Thursday, September 8, 2011

århus and beyond

Take the train from Copenhagen to Århus, and while there, track down Helga and and Marianne Isager's boutique. There are wonderful yarn shops too, Garnlageret Aarhus is at Rosenkrantzgade 31http://garnlageret-aarhus.dk . after browsing in the pedestrian High Street, from the Central Station to the cathedral, ecomodista trekked to her favorite bakery in Århus, Langenaes bagerie where Palle Sørensen once worked, not that it is any less wonderful since a new pastry chef has replaced him. In a chilling downpour the ambience of the cafe warmed us.

From Århus, it's feasible to take a direct one hour bus to Ebeltoft, known for its artist's community (where Ruth Sørensen lives and works) and the natural beauty of its beaches and surrounding forests and hills. Artists frequent the town, attracted by the Glassmuseet Ebeltoft, a stunning glass studio and museum. One of the few round churches, Thorsager Rundkirke, is nearby, in Rønde. Concerts are often presented in this venue, so do check their schedule.

upper left, Ebeltoft Dyeworks, lower left Balleby yarn shop; right, half timbered houses in the center of Ebeltoft. 

During an interview with Ruth Sørensen, she divulged how she obtains inspiration from nature. In her newly enlarged studio, she looks out upon a carpet of wildflowers with layers of colors, she captures these as she knits using the Kauni Effekt or other self striping or shading yarns from Estonia. Her patterns are so popular that Raverly knit alongs with everyone knitting the same design happen. http://www.ruths.dk/engelsk/index.htm

Balleby Art & Knitting, Adelgade 68, in Ebeltoft has a wonderful selection of Danish yarns and kits from designers such as Bente Geil, whose web site, http://www.geilsk.dk/ also offers her specially spun yarns and designs. Do order color cards of the yarn since they are identified only by number on her site, although one could simply contact her and ask for a favored color. ecomodista intends o knit Running Time, a summer knit. Geil's designs cleverly incorporate historical references with a modern twist.

Geil and Sørensen's kits are also available at the Textilforum/Textile Forum Museum, Vestergade 20 in Herning a major center for machine loomed knitting and textile production located in the flatlands of Jutland. Textileforum is fascinating, exhibiting carding, spinning, and circular knitting equipment, and even providing the opportunity to work on the looms.




above, Herning Textile Forum, weaving equipment and vintage yarns on original wooden spools

Herning is surroundd by heaths, and during the 19th century was at the center of major reclamation project although subsistance farming forced rural landholders to supplement their incomes with cottage industries such as hand knitting. Later the textile industry was the regions primary economic activity. A company dating from the early 20th century, SNS Herning continues to produce hand loomed machine knits, each one signed by it's creator.

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