Driving down the long and winding road that leads to the village Hellurnar. Steps, front door, shoes off, entering the living room. Today, Jórun Eið Johannesen is hosting guests from the Faroe Islands, Denmark and Norway. They all have signed up for Bindifestivalurin í Fuglafirði, the Knitting Festival that offers lectures, workshops, music, hiking tours, evening entertainment and a market place. Hallbjørg Eliassen teaches the participants how to crochet slippers. The tricky part: fitting and shoe bottom.
Meanwhile everyone is focussed on their patterns, Jórun and I do some whisper conversation. For Christmas, her mother gave her a hand-knitted blanket, Jórun tells me. And that her mother lives on Suðuroy, is 95 years old and practically blind. How she knitted the blanket? She actually fingered the stitches … ! In the house next door, Maiken Steinberg is the course instructor. Right now, she is working with Hansa Toftegaard and the lady of the house, Hansina Kerá. On the table: some „advanced advanced“ patterns Maiken has done, leaving me speechless with amazement.
Soon after, I move on to Fuglafjørður. This is where most of the Knitting Festival’s action happens. In the market place, I meet the initiators of the Festival, Eileen Ejdesgaard and Steintóra Nesá. About 300 have signed up for this year’s lectures and workshops, they tell me. Represented countries: "Canada, the US, Germany, Great Britain, Norway, Denmark and Sweden."
Tomorrow, the last day of this year’s Bindifestivalurin í Fuglafirði will take place, again, with lots of expert discussions about wool, techniques and the passion for knitting. „Training my memory is good for me, therefore, I won’t stop knitting“, Jórun Eið Johannesen’s 95-year-old mother has told her daughter. Simply admirable.
Festival masterminds: Steintóra Nesá (left) and Eileen Ejdesgaard. Further information: Bindifestivalurin í Fuglafirði