when we arrived in leksand on wednesday night, there were already lots of knitters at folkhögskolan. we were given our room, we dumped all our stuff and them went out on the town to find something to eat. we found a nice restaurant located on a boat at the quay. when we were having dinner, this lovely old steam boat went by.
day one (thursday) started with an introduction by our wonderful organizers, sanna and karin, and after lunch it was time for part one of the first of our two courses. i had chosen two-end knitting (is that the correct term in english?), mainly because i missed out on that when i took my knitting course at hv. karin kahnlund was our teacher, and she’s really great! for those of you who are unfamiliar with two-end knitting; it’s a knitting technique where you use two strands of yarn (using one ball of yarn). you hold both strands in your right hand and alternate between both strands, and at the same time twist them which yields a dense and durable result. the technique is known in sweden since the 17th century and has mostly been used in mittens and socks due to it’s durability. you cast on differently than in ordinary knitting, and you hold the needles differently than in ordinary knitting, but once i got the hang of it, it was a lot of fun. it does take patience, it’s a rather slow technique, not just because of the way you knit, but also because you only use 2 mm or 2,5 mm needles (you can of course use a different size if you want to, but you won’t get the same result). and you only knit in the round. but it was great fun and i’m definitely hooked!
there were no courses on friday, instead we went on an excursion to falun and dalarnas museum. i had never been there before, so this was a real treat. we were given a lecture on the history of two-end knitting in dalarna and afterwards we were free to roam the exhibitions. the exhibitions containing knitted artifacts and traditional folk costumes were the most popular… i very much enjoyed their art gallery where they showed graphic art by different artists, many of them local due to the fact that there were a graphic art workshop in falun until the 1970’s.
i have uploaded more photos from stickstämman here (lots of photos of two-end knitted mittens amongst other things)