November Naalbinding

November's naalbound hat (and me being super-goofy)

November’s naalbound hat (and me being super-goofy)

Quick post today – just to show off the new naalbound hat I made, finished off in November.

It’s purchased 100% wool yarn, a dark grey heather made of Icelandic Lopi yarn. (The wool I brought back a year earlier from my trip to Iceland!) This is the alafosslopi.

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Fabric (and yarn!) shopping in Finland & Iceland

Fabric from EuroKangas in Finland

Fabric from EuroKangas in Finland

I mentioned in an earlier post that I’d be a bit delayed in some of my costume posts, because some Real Life™ had come up – well that Real Life – was some wonderful travel! For much of the month of November I was in Finland and Iceland (again! My second visits to both countries) and that means for nearly a month I wasn’t sewing or writing at all…

But I did shop for fabric!

Finland

My first stop in Finland was in Turku, a beautiful city that I loved during my first visit to Finland on the west coast. I stopped in EuroKangas, the large fabric store chain, which is located at the top floor of a department store. There I bought:

Fabric from EuroKangas in Finland

Fabric from EuroKangas in Finland

Approximately 2 meters of rich dark red pvc – this is going to be an amazing purse/bag I think… This was sold by weight rather than yardage, at the side of the store. (Top row, far right)

5 meters of creamy-silver-grey silk (taffeta weight, no slubs at all – it’s super smooth) – I have this in mind for a Tudor/late-period gown. 100% silk, “Silk Assortment” 19,90 Euro/meter (pretty good) (Top row of the photo, far left)

5 meters of yellowy-green silk (taffeta weight, very few slubs) – this is so not my normal colour, but there was something about it I really liked – perhaps the price! I bought enough for a simple late-period kirtle/dress, though I also think I might try dying it, since it’s a light enough colour that I think it will overdye well. 100% silk, “Sanderson – homecoll” 9,90 Euro/meter (wow!) (Top row of the photo, second from left)

3 meters of olive green silk knit. I bought some of this knit in a grey colourway last time I was in Finland, and although I haven’t actually made it up into anything yet, absolutely love the fabric. I think this will be a loose pullover top. 100% silk, “Moda Jersey” – 27Euro/meter (ouch!) (Top row of the photo, second from right)

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Shopping in Reykjavik

Virka fabric store in Reykjavik

Virka fabric store in Reykjavik

Just looking back to my trip this past summer to Iceland…

When I travel, I like to pick up some perhaps non-traditional souvenirs. When other people buy post cards, shot glasses, coffee table books or foreign-language newspapers, I like to pick up things related to my hobbies; sewing, jewellery-making, etc. (Ok.. I got some post cards too!)

With that in mind, I usually try to add a fabric, bead, or craft store to my holiday map while I’m at home daydreaming about my travels. With Iceland, I found my initial web searches really lacking though – in fact, my preferred search engine wasn’t very helpful at all, and I ended up finding one craft store just by wandering by… (on a Sunday, while they were closed… 😦 )

 

Arts & crafts store in Reykjavik

Arts & crafts store in Reykjavik

Litir Og Föndur apparently was originally founded in 1948, with a focus on painting and painting supplies. They carry a selection of painting supplies still, offer art classes, and have also expanded into a range of craft supplies too like paper, jewellery materials, plasterwork, candle making, stencilling and more.

Arts & crafts store in Reykjavik

Arts & crafts store in Reykjavik

They had a rather cute window display, with the same sod house model that I saw on several properties.

Arts & crafts store in Reykjavik

Arts & crafts store in Reykjavik

Their outside window was the best I could do… as I missed out going inside since we visited the area on Sunday, and didn’t have time to return.

Litir Og Föndur
Skólavörðustíg 12
101 Reykjavík
Tel: 552-1412 & 551-2242

http://www.litirogfondur.is

Virka

Virka is a family-owned fabric shop in Reykjavik which has been around since 1976. They specialize in quilting fabrics, along with fashion fabrics, notions, patterns, and books. They also have a furniture store in the lower level which opened in 2004. They boast that they are “one of the biggest” in Europe, although I think the stress should be on “one of” since I’ve been to larger shops. (I’m biased too since I’d rather enjoy the fashion fabrics more than the quilting ones, and a good 1/3 of their shop is devoted to quilting.)

Located east of our first hotel, it was a good 20-30 minute walk to get to the little shopping plaza where Virka is located, with it’s back to the road it might be easy to miss if you aren’t entirely sure where you’re going. (We had a moment of pause wondering if it had moved without a website update!)

I didn’t have my camera handy, so I used my travel companion’s and took a few quick photos.

Wool Gauze from Iceland

Wool Gauze from Iceland

Now.. what did I GET? I actually was kind of uninspired. There was some amazing, gorgeous knitted sweater-weight wool, but it would be exceptionally bulky in my suitcase, which I still needed to carry with me for the remainder of my trip. (Not to mention, I wouldn’t want to make “just a scarf” with it anyways… I’d want a sweater or a coat!) I did however, find one single bolt of wool gauze which my fingers kept lingering on. It’s soft and smooth, delicate and lovely – not being able to read the Icelandic label, I was curious about the fiber content, and suspected it might be silk before learning it was wool. That’s just how soft and smooth it is! I loved the dull charcoal colour, and asked for any others, but no luck… I haven’t yet even washed the fabric mind you, so I wonder how it will shrink… (Wool gauze is pretty much never heard of in shops around here!)

Wool Gauze from Iceland

Wool Gauze from Iceland

Virka
Mörkinni 3 – 108
Reykjavík, Iceland.
Tel.354- 568 7477 – Fax.354- 588 8570
http://www.virka.is/about_us.htm

Other bits and baubles

As I mentioned, I did also end up getting some post cards, a wool hat to stay warm in the cool, windy, rainy southern Iceland, some jewelry, beads, etc…

Reykjavik 871 +/- 2 museum in Iceland

Viking Age beads on display at the Settlement Museum

Viking Age beads on display at the Settlement Museum

Another Viking-centric museum I visited in Reykjavik was the Reykjavik 871 +/- 2 museum.
This museum is the site of an excavated Viking long house, one of the first houses in Iceland, and also includes other findings from the Reykjavik area and the island of Viðey. The long house was excavated in 2001 when some construction was planned for the area. The house was inhabited from around 930-1000 CE, and near the remains of the hall is a wall which can be precisely dated to 871 plus or minus 2 years (hence 871 +/- 2) due to the evidence along the wall of the Torfajökull volcanic eruption. (Which has been dated using glacial ice dating in Greenland.) Continue reading

Viking woman’s grave goods

Assortment of goods found in a woman's grave

Assortment of goods found in a woman’s grave

I think that I’m nearing the last few posts about my trip to Iceland and the various museum exhibits I saw there – for today’s post about the Iceland National Museum in Reykjavik I’m going to re-visit a display of grave goods from a Viking Age woman’s grave.

The display included tortoise brooches which I showed in a previous post, a full necklace (also from a previous post) and a festoon that I also explored in a previous post.

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