March 19, 2011

Corgyncombe Reindeer Herders!

Furnishing the Lavvu!
A huge winter storm brought lots of moisture into Corgyncombe's hills and dales in the form of snow, snow, snow! There was a four foot drift in front of the barn door one morning and the snowfence on the hill had totally disappeared! Diane has always fancied a Lavvu of her own and has been gathering interesting items for its interior. A lavvu is a dwelling that looks like a tent that the reindeer herders could frequently move as they traveled with their reindeer. In the photograph above are big reindeer boots, little boots, a decorated tea cozy, a teapot not from Lapland but Diane thought it fit in quite well, and a woman reindeer herder's hat. The reindeer herders didn't wear socks but stuffed their boots with dried grass.

Diane is quite used to life in the tent as she used to spend part of her summers climbing mountains and living in a tent and cannot wait to have her own lavvu. One can imagine on a morning with all that snow drifted round a lavvu could be quite snug!

Lydia, Corgyncombe's reindeer herding pup, atop a snowbank.

Little boots. Aren't they sweet with their little turned up toes?

An old postcard showing a reindeer herding family outside their dwelling.

"Children of Lapland" the little child reminds Diane of her husband when he was a little lad. Diane's daughter Sarah has Norwegian and Swedish ancestry on her father's side.

"Norwegian Handknits, Heirloom Designs From Vesterheim Museum" by Sue Flanders and Janine Kosel. The book has patterns for sweaters, hats, mittens, socks, a knapsack, and other knitted and felted items. Intermingled with the patterns are antique photographs. Some of the patterns are based on old designs with a more modern interpretation. The knapsack on the cover features the Selbu star motif. The pattern originated in an area near where some of Sarah's Norwegian ancestors came from.

Diane's handspun, handknit hats have a star much like the Selbu star. The pattern for these hats is not in "Norwegian Handknits". The hats above and below were amongst the first projects that Diane made with her own handspun 2 ply yarn. The gray, black, and white are the natural colours of the sheep. One Christmas Diane made hats similar to those above except with some dyed yarn as surprises for her father and her uncles. Needless to say they were delighted!

One of the patterns in the book "Norwegian Handknits" is a "Sami Sweater". This sweater was inspired by a garment knit in the 1940s that was in turn inspired by the original Sami garments. Sami are reindeer herders in Scandinavia. Diane and Sarah prefer the 1940s knitted garment as it has a fluted skirt to the straight sided modern sweater. There is also a pattern for matching mittens to go along with the sweater.

In "Folk Mittens, Techniques and Patterns for Handknitted Mittens" by Marcia Lewandowski, there are patterns for mittens inspired by Lapland, Norway, Sweden, and many other countries.

In "Tasha Tudor's Old-Fashioned Gifts", by Tasha Tudor and Linda Allen, there are some Scandinavian patterns for mittens and slipper-socks.

In "And It was So", Tasha Tudor illustrated children from several different lands dancing round in a circle with a World Map on the wall behind them with the dove, symbolizing peace, above the map. One of the children is a little girl wearing the traditional clothing of the reindeer herders of Scandinavia.

Priscilla Francelia, also known by her friends as Frizzy, and her Baby Doll in reindeer herding outfits made by Tillie Tinkham, the seamstress mouse for the dolls at Corgyncombe. Frizzy is petting the little reindeer. Someday, when the reindeer grows up, it will have antlers like the ones Frizzy tied on. Frizzy and Baby Doll think that the little reindeer is so sweet! In the background, a child's Saami and Norwegian language book by Margarethe Wiig is open to one of the many illustrations of reindeer herders.

"Norsk, Lapp, and Finn or, Travel Tracings From The Far North of Europe" by Frank Vincent, Jr.

A New Year's card

Here is a link to: An Old Photograph of Reindeer Herders' Dwellings



Jeri Landers said...

I Used to spend my summers in a tent, hiking the mountains as well... but I don't think I care to do it anymore. My old bones just wouldn't appreciate it.
I have always loved these patterned Norwegian style hats, and you make them so beautifully. And such lovely little boots!

Christie said...

Once again...what a rich heritage....and such a beautiful tribute.

I love the dolly and her baby dressed in such festive little dresses!

Jeri, we must tend to these "old" bones of ours...

Happy Spring,

Agnes said...


Great post!
I've been to Lapland. It's beautiful! And I've seen reindeers running free. They're charming!

I just have to recommend some lovely books for you!
They are called "Scandinavian Folklore" and is written by Laila DurĂ¡n. The books are filled with beautiful photos of traditional scandinavian clothing. I have them all (3 volumes), and they are superb!

Search for "scandinavian folklore laila duran" on google pictures, and you'll see alot of photos from the books. The books are available in english.
I'll hope you'll like it!

Here's alink to the authour's page:

Kind regards,

Diane Shepard Johnson and Sarah E. Johnson said...

Dear Agnes,

It must have been special to see the reindeer running free! Thanks for the book recommendation!

Your friends,
Diane and daughter Sarah, and the dolls and Tillie Tinkham the seamstress mouse at Corgyncombe

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