Monday, August 8, 2016

Thank You and Farewell, Tallinn . . . Until Next Time

Our trip finished in Tallinn where we saw the sights, bought some yarn and books, and met with friends. Although I had shopped for yarn a little along the way, I knew that I also had a package waiting for me in Tallinn. I had been waiting patiently for the new Estonian Knitting book by Anu Pink, Siiri Reimann, and Kristi Jõeste to be published by Saara Publishing in English. As it turned out, ordering information for this book became available while I was traveling. Saara Publishing also sells HEA wool yarns in a variety of weights that are good for traditional mitten knitting and shawl knitting. I knew I wanted to try some of these yarns so I put together an order for the book and some yarns and had them shipped to an Estonian friend rather than having the heavy package shipped to the US. The cost of shipping to the US is very expensive. As long as my luggage didn't get too heavy, this was a good solution. Fortunately, I stayed below luggage weight limits for my trip home! Thank you, Signe, for delivering my package to me in Tallinn!

Signe's delivery service

We visited the Estonian Handicraft House at Pikk 22 to view a special Latvian textile exhibit, check out the shop, and visit Riina Tomberg's Workshop in the lower level. I had no idea that Riina would actually be onsite that day, so I was pleasantly surprised to find her in the shop and happy to have a little reunion with her. Riina is an author and teacher of Estonian knitting and handicraft. Her knitwear is beautiful and I own one cardigan of hers that I bought on my first trip to Estonia. While we were chatting, my husband was lamenting that fact that I have not knit a sweater for him in a long time (you might say it's a case of "the shoemaker's children always go barefoot" syndrome). Riina thought that he was lucky to have as many handknit sweaters as he does, so she did not sympathize with him. Fortunately, Chris found a beautiful Riina Tomberg Design sweater that fit him perfectly, so he is now happy with his newest pullover and I am free to knit mittens, shawls, or sweaters as I choose, rather than "on demand." Thank you, Riina, for the wonderful selection of sweaters that you have in your shop!

Riina Tomberg in her Workshop

We planned a visit with Mari, one of my Estonian Craft Camp instructors. Although she teaches near Viljandi, we met near her home in Tallinn and took a walk that included Kadriorg Park and the Song Festival Grounds (Lauluväljak). We stopped at the statue of Estonian composer, Gustav Ernesaks, for some photos. Thank you, Mari, for teaching me to make plaited ribbons, Estonian-style!

A Mari, Mary, and Gustav composition

On our last full day in Tallinn, we met Monika for lunch at Kaerajaan restaurant on the Town Hall Square. Monika made sure that we checked out one of the unique features of architecture in this restaurant. All I'm going to say is that you should go to the second floor to use the toilet. During lunch, I mentioned that I was looking for Käsitöösalong Hiiupits, a particular shop featuring handicrafts based on Hiiumaa island traditions. Coincidentally, Monika's friend owns the shop, so we stopped together for a look after lunch. Thank you, Monika, for your knowledge of all places Estonian!


To round out the trip, we visited the Tallinn TV Tower (Teletorn), which has been important in Estonian history as the terminus of the Baltic Way. The Baltic Way was an event that took place in 1989, with approximately 2 million people joining together hand-in-hand from Vilnius through Riga to Tallinn to show their solidarity in the pursuit of independence. I had begun this trip in Lithuania and had visited the other terminus of the Baltic Way, Gediminas' Tower in Vilnius (see my prior blog post about the Baltic Way here) so it was fitting that we should end our trip here.

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