TUCT-14 – Vättern Edition. Day #2. Lace-cation

This has been a lacey day. I figure if people have vacations and stay-cations, we have had a lace-cation. We went to Vadstena which is sort of the bobbin lace center in Sweden. We visited Svenska spetsar, Swedish Laces, and looked through their shop.

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They didn’t only have patterns and such but also bobbins, thread and lots of other things. We had a nice conversation with Britt-Inger who took care of us and helped us find what we were looking for.

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I got a lot of thread in many different colours. There is something about making lace in colours rather than just white, even though the white ones are very nice too.

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We continued on a found the store Elsa Pettersons Spetsaffär Eftr. In there we met Gunnel.

wpid-dsc_4822.jpgGunnel is 92 years old and has taken care of the shop for 44 years. Her mother, Elsa Petterson, had the store for 50 years and had 400 lace makers making laces for her to sell in the shop. These days Gunnel mostly sells pattern but you could still find a lot of nice laces from that time.

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Small laces.

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Huge laces.

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Laces in the making.

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Laces under the counter. Gunnel told us that there were no information on the patterns her mother left her, just the cardboard with lines and holes for the needles, no information about what size thread to use, how many bobbins, where to start, which turns to make, nothing, and she has spent many years trying to figure out the patterns so she can sell them on. Her store was a little museum in its own.

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Outside the lace world Vadstena is mostly known for its Birgitta convent, the convent that Saint Birgitta founded, so we took time to visit the convent museum as well.

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Some things were really interesting but I can’t say it was cooler than all the laces we had seen earlier. We are people who judge a museum by its’ museum shop and its’ café and this one had a pretty boring shop and a non-existing café. It might also be that we found the museum a bit boorish because by the time we went there we were really in the mood for coffee (tea!), our feet were a little tired and yeah, some coffee was of need and there were none. We probably weren’t fair to the museum but coffee or not, the lady at the counter was not as nice as the lace ladies we had already met that day.

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After the museum we went to a coffee shop, a polka dotted coffee shop, Jenny would have loved it, and had some well deserved sandwiches and tea. The blood sugar was a bit too low at that time but once the tea and sandwiches kicked in we were happy as clams again and could continue with our day.

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Even the pedestrian crossings in Vadstena are about laces, isn’t this just the prettiest thing ever? The lace is called Viggen and you can by the pattern at Svenska spetsar. Another thing about Vadstena is that it seems to be populated (or visited?) by only two categories of people – one is Norwegian ladies in the 40’s and the other is older ladies who has trouble walking due to either injuries or old age. It seems like, the Norwegian ladies aside, Vadstena is a place where senior citizens go on group tours. But then again, bobbin lace is  perhaps not the first thing you connect with youth so it only makes sense the average age was a bit… higher.

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After the coffee shop we were walking towards our car when a cat came meowing at us. It meowed and meowed and it looked like it really wanted something, and snuggled against our legs. Julle was bothered and thought the cat might be injured or something and when it rose on its’ hind legs and stretched its’ front legs at me, Julle decided we should walk away. The cat followed us for a bit and than say down, continuing meowing (none of us know anything about cats and we had no idea what this one wanted) and we walked on, in a completely different direction from our car but that was a good thing because we happen to run into the Lace museum! (Please compare the above to my little lavender stalk, I think it might be the same technique.)

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In there we found Gun-Britt, who in 1976 was pictured on a stamp, making lace.

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Meeting Gun-Britt was really nice and the stamp itself was cool and it almost felt like we had met a celebrity. Can you imagine being pictured on a stamp? That only happens to royalty and flowers and people making cool sports goals and such, and apparently in 1976, to a young lace maker in Vadstena.

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There were some really cool stuff. I mean, don’t you find it absolutely necessary to match your chair with your bobbin lace pillow, after you’ve seen this picture?

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Yep, it’s a hat. And it’s lace.

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Different kinds of bobbin lace pillows.

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A somewhat bigger lace.

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Julle making his first go at bobbin lace. Well done!

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After all this lace we did something completely different. We went to Borenshult and watched some locks before it was time for dinner.

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You can tell we’ve done this before. We took it easy, bought ice-cream and sat down to wait for the boats to come.

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They came and let me tell you,

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it’s just as fun to watch locks this summer as it was last summer.

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Then it was six o’clock and the locks were closed for the day. One day we will do this by boat.

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We find it a bit dark in our hotel room so we bought a lamp to lighten things up a bit. Yep. Or rather, we did find a lamp, one that we have been looking for for two years, and since we are not on a bike this year, we got it. But we didn’t want it in the car for the rest of our trip so we brought it into our hotel room. It sure looked a bit fun when Julle came walking through the reception carrying a lamp.

Tomorrow we’ll actually be on Vättern instead of just beside it. See you then!