Bucket List – Top Destinations for Yarnies

We would happily travel far & wide in search of the perfect skein and if you feel the same then you can officially call yourself a ‘yarnie’. Whether you’re a knitter or a crocheter, take a look at some of our top destinations for the wooliest of adventures!

1. IRELAND

Knitting has been a part of Irish life since the 1600’s when knitting schools were established across the country. The craft grew to become a source of income for many households and through the years, Ireland developed their own distinctive style of knitwear. By the 1930s, the Aran jumper was known worldwide as an symbol of Irish history and daily life.

WHERE TO VISIT?

  • The Aran Islands – Home of the famous Aran jumper and the best place to discover the history behind this Irish icon. Aran jumpers have been worn by fishermen here for hundreds of years and patterns passed from generation to generation without even being written down. It’s the best place to get your hands on an authentic knit!
  • Leenane Sheep & Wool Centre – Discover the history of sheep farming and learn about the methods of spinning & weaving through demonstrations at this museum. Pick up some souvenirs in the fantastic shop selling a wide range of locally made knitwear & 100% Irish Wool knitting yarn in a range of colours.

IRELAND IS ONE OF OUR MOST POPULAR DESTINATIONS EVERY YEAR. TAKE A LOOK AT OUR UPCOMING TOURS.

2. PERU

Hand knitting is an ancient tradition in Peru, introduced by the Spanish in the 16th Century, it quickly became a way of life for many Peruvians. Traditional crafts have been kept alive today in many parts of the country, partly credited to their local sources of yarn. Sheep, llamas & alpacas provide beautiful yarn locally & many travel to Peru specifically to get their hands on some beautifully soft alpaca yarn.

WHERE TO VISIT?

  • Amano museum – This museum was one of the first purpose-built museums in Peru and is home to an extensive collection of textiles covering 2000 years. There are some truly beautiful pieces and it’s well worth a visit to learn more about Peru’s rich textile history.
  • Center of Traditional Textiles, Cusco – If you’re looking to get your hands on some authentic Peruvian textiles, this is the place to be. This organisation brings together beautiful handwoven pieces from 10 mountain villages – watch locals handcrafting beautiful souveneirs, learn about the traditional, organic methods which have been used throughout history and take home some authentic goods.

3. NORWAY

Norway can take credit for some of the most iconic knitwear patterns & styles we know today including the famous Selburose motif – a pattern which has now become not only a symbol of Norway but a symbol of winter & Christmas worldwide! But the biggest appeal for yarnies is the much sought-after Norweigan wool. Authentic Norweigan wool is washed & prepped without chemicals making it a fantastic eco-friendly choice and a fabulous fibre to work with –strong yet lustrous. In fact, rumour has it that the fitted carpet in Oval Office of The White House is actually made from Norweigan wool!

WHERE TO VISIT?

  • Museum of Norwegian Knitting Industry – housed in a former textile mill, this museum is the only one of it’s kind in the country. The whole yarn process, from spinning to knitting can be explored within the museum on some of the original machines from when the knitwear factory was in use between 1858-1989!
  • Bryggen – The colourful Bryggen wharf is a must-see whilst in Norway, and not just for the postcard-worthy photos. Here, the characteristic wooden gabled buildings which were once the home and offices of Hanseatic merchants, today house shops selling crafts and traditional souvenirs. It’s one of the best places to get your hands on some authentic Norweigan knitwear!

JOIN US ON A WOOLY ESCAPE TO NORWAY. SEE ALL OUR NORWEIGAN TOURS HERE.

4. SHETLAND ISLANDS

The Shetland Islands are one of our favourite destinations for a yarn-filled escape. If the powerful natural landscapes aren’t enough to provide crafting inspiration, the traditional textile methods can be traced back as far as 800BC! From traditional knitting to Shetland lace, textiles have influenced the culture and economy of the islands enormously through the years & there are plenty of places to discover more about this fascinating history.

WHERE TO VISIT?

