Friday, September 10, 2010

Viking clothing

Another edition of the dress of Egtvedpigen from Denmark, in my not connected bliss I wonder why they are all copying what seems like the same dresses over and over again and then .....
My knowledge takes over and I remember how few textiles have survived 1000 years or more of being burried somewhere and I have to shake my head at me :-)
I am a gemini after all.


A wealthy person's cape reconstructed, with a tablet woven edge.

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National museet viking exhibit

The importance of textiles through time makes my heart beat faster.
I realized going through Nationalmuseet in Oslo this time that in every find of viking items they have founds lots of weapons and signs of how powerful and fierce the vikings were.
What they forget to mention as loudly is how many spindle whorls and other textile related pieces have also been found, many, many, many, I rejoyce!

Miniatures showing some other parts of daily living. Textile preparation and leather work.

Spindle whorls and a warping paddle!

Start them early so they can get dressed :-)

Tablet weaving and sewing the woven pieces into clothing

Shoes, belts and buckles!

Sheep shearing and the many different sizes of scissors which were actually produced for different purposes.

Carding, and an ancient pair of viking combes, guess it was easier to set the display up with carders, although then old artifact is actually the combe :-)

Ironing board, smooth stone to flatten seams and straighten cloth. The forerunner to the much used cold mangle for preparing linnens to perfect smoothness and flatness.

I love the upright loom in the bottom right corner, feel inspiration coming on!

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Thursday, September 9, 2010


The two stubborn and very patient ones who uncovered the viking site in L'Anse aux Meadows in the early 1960's. When I went there in May this year, I got to speak to the grand daughter of the man who showed the Ingstads where they might be able to do some successful digging.

And the front part of Oseberg Skibet, the royal ship found in Norway with treasures galore,a good part of them textile related. How much fun would that have been to discover!

Closeup of the front end, I love the carvings, they are so precise and sharp and plain old beautiful.

Part of the treasures of this ship - cards from tablet weaving some of the warp still intackt

Balls of yarn and bowls for holding yarn balls when doing naalebinding or plying, pieces of bark weaving, possibly from wrapping mats

A beautiful niddy noddy, a few spindle whorls, and looking at this makes me very very excited. Artifacts over a thousand years old and still...... We use these methods of creation.

The boat from a different angle. It is large and beautiful and impressive and very refined and well built. Knowledge of solid craftmanship is very visible.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Lunch with a View

After our hours at the cottage carrying in a little of the supplies and struggling with the wood stove for a while we decided to call it a day and went to a place up high, Frogner Saetern and got our ourselves some eyecandy from the view and some food and a good cup of tea from the little cafeteria.

We are 435 meters above sea level

And quite enjoying the experience and the day.

Shapes and textures gallore, I am in love with all the pungent red houses

And a shot from above of the large historical farm Bogstadgaard, where once upon a time the kids and I watched Norwegian Spelsau be sheared and this time when I walked there I got to scratch the backs of two sheep (spelsau, a perticular kind of sheep developed for growing the best tapestry yarn possible) who were willing and patient enough to endure some gentle time with a person in sheep withdrawal, I guess I am missing my wooly ones at home
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A day at the cottage!

-The cottage, normally about a 5 km walk in from the nearest parking lot, but I was in luck, we had been granted municipal drive-in permission since we had lots of winter supplies like propane and other fuels to carry, oh, and three batteries for the solar panels :-)

Patterns carved and painted were everey where, above is the pattern carved on the shutters.

Looking at the shapes of the door makes me delighted, the 'twill' in the way the wood has been used and then the twisted wrung door handle tickles me pink for some reason, both the looks and the feel of it.

A dinningroom chair moved outside for comfort whilst eating our morning snacks, rye bread with myseost, yes, please!

And a real Norwegian troll named Bente, we were trying to figure out what was preventing the majority of the smoke from the woodstove from exiting via the chimney, it made it hard to breathe in all the rooms in the whole cottage. I think the decision has been made to bring up a chimney expert and a wood stove person to look at this interesting challenge before winter sets in.

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Pit stop in Sweden and bus travels

I left Norway on a beautiful sunny afternoon after a walk through a well known park with good friends. Had decided to travel back to Denmark via bus, not by air or boat.
I had booked my ticket in advance and got dropped off at the bus station in good time before bus departure. It was a fun easy ride, with many washroom and smoking breaks along the way.
This was the fourth or fifth stop, I hadn't needed to get up yet, but now it was time. It was a great stop to have chosen for ....

This is what I saw when instead of a smoke I took a small walk around on the paths laid out around the playground. A beautiful bird bath, I think in some kind of stone, I was so surprised and delighted to find this beauty out here at a rest stop along the highway that I didn't even touch it!

