Rovaniemi, on the Arctic circle, is a beautiful part of the world, and sadly so very far from Australia! A few highlights from my recent visit were:
I get a nice warm fuzzy feeling remembering the Taito Lappi store because it was my favourite shop in Rovaniemi. There was a fun collection of yarns, handmade items, and I also spotted items for spinning and weaving. I spoke at length with a woman running the store and she invited me to take a look at the back room where people were weaving.
This took me completely by surprise – a collective loom weaving centre! There were perhaps ten looms and people were busy making rugs. I had a chat to some of the women who explained that they pay a fee to use the looms and there is support from the organisers who help to set up the looms, troubleshoot and teach new techniques. The weavers make their own products and they can also put them for sale in the store. It looked like a great little community that I wish I had access to back home.
From the shop I bought some Vuorelman Veto yarn (85% wool / 15% polyamide) on the recommendation that it is great for socks and mittens. I also bought mitten and sock knitting booklets published by Pirkanmaan Kotityö, and the woman in the shop also photocopied a sock (that’s right, she put a sock in the photocopier!) that I was admiring so that I could figure out the pattern! Wonderful customer experience :)
Lankamaailma stocked all manner of yarns including many beautiful yarns from Norway that I hadn’t seen down in Helsinki. The shop was organised well and there were a lot of sample socks and swatches to provide inspiration (and encourage buying). Needless to say, I bought another armful of yarn from here.
There are other Lankamaailma shops in Finland in Helsinki, Oulu, Tampere andTurku but I didn’t get a chance to visit them, but if I get a chance to go back to Finland soon then I’ll be heading to them quick smart.
Other shops and fun things to do
Another beautifully presented collective shop for Finnish designers. I admired the bags, felt shoes, and jewellery.
On a little side-street from Lordi Square I found Signe fabric shop. They had two small floors of various fabrics including cute childrens fabrics and I picked up a bag of mixed ribbons and decorations that will be making their way in to upcoming sewing projects.
This was my third visit to see Santa at the arctic circle. Along with a chance to have a quick chat with Santa himself, there are a number of handcraft, gift, and outlet stores (Iittala lured me in again!).
For the first time in my life I got the chance to go for a reindeer sleigh ride! An aggressive reindeer kicked up a blustery snow storm straight in to our faces as we sped around a reindeer track. What a thrill! The grounds and buildings of the reindeer farm were beautiful and made me want to live on a reindeer farm :)