Last summer I visited the Fareo Islands, a retreat from the intense heat of our British summer and also to learn more about knitting. It was also a leap into the unknown as I have never been on holiday on my own or a tour.
We spent 7 days in the old town of Torshavn, the capital of the Faroe Islands. Large natural harbour and beautiful old houses with their turf rooves. The knitting classes were tutored by the brilliant and very lovely Katrina i Geil, a Faroese knitwear designer who is collecting the traditional Faroese patterns before they disappear.
Knitting was a huge part of the islands income and a way of keeping warm in such an extreme climate. Knitting in the round with several yarns building up the pattern gave the knits warmth – as the yarn is 2 ply. I have been discovering how slow 2 ply can be! The way sheep and farming works on the islands is so different from here at home, there many family’s have sheep and its mostly very small family holdings that keep going and the yarn is also spun and sorted off the islands.
Food on the islands is expensive and we never got to try the dried fish delicacy although we did eat some amazing seafood. If you are going to Torhaven book a table at Barbara’s ahead of time – we had to wait a week for a table and it was the best! Never eaten such delicious fresh seafood, 5 of us ordered 3 starters each and got to try a little of everything. Rhubarb is also grown on the island and we had delicious rhubarb jam for breakfast – did want to bring some home but with only hand luggage was concerned it may come under liquids. So if you know of anywhere I can source it do say!
Even if you think you don’t know anything about the Faroe Islands you’ll probably know the jumper above, knitted on the islands by Gudren & Gudren. The knits are super warm and I did buy mittens as my hands got so cold on some of our excursions. Ravelry has some wondeful Fareose patterns and once I am finished knitting my second Fareose fisherman’s hats will start a jumper for winter. I’m a slow knitter – not as in slow fashion just ………..slow. There were 2 book I bought on the islands and only 1 is translated into English, Faroe Island Knits by Svanhild Strom & Marjun Biskopsto. The other is a chart of traditional Faroese patterns and I thought would also translate into amazing quilt designs.
We pestered our bus driver to take us to see the Mulafossur Waterfall on the island of Vagar, so on our last day on route to the airport in extreme cold and fog we visited and wow it did not disappoint! If you’re looking for a holiday with a difference, love walking, knitting and exploring – the Faroe Islands will not disapoint!