In keeping with the theme of #FOFriday – finished object Friday – I am showing off my finished Vivifrom the January/February sweater knit-along (KAL) with Marie Greene. Based on progress postings and Zoom meeting reports, hundreds of other knitters enjoyed this project as much as I did.
This January Workshop KAL is the fourth of Marie’s annual offerings – something new for the New Year. Through her integrated curriculum, this community-based project allows knitters to explore the fiber arts from a faraway place; a virtual vacation each year. During the two month KAL, Marie offered technical lessons on topics such as shoulder construction, provided historical background on Danish “night” sweaters, and even shared scrumptious traditional pastry recipes – Yumm!
The KAL officially launched January 1 although Knit Campers (that’s me) were awarded an early pattern release by a few days. On December 30, I casted on 292 stitches of worsted Berroco Ultra Wool in Chili Red to start this bottom-up construction and I worked my last bind off cuff stitch on February 26. Squishy soft after blocking and plenty warm for chilly spring days.
After a wardrobe review, I admit I do not need another sweater. Having knit two in 2021 that I wear infrequently due to our continued Covid stay at home-ness, I initially decided to pass on Marie Greene’s 4th annual January Workshop KAL (knit-along). But then I was swept up in the enthusiasm of my fellow Knit Campers’ yarn selections and color choices, plus Marie’s newest design features (my favorite) cables!
Ironically, while my September trip to Copenhagen and the Faroe Islands was cancelled, I will enjoy Danish artistry virtually with Vivi. Pattern pictures reveal a lattice of cabled diamonds gracing the sweater’s front and Danish stars decorating the sides. Unlike the intricate colorwork of Scandinavian cousins, these Danish designs rely on subtle stitch definition against a monochromatic backdrop. And, as always, during the eight weeks of this annual workshop KAL, Marie will share historical background, new techniques via video tutorials, and ethnic recipes for culinary exploration, as well as a large dose of “hygge” – perfect for this lingering pandemic.
It feels like every suspense novel ever read, every film noir ever screened, this waiting to learn of what will be and will not be in our ongoing Covid saga. This morning’s email made it official — the Rowan Tree Travel Fiber Adventure to Copenhagen and the Faroe Islands has been postponed – AGAIN.
The tour planners, Heather and Suzie, have carefully monitored EU travel requirements, health notices for specific stops along the way and they have even gone so far as to take a trip to Scotland to assess just how difficult international travel might be in these strange times. (Suzie’s blog offers her travel musings along the way with an array of photos such that the reader can almost feel the crisp highland air.) But in the end, with cases of the Delta variant on the rise in the US, the frequent testing points mandated while traveling, the uncertainty surrounding quarantine procedures in situ for anyone testing positive, and time delays required for laying low upon arrival, even when healthy, all became just too many variables to manage. The fun of adventure and exploration lost to the stress of pandemic travel. So I am no longer counting the days and will stay Minnesota bound.
Two months from today*, I officially begin my Danish adventure in Copenhagen. As a small tour company, Rowan Tree Travel continues to satisfy. They have a great sense for just when I might be edging toward anxiety and need information. This morning, my in-box held a detailed, 20-page itinerary with a link to their customized travel app (after all “…there is an app for that…”) so I can keep the details on my new phone. The app also hosts a private messaging service to chat with my yet to meet fellow travelers and fiber-enthusiasts.
This international trip, originally scheduled for September 2020, will be a big first as I come out of our Covid quarantine. To date, my travels have included only small jaunts — two hours to Eau Claire to visit Mom and my recent two-day excursion up-northwith my retired friends, The Directors. Certainly nothing far away and nothing by plane since February 2020. And, while I am sure I will cope, it will be strange traveling solo which should make great blog fodder.
Bon voyage or, as they say in Danish: “hav en god tur.”
*Although technically my two month countdown for a Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Paris (CDG) to Copenhagen (CPH) flight began July 22.
I know the answer to the Danish prince’s question; “To be or not to be…” Sadly it is not to be. I should be packing not writing about not traveling. The big trip of my 2020 travel itinerary (as planned pre-pandemic) was to be a “fiber adventure in Copenhagen & the Faroe Islands” with Rowan Tree Travels. My Danish nine days was to include the traditional highlights of Copenhagen (the Tivoli Gardens and the Amalienborg Palace) as well as visiting local yarn stores and enjoying a smørrebrød before flying to the Faroe Islands. And, in case you need a geographic reference (like I did) here is a quick Wikipedia fact … “a North Atlantic archipelago, about 200 miles north-northwest of Scotland, and half way between Norway and Iceland”. I would have spent five days touring the Faroe Islands visiting sheep farms and studying with fiber artists to learn traditional pattern work. All with a small group of 12-14 knitting enthusiasts. Now my international knitting escapade must wait for safe times in 2021.