• 28Aug

    When I was in Sweden this summer, Sven-Eric allowed us to go into his attic and look through four trunks of very old clothing.  It was like finding hidden treasure!  Among the wonderful finds there were two old leather aprons.

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    Every farmer, blacksmith and craftsman probably had an apron like this.

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    Even though they were stiff as boards, Torsten tried them on.

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    One had a lovely, hand woven neck band.

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    Sven-Eric generously gave one to Torsten, who has worked some conditioner into it and made it soft and supple again!

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    Torsten has formal Nåsdräkten, but also the everyday clothes, which he has on here.

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    Don’t you love the birch bark knapsack?

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    It’s great to see new life given to old things.

  • 23Aug

    Of course Midsummer’s Eve is the big summer holiday in Sweden, and I love being there.  We enjoyed music in the church that morning.

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    Everything is decorated with small birch trees and birch branches, even the entrance to the church.

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    In the afternoon we went to the folk park for the community celebration, which starts when the musicians arrive.

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    Many of my Swedish relatives were already there.

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    And the maypole was decorated and waiting to be raised.

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    I love seeing everyone in their folk dress, especially the children.

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    Everyone from the parish has the same dress.  This is my relative, Inga-Britt, whom I hadn’t seen in many years!

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    Here’s Emmy in her Nås dress, and don’t you love the man’s clothes?  I especially love Torsten’s frock coat.

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    With lots of help, the maypole gets hoisted into place.

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    It’s hard to take a picture with people and a maypole!

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    The park is right on the river, part of the same park where Ingmarsspelen is performed.  I told Torsten that during the intermission of the play, we were walking along the bank and we heard violin music coming from across the river.  It was hauntingly beautiful.  We looked and looked and Bob thought he could make out someone standing in the reeds on the other side.  Torsten said, “Oh, that was Näcke!”  At first I thought he was naming someone he knew, then I remembered that Näcke is the water sprite who makes beautiful music!  It must have been him!  Sometimes Näcke lures humans to a watery death, but other times he shares his talent for making beautiful music with them.  How lucky were we?

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    The wild lupine is in full bloom at midsummer and it has been a tradition to have my picture taken standing in a field of lupine.

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    Bob got creative with the camera!

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    We were invited to Sven-Eric’s for a midsummer meal.  It’s also traditional to mow around the daisies that bloom in your lawn!

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    The food was delicious, and there was plenty of it!

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    The weather was getting cloudy but it was nice enough that we could eat outside.

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    Two very happy guests.

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    And we even had room for dessert later as we sat up and talked into the wee hours of the morning.

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    Fabulous memories!

  • 27Feb
    Categories: Everything! Comments: 9

    Woo hoo!  I got a package from Sweden in the mail today!

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    I want to make a heartwarmer to wear with my Swedish folk dress.  So, I need to turn this…

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    …into this!

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    Nope, I’ve never crocheted a stitch in my life, so with me luck!

  • 24Jan
    Categories: musings Comments: 4

    Nåsdräkten literally means, “the dress from Nås.

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    Nås is the village in Dalarna, Sweden where my ancestors lived.

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    Each village, or parish, had its own costume…

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    …with its own distinct components, like the style of this bodice.

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    Or the cut of the scarf.

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    Many, like the Nås dress, have tatting on the blouse.

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    There are variations within the parish, like these neckerchiefs.

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    They are still stitched by hand.

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    The wool skirt sometimes has a red band…

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    …and always has a crocheted edge,

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    although there are many designs for the crochet!

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    The apron also has many variations.  Some designs were specific for certain holidays, feast days, weddings, etc.

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    There is a cap which is tied under the chin, on the left side.

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    Only married women have lace on their caps.

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    Here’s a cap that is made completely from crochet.

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    The purse is beautifully embroidered and worn half hidden by the apron–a sign of modesty.

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    I was honored when my Swedish relatives had a Nåsdräkt made for me in 1984.

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    The man’s frock coat can be white…

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    …or black.

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    Photo credits:

    folklorefashion.durantextiles.com

    margaretajonth.com

    sverigesfolkdrakter.se

    You can see more photos on my Pinterest board devoted to the Nas dress and fin direct links to the original websites for the photos.  http://pinterest.com/karenannalena/swedish-nasdrakt/