Robbie LaFleur

A Spelsau Sheep Day: Photo Essay

On a beautiful Sunday morning in Kristiansand, our Textile Tour group took the ferry to Bragdøy, a five-minute ride away.  This trip was the polar opposite of our ferry ride to Kristiansand from Denmark the day before. That trip was notable for the inconsolable screaming children and the number of people who got sick with the meter and a half waves (not to mention all the kitchen equipment we heard crashing as well). But today it was calm and sunny.

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We had a fabulous lecture about spelsau sheep from my friend and world-known expert Annemor Sundbø. Annemor brought yarn and several of her books to sell.  Paula Pfaff was happy to oblige.  Annemor is on the left; Paula on the right.

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After the lecture there were two classes. I was not in Annemor’s class in which the students knitted creatively right from fleece–skipping that whole pesky spinning step. The table between the rows of students was piled high with fleece, which had been plucked the week before from villsau sheep that live on the island, and washed by Annemor.

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After a few minutes of the free-style knitting, Mary Skoy thought she would abandon it and talk a walk.  Pressured to stay, she ended up enthusiastic, and even had a project in mind for her square.

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Paul Pfaff couldn’t stop smiling.

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Jan Mostrom was happy too.

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I took the other mini-class, on braiding traditional sock bands, the type that held up mens white wool socks.  Instructor Ingebjørg Monsen demonstrates here.

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I liked the pompoms on this sample pair.

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As happens with new finger-based activities, I felt clumsy, and didn’t make it so far in an hour. Here’s my two-inch-long beginning, photographed on a lovely brochure about spelsau sheep and next to my afternoon candy bar wrapper.  Finally, we’re in Norway, where they serve gjetost (brown cheese) for breakfast and sell my favorite Kvikk Lunsj.

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Annemor has a sort of weaving kingdom here in Kristiansand.  She has several looms upstairs in the building on the island.

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She also has many looms in a studio in town, which we visited after returning from the island. Her studio was also notable for the lovely collections of yarn draped over some of the looms.

Kristiansand is a beautiful seaside city with many charming traditional wooden buildings and a lovely central cathedral, celebrated on its manhole covers.

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I saw the ice cream store where Mike bought softis just two years earlier, and I wished he was along for my walk on this beautiful day.

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One comment on “A Spelsau Sheep Day: Photo Essay

  1. Kelly Marshall
    June 19, 2017

    The trip looks fabulous Robbie, thanks for sharing!!!

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This entry was posted on June 18, 2017 by in Uncategorized, Versterheim Norwegian American Museum and tagged , , , .
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