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Welcome to Esther's Blog

The World According to Esther

My Norwegian Adventure- with Moose!

Norway! One of the best parts of my “job” is having the opportunities to travel. Before the madness of the Fall season settled in, I was thrilled to be able to teach at a wonderful spinning retreat in Lillehammer Norway.

I was so happy to be invited to come teach at the annual event hosted by Spinnvilt, Norway’s one spinning shop.  It’s owned by the amazing textile artists Eirik Bruvik and Tove Skolseg.  Tove picked me up in Oslo and we drove north to Lillehammer. Autumn had just begun to kiss the countryside, and I was greeted with endless beauty as we drove.

Lillehammer is a super cute little town nestled into the mountains. There’s a beautiful river that runs through the center, which is right next to where Spinnvlt is. I was able to listen to the river each day, and on Saturday, the quiet song was replaced by a loud rush as the twice a year river flush was happening.
10635791_10203425771663485_6908104342152827031_n 10407556_10203463738852641_5998637963910632260_n IMG_20140907_112819544_HDR IMG_20140906_055616643The first 2 days of teaching were full day classes with an amazingly talented group of spinners.  They picked up techniques incredibly fast and were super creative when it came to design and concepts.

One of the most creative of my students was Kari. She spun, and natural dyed the yarn for this Enchanted Mesa she knit, using textured yarns, beads and crystals.  It was truly spectacular and a perfect use of creative yarn.  THEN SHE GAVE IT TO ME!! Yes, that’s right!! The amazing sweater came home, and I’ve been wearing it everywhere I can!
10426218_10203445508156885_4116821454894660002_n IMG_20140905_075538I also happened upon the greatest couch of all time. If my suitcase was only big enough…
IMG_20140904_025546The second portion of teaching was over the weekend. I got to do half day relaxed classes, while the other half day was full of challenges and group inspirations. OH.. did I mention there were FIFTY spinners all together? It was just wonderful!  I had an awesome view from my wheel!!
10609582_10203451443505265_2537873702076535562_nAgain, it was another group of super creative spinners and creators.  I was honored to spin among them! 10625062_10152259325306050_679837636562112218_nIMG_20140907_05432810632796_10152259325331050_3517618433011963901_n 10635997_10203457485016299_7014972752785767431_n While I was there I was surprised with a special delivery. Vithard had sent my birthday present to Norway so I could bring it home.  He’d knit a shawl with my handspun and tailspun that I gave him the first time we hung out.
1620629_10203452151882974_9134895139109427372_nThere was also a wonderful little market where spinners were able to also sell their fiber and wares. Again, I as amazed at the level of talent and creativity. I couldn’t go home without these handspun, hand knit angora mitts. The artist picked up double core angora tailspinning and has already incorporated angora tailspun into her current creations. You can check her out here (and get some of your own!!)IMG_20140907_085541Tove and Eirk also took me around Lillehammer. We went to the top of the Olympic Ski Jump-
10653365_10203451253900525_8497114573346317412_nAnd ate dinner at the restaurant where they filmed the show Lillehammer!
lillehammer 10689699_10203463728772389_3280055166075955421_nAfter the weekend, Tove took me to their mountain cottage for a few days. To say it was amazing would be a vast understatement. Fall colors were stronger as we got higher.
10672210_10203464896321577_1826361984752322825_n 10363759_10203474573283495_5651641752083212222_n 10660083_10203471126837336_7924705750968348071_n 10675744_10203464935882566_8689881352824440533_nWe went for a hike where the moose and reindeer roam. We didn’t see any since it’s hunting season and they are smartly hiding!  It was beautiful with all the different colors and textures of the landscape.IMG_20140909_112818 10698592_10203471247440351_5156857981180795183_n 10659423_10203471237360099_4484783161377576084_n 1621760_10203470909151894_508012797295893222_n 1545823_10203470983673757_6255858491346356573_n 10574262_10203470924792285_734932809028107247_n IMG_20140909_115208We hiked to the top of the mountain for sunset. The breeze was strong and the colors were brilliant.IMG_20140909_143734 IMG_20140909_150724 IMG_20140909_145110 10616486_10203471910416925_8730147337313734897_nWe even found waterfalls, and wild bluberries!!
IMG_20140909_122155 IMG_20140909_113243 10473881_10203471112396975_5159485728313085667_nThe rest of our time was spent spinning and sharing stories. The view from my wheel was majestic.
1512815_10203465068125872_288750286846957780_n 10401497_10203469470435927_8904264930118917647_n 10592943_10203465584978793_3532136654147065264_nWhen the moon rose, we poured some wine and kept spinning.10698643_10203471982138718_1437254913184599263_n 10599116_10203466258915641_1237397837072442483_n IMG_20140909_155133 IMG_20140909_161448Too soon it was our last morning and time to head back. I spent a few precious moments to myself in the crisp mountain sun.

IMG_20140910_040816 10670021_10203474763848259_431532208168140932_nBack to Lillehammer we went, and then I had one more sunset and it was back to Oslo. I had a surprise reroute through Reykjavik Iceland! The flight home was truly amazing!! We flew over the glaciers and cliffs of Iceland! And we even saw the smoke pillar from the volcano that was erupting!
IMG_20140911_225431 IMG_20140911_224756 IMG_20140911_122620We also flew over the Greenland Glacier. It was snow SNOW SNOW! Like the worst Minnesota winter ever snow! Moving ice and snow.  It was really sureal…  I could see the curve of the earth on the horizon. I never thought I’d see anything like that.
IMG_20140911_224051 IMG_20140911_224146 IMG_20140911_224619 IMG_20140911_224418 IMG_20140911_224323 IMG_20140912_052618 IMG_20140912_052913 IMG_20140911_224051 IMG_20140911_224146Finally, we flew over NYC before landing in Newark. I was overwhelmed with emotion, as it was 9/11.  It was the perfect end to a perfect trip. I can’t wait until I can get back!