  • Shetland Museum & Archive – Topping TripAdvisor’s Shetland bucket list is the Shetland Museum & Archives. Packed with information and artefects from boats to fossils, you’re bound to discover some of the island’s many secrets and learn about the heritage behind the islanders way of life.
  • Shetland Textile Museum – With a 25 year old collection of over 600 items, Shetland Textile Museum is a fascinating visit. Discover World-famous Shetland textiles such as Fair Isle, Shetland Lace, Shetland Taatit rugs and woven tweed and explore the traditional techniques which have been used to produce them for centuries.

DISCOVER THE SPIRIT OF THE SHETLAND ISLANDS ON A KNITTING ADVENTURE WITH STITCHTOPIA. FIND OUT MORE HERE.

5. ICELAND

It’s only in the past 80 years that Iceland has developed the signature knitting style we know today, but the craft has been a significant part of the countrys’ culture for over 1000 years! Through that time, locals have nurtured their sheep to produce a unique superyarn called Lopi – supersoft yet superstrong, it’s known worldwide and is the fibre of choice for the famous Icelandic Lopapeysa sweater.

WHERE TO VISIT?

  • Thingborg Wool Centre – Set up by a group of women in the 90’s, this organisation celebrates everything wool! Spinning, carding, dyeing and knitting all take place under the Wool Centre’s roof and there’s also a shop selling beautiful handmade goodies.
  • Handknitting Association of Iceland – After more than 30 years of running, the Handknitting Association is well known for it’s quality products. They offer a huge selection of traditional hand-knitted Icelandic sweaters or local, naturally-dyed yarn & knitting supplies, if you’d prefer to knit one yourself!

EXPLORE THE BEAUTY OF ICELAND ON A YARN-FILLED TOUR. FIND OUT MORE HERE.

6. FAROE ISLANDS

The Faroe Islands are well known for their history of knitting traditions. At one stage in the islands’ rich history, woollen products were the most traded goods with different islands, towns and villages all developing their own Faroese patterns which have been handed down from generation to generation. Of course the designs have been updated through the years, but the iconic Faroese knitting style is still very much alive and thriving!

WHERE TO VISIT?

  • Snældan wool factory – Since 1949, Snældan has been producing gorgeous heritage yarns and knitwear using traditional Faroese methods. At the factory you can discover the secrets behind old-fashioned spinning & learn from three generations of the same family who still work under the same roof!
  • Fuglafjørður Knitting Festival – Every April, people from around the World gather in the Faroe Islands to celebrate all things knit in their their annual knitting festival. With workshops held in living rooms, lectures taking place in local cafes and a grand banquet on the final evening, it’s a fantastic event to join in with!

JOIN US ONE OF OUR UPCOMING TOURS TO THE BEAUTIFUL FAROE ISLANDS. FIND OUT MORE HERE.

Source by Kadi-Liis Koppel / Source by Kadi-Liis Koppel / Photo by LollyKnit – CC BY 2.0

7. ESTONIA

By the 18th Century, knitting had become an essential part of Estonian culture. A women’s traditional Estonian costume would even have a pocket for carrying knitting! Mittens were often the project of choice due to the Northern climate and folk heritage. Traditionally, mittens were made in natural shades with black, brown or dark blue and the cuffs will have a band of white and red – an ancient belief that it would protect the wearer from evil!

WHERE TO VISIT?

  • Eesti Käsitöö (Estonian Handicraft) – If you’re looking for authentic, high quality Estonian knitwear, this is the place to find it. There are three stores in Tallinn which are run by the Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union.
  • Tallinn! – Tallinn in general is a great place to discover traditional handmade crafts in Estonia. The Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union have even created a map so you can discover all the hidden gems! Click here to see the map

TAKE A LOOK AT OUR UPCOMING TOURS TO ESTONIA. FIND OUT MORE HERE.


 

EXPLORE ALL OUR TEXTILE TOURS & CRAFTING HOLIDAYS AT STITCHTOPIA.CO.UK 


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