Amber and I just got back from an amazing trip to Sweden. The purpose of our trip? To explore yarn, wool, and design in an inspiring Scandinavian country. We went with 4 friends—Malia Mather who owns Stephen and Penelope in Amsterdam, Keli Faw who owns Drygoods Design in Seattle, knitwear designer Ysolda Teague of Edinburgh, and friend and fellow-Denverite, Alsn Elliott. We called our group "fikafriends" so you can see tons of images from our trip by checking our tagged photos on Instagram. We're going to be reporting on our travels to Stockholm, Gotland, and Åland over the next week so stay tuned. First up—Stockholm!
Stockholm is a ridiculously beautiful city composed of several islands located in the Baltic sea. We were fortunate enough to spend time there at the beginning and end of our trip and stayed in two different neighborhoods. We spent a lot of time walking around and exploring the city, taking in the beautiful views, visiting museums, shopping, and eating delicious food.
We became really into two Swedish concepts: fika and smörgåsbord. Fika is having coffee and a pastry with friends. It is a concept that includes conversation and could be any beverage with any small food item. Of course we had fika often and fika goes hand in hand with knitting so it was perfect. We were also introduced to our new obsession: the kardamummabulle or cardamom bun. These buttery, gooey pastries are chock full of cardamom and they are so great—we ate them almost everyday. They are available everywhere in Sweden, which was dangerous to our midsections! Smörgåsbord is a Swedish meal that consists of a buffet of several different hot or cold dishes. We often had smörgåsbord for dinner at our airbnb's and for lunch on our 4 ferry trips. We would visit the market for fruit, salad, smoked fish, charcuterie, cheese, breads, crackers, and olives. It was great. The Swedes have some lovely traditions that we are happy to incorporate into our daily lives here in the states.
Of course, while in Stockholm we searched out fabric stores, and were excited to check out Swedish design. Amber and I both fell in love with Tygverket. Fun fact: tyger is Swedish for textile fabric! They have two locations in the Södermalm neighborhood just a few blocks from one another.
Amber and I both bought fabric at their higher-end garment fabric shop. This shop had a huge selection of Liberty of London as well as a ton of linen and silk fabrics. I bought some Liberty of London and a beautiful linen with a different color warp and weft. Amber bought some printed raw silk fabric that is so unique!
You might be familiar with Swedish textile design because of the fabrics sold at Ikea. It is bold, graphic, and colorful, all while being clean and simple. We visited a large department store, NK Stockholm, which feels a little like a Macy's but features a ton of Scandinavian designed products. NK also sells fabric, and has a large selection of stunning 100% linen fabric by Swedish designers. Amber couldn't resist them and came home with printed linen by Linda Sjunnerson.
We also went to Svenskt Tenn. Svenskt Tenn mostly focuses on the designs of Josef Frank, who is considered one of Sweden's most famous designers. Svenskt Tenn stocks fabrics available by the meter in the top level and the rest of the store sells goods made with the prints such as pillows, table linens, trays, and more.
When you travel with a group of six knitters, there is tons of knitting time. We made sure to fit in knitting breaks while shopping, eating, and having fika. Amber and I each were able to finish a sweater on the trip thanks to long plane rides, ferries, and hanging out with this awesome crew. Stay tuned for Friday's post on Gotland island - home of Gotland sheep!
Til next time, Stockholm—we love you!