. Lena doesn’t sell them in her net shop, but you can contact her to see if she has any in stock. The Swedish spinners were excited, so she sold a whole lot of whorls in a couple of days.