Monday, June 18, 2018

Rauma 2

I thought I was back at WEBS!  The warehouse was daunting, and of course, it's off limits to the public. (Did anyone notice I found the apostrophe key?  It says "greater than/less than" and I hit it my mistake!)

The view from their new office windows.

Japanese knitting machines that can produce complete products.

Mr. "Rauma", inherited from his grandfather, showing a Marius sweater.

A little later, getting the feel...starting our felted bag project.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Rauma, where it happens!

I lived in Norway 40 years ago, and quickly understood that the place for knitting satisfaction was a place called Husfliden.  It means Home Crafts, and was pretty much the only place for high quality wool which became beautiful home decorative and wearable articles.
Today, there are still these shops in the major cities, joined with dozens of other shops.  However, Rauma wool is the first and longest producing wool yarn mill in Norway.  (With a little luck, you can click on the link (Rauma wool) and see the whole fascinating process with scenery!)
I didn't know much about it until I took this tour, and now I know they demand respect for their traditions and their innovations.  
I don't know how they will fare in the future given that sheep farmers get so little for their fleeces, and Rauma has overhead costs (i.e. labor) that are crazy.  The best of luck to all of them!
Fleece bails, arrived cleaned
The special fleeces
Spun into thread
Through lots of machines, for plying

Ready for dyeing


As in most of the manufacturing, their marketed sweaters and blankets are machine knitted and woven.  To be continued.

A Note:  I wanted to include a link to Husfliden, but their website is as unfriendly as the experience you will receive if you set foot in the shop (in Bergen).  I have wandered in every few years, the window displays are very inviting, however, if you don't have know exactly what you want, AND especially if they don't have it, you will be dismissed like an ignorant child.  I confirmed this by reading comments on their facebook page.  Comments were mostly very negative regarding their service.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Oslo visit

A 24 hour stop to see my friend in Oslo.  As you can see, she treats me like royalty, starting with photos of myself in my bedroom...  The small one in front is, indeed, a postage stamp that we had made a dozen years ago, featuring our family with Peruvian knitters, in Peru, donning Peruvian festive hats!  Somehow, a Norwegian non-knitter snuck into the background with an authentic Norwegian knitted hat.  It was January and it was cold on Lake Titicaca.

In the photo in the back is my friend doing a spoof as Pavarotti with her male friend dressed up as Kiri Te.  She does stuff like that!

Below is breakfast, fit for me a queen.  

Here is my orange suitcase with See, waiting for the tram.  This part of Oslo is unrecognisable from the eighties.  (Notice:  I am avoiding apostrophes because I am using a foreign keyboard, and it seems to be MIA.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Record breaking weather

As I post this, we are having our second day in a row of cloudy weather, and our first rain in a month.  And by "rain" I mean, a few hours of drizzle.  Not real rain, just a few drips or a little mist.

What broke the record?  A full month of temperatures in the seventies (F)/twenties centigrade, which is a joy to all west coasters, a long dry period where watering of plants is necessary, and a shock to the usual slug population.  

Here is a day in the parks of city center Bergen.

And a quick day trip to the island of Stord.

Monday, June 11, 2018

I wished and it came true!

A few months ago, I was at home thinking about knitting in foreign locales... and there was Clara Parkes, with a lovely list of knitting events and tours.  Thank you, Clara!  
As I scanned over her list of the year, I thought, I wonder what is happening in Norway in May and June, and I saw the dream trip... Trips for Knitters: Åndalsnes, Norway!  Ah, Åndalsnes, home of Rauma yarn mill, AND home of a memorable Easter ski trip in the mountains nearby from 45 years ago.  (Startling, when I did the math... and so little remembered except the train, the cabin, the massive amount of snow and the cozy fire inside.)  
So, I wrote, and was put on a waiting list, with the caveat:  "I will notify you...though I think that unlikely at this point."
I thought to myself, well, being in the country would surely be easier to arrange last minute than from the States.  And 9 days before the scheduled trip, I got the invitation to join them.  YAY!
A 55 minute flight to Oslo (and a little mucking around with See in Oslo) and I joined the fun and scenery as a tourist.
Here's the largest/longest lake in Norway, Mjøsa.  The train follows it for over an hour.

Then we change trains and the real mountain scenery begins:
And later that night, my hotel room view, or should I say, ONE of the views.  Every direction was stunning.  And the weather continued! I'm one lucky knitter!
Now, where could that cabin be, and how did we get there?

To be continued!

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Finished Projects...

In case you have a few hours, I've made a list of all (or mostly all) of my finished projects on another page.  To the right, you will see "Where in the World", and under it "Finished".  Click on that and you can see a photo and date for each of my completed projects.  I count 268 finished projects in Ravelry.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

What about sleep?

My sleep habits are prompting me to write and maybe I'll even get some new ideas from my readers.

Not sleeping so well, lately, over the past few years... maybe that doesn't count as "lately", so I say that because every night is an experience.
Mattresses:  I got a new mattress.  I purchased a pillowtop, cushy, sink-into-it mattress, which I used for years.  Then I wondered if it was TOO soft, or making me too hot. So I went back to a previous mattress that was plain, firmer, and flippable.  Many years go by, tossing and turning every few hours, and I recently bought a new seems foamy and soft, but after a month or two, it's firm. And I toss and turn every few hours.
Other: Not everything is the mattress' fault... Temperature of the room, noise from the open window, white noise from an air purifier, or humidifier... I've been trying every combination. 
But maybe I'm on to something!  I've been using a humidifier for about a month, due to chest congestion (which is thankfully WAY better now).  In the middle of the night, I wondered if the humidifier is waking gurgles intermittently as air bubbles rise to the top of the tank.  I turned it off and woke up 4 hours later to my set alarm!  Four hours is a nice long time to "not check the clock".  So, maybe it will work even better tonight.  (I'll humidify before bedtime...)
Then there's time zone travel.  UGH!!  I travel between 8 hour time zones several times a year. And how does that work?  Exactly like my usual toss and turn every few hours pattern.  But this time, I'm trying to coax myself somewhere between, like pretending I'm 4 or 5 hours from my next time zone.  The jury is out, but I've been taking melatonin before my new bedtime, which is 8 pm.  If I can wake at 4 am, I'm halfway there.  Will it be good enough?
Tonight will be my last chance to sleep from 8pm to 4 pm, then the next night will be a short one...I will be rudely shown the door a little after midnight and invited to shop in Iceland for a few hours...
The answers are yet to come.
By the way, most sleep aids make me sleep soundly for an hour or two and then I wake with the jitters.  Not good.


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