There were no birds im the bath, but plenty of sound and chipper to be heard from the surounding woodland.
By now I did have to visit this house

And once again I had to readjust some of my expectations. Oh, I thought as I stepped inside, I hadn't realized this was actually an outhouse .... Who digs the new holes when it is needed?
But couldn't really spend much more thought on that idea, since I needed to go and thus as I sat down and raised my eyes this is what I read

This was a composting toilet and the note reminded people to not dump unsuitables into then toilet since, the urine/liquids and solids were all being used for fertilizer and redistributed to Mother Nature, well, you have to excuse me but in my humble opinion that is completely brilliant since making a septic system in a rocky area way out in the boonies is just not really financially wise.
By the way when we drove out of this spot I noticed a beautiful large egg of the same material as the birdbath situated in front of a bench and there were other paths leading to what I assume now could very well have been other points of artistic beauty.
Next a little fat pony and a strong workhorse in a field rolled by and a second later the butt and back of a horse and rider far down a little country road meandered along.
Paying attention again, suddenly, the tv screen above the driver was turned on and I hear some talk in a for me incomprehensible language. It is an american movie with I think Bruce Willis and some person on a tape is doing the translations/voice over as the movie goes along, in what I think is Polish.
There are many seasonal Polish workers in Norway (and Denmark and probably Sweden too) and some of them are on the bus with me back to Copenhagen.
A surreal experience since right then I was writing the initial part of the sailing blogs, on a bus from Oslo to Copenhagen and we are on the highway in Sweden. Well, I am just saying this truly is international travels and I am loving it, even the parts I don't get at all due to language limitations on my part.
Safely in Copenhagen I got my suitcase from the storage room, realized that the rest of the group were all continuing on the bus, (the trip had been a little more than 9 hours by now) - I on the other knew that my bed was near, I sped up my steps and pulled at the rolling little suitcase and caught the #1A bus which it spite of it being almost midnight took me to my sister's abode with no hickups in very little time.
I love public transportations sytems!

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kristiansand, Norway

Walkabout in Kristiansand after the fabulously exciting and challenging sail (remember I am a weaver!) finding my land legs again.
Lots of statues of people of great importance and influence for this beautiful place.

Above: Haakan VII, his motto was Everything for Norway.

Above Christian IV founded Kristiansand in 1641

This thoughtful woman had a beautiful park by the water dedicated to her.

Camilla Collett, nee Wergeland, in Kristiansand 1813, died 1895, author and pioneer for women's rights.

Created in 1967 by Arne Vigeland, Norwegian titel 'Lek' -
English translation 'Play'

And someone sitting close to the boy playing on the bear, she on the other hand seems to have had more than enough play for the moment and has sorrowfully inverted into herself.

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Monday, September 6, 2010

On the ocean!

So let me start by saying that not all time aboard a fuldrigger vessel can be considered quality time. Most of the photos of happy faces in my collection are from day three of this trip.
Day one we left the dock at 8pm and it took 4-5 hours to get to the actual ocean going through, first the little bridge, then through the very busy harbour, dry docks, loading docks, resting docks, building docks. I went to my berth when I had watched about 1.8 meters of water disappearing out of the sluse we sat in for awhile with 3 or 4 other tall ships, while this took place.
It was amazing to watch the sluse close and by wrungs at the dock side being able to observe ths speed with which the water went out. No pics of this, as it was very close to midnight.
Monday was a write-off for most people, the seas were rough. For any sailor out there, the winds were 10-20m/ second, coming from all directions. I know it wasn't a hurricane but for most of us who were not really accostumed to such continous rolling it was not easy, we got very well aquainted with the funnels up by the washrooms at the front of the ship. There were fortunately also freshwater faucets right by the funnels so for anyone unfortunate enough to have to go and sacrifice what little they eventually had inside, it really was a wonderful welcoming feeling and sight, to see the faucets and turn either one of them on.
The scheldule for a lot of people that day was stay aloft until you are cold enough to sleep if you go to your sleeping quarters. Sleep as long as possible, get up and out as fast as possible, do what has to be done, sit and watch the ocean while your bones start to chill down, if you are lucky have a conversation with someone before ......... Things start over again!

Day three though was a lot better, or .... Our ears and balance systems had gotten themselves sorted out and it was time to enjoy some crackers, fruit and even a newly baked still very warm piece of Danish pastry.
This day also saw some of the trainees climb up and untie sails so we could give the engine which had propelled us along for two days a little bit of a rest.

This is a seasoned sailor doing the other side of the mast where two trainees are harnessed and holding on for dear life. Amazing how relaxed this young Swede seem to be hanging up there in his green rain suit.

And below eageer hands were ready to help hoisting the sail in a heave and a ho, excitement reigns as everything unfolds as it should.

One beautiful sail, which perhaps doesn't seem like a lot, but when there are 8 of them up, along with the engine, trust me, it is amazing.

By berth time on the last day we were doing pretty good speed, and heeling quite a bit at times too, this chart only says 19.8 degrees but ..... I watched it fluctuate, up to 28 degrees at time = sliding around in your bed and on the floor getting from one place to the other below deck.
Still fun though, lots of fun and practice of patience, breathe in, breathe out.

Tugging away out of Bremerhaven

We were wating for Mir, the Russian vessel in front of us to go out.

We needed a tug boath both fore and aft (???)

This is Mir as the darkness falls!

Sorlandet going through the first little bottle neck in the harbour

There really wasn't a lot of room on either side.

The enormous Italian vessel which had not been able to enter through the bottle neck but still had tons of visitors every day in spite of its slightly off location. People here are dedicated to what they want and do.

Passing a dry dock with a giant in for service or repair

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