Norway! One of the best parts of my “job” is having the opportunities to travel. Before the madness of the Fall season settled in, I was thrilled to be able to teach at a wonderful spinning retreat in Lillehammer Norway.
I was so happy to be invited to come teach at the annual event hosted by Spinnvilt, Norway’s one spinning shop. It’s owned by the amazing textile artists Eirik Bruvik and Tove Skolseg. Tove picked me up in Oslo and we drove north to Lillehammer. Autumn had just begun to kiss the countryside, and I was greeted with endless beauty as we drove.
Lillehammer is a super cute little town nestled into the mountains. There’s a beautiful river that runs through the center, which is right next to where Spinnvlt is. I was able to listen to the river each day, and on Saturday, the quiet song was replaced by a loud rush as the twice a year river flush was happening.
The first 2 days of teaching were full day classes with an amazingly talented group of spinners. They picked up techniques incredibly fast and were super creative when it came to design and concepts.
One of the most creative of my students was Kari. She spun, and natural dyed the yarn for this Enchanted Mesa she knit, using textured yarns, beads and crystals. It was truly spectacular and a perfect use of creative yarn. THEN SHE GAVE IT TO ME!! Yes, that’s right!! The amazing sweater came home, and I’ve been wearing it everywhere I can!
I also happened upon the greatest couch of all time. If my suitcase was only big enough…
The second portion of teaching was over the weekend. I got to do half day relaxed classes, while the other half day was full of challenges and group inspirations. OH.. did I mention there were FIFTY spinners all together? It was just wonderful! I had an awesome view from my wheel!!
Again, it was another group of super creative spinners and creators. I was honored to spin among them! While I was there I was surprised with a special delivery. Vithard had sent my birthday present to Norway so I could bring it home. He’d knit a shawl with my handspun and tailspun that I gave him the first time we hung out.
There was also a wonderful little market where spinners were able to also sell their fiber and wares. Again, I as amazed at the level of talent and creativity. I couldn’t go home without these handspun, hand knit angora mitts. The artist picked up double core angora tailspinning and has already incorporated angora tailspun into her current creations. You can check her out here (and get some of your own!!)Tove and Eirk also took me around Lillehammer. We went to the top of the Olympic Ski Jump-
And ate dinner at the restaurant where they filmed the show Lillehammer!
After the weekend, Tove took me to their mountain cottage for a few days. To say it was amazing would be a vast understatement. Fall colors were stronger as we got higher.
We went for a hike where the moose and reindeer roam. We didn’t see any since it’s hunting season and they are smartly hiding! It was beautiful with all the different colors and textures of the landscape. We hiked to the top of the mountain for sunset. The breeze was strong and the colors were brilliant. We even found waterfalls, and wild bluberries!!
The rest of our time was spent spinning and sharing stories. The view from my wheel was majestic.
When the moon rose, we poured some wine and kept spinning. Too soon it was our last morning and time to head back. I spent a few precious moments to myself in the crisp mountain sun.
Back to Lillehammer we went, and then I had one more sunset and it was back to Oslo. I had a surprise reroute through Reykjavik Iceland! The flight home was truly amazing!! We flew over the glaciers and cliffs of Iceland! And we even saw the smoke pillar from the volcano that was erupting!
We also flew over the Greenland Glacier. It was snow SNOW SNOW! Like the worst Minnesota winter ever snow! Moving ice and snow. It was really sureal… I could see the curve of the earth on the horizon. I never thought I’d see anything like that.
Finally, we flew over NYC before landing in Newark. I was overwhelmed with emotion, as it was 9/11. It was the perfect end to a perfect trip. I can’t wait until I can get back!