Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Together With Knitting Friends in Tallinn

This year I got to introduce a number of knitting friends to some of my favorite places in Tallinn, Estonia. Before our Handicraft Tour of Setoland began, many of us had a few days to explore Tallinn. Most of these knitters were in Tallinn for the first time. I had given some suggestions in prior blog posts (a-knitters-guide-to-filling-your-shopping-cart-in-tallinn and lacy-days-and-busy-nights-at-estonian-museums) and on our arrival day, we made our way to the Eesti Käsitöö shop at Pikk 22. I had been in touch with Riina Tomberg and knew that my only chance to see her was in her workshop on my arrival day. After that, Riina would be back at the Cultural Academy in Viljandi and someone else would be staffing her workshop. So many lovely knitted garments! Some with distinctive fabric accents.

On my list for this year was a visit to the Vabamu Museum of Occupations and Freedom. It was well presented and the layout was interesting. Outside, at the entrance to the museum, there was an eerie display of abandoned suitcases. This work by Marko Mäetamm and Kaido Ole is titled "21 Suitcases."

At one point in the Vabamu Museum, I found myself in a room the size of a railroad car and the floor (and I) moved and I heard the sound of a railroad car moving on tracks. This reminded me again of how the Estonian museums make use of more than just one's sense of sight to engage their visitors.

Moving floor of the railroad car

I had made a reservation well in advance for eight people at Rataskaevu 16, my favorite restaurant in Tallinn. After dinner, I shared a dessert of bread pudding with a friend. And trust me, those are not carrots, onion, and corn next to the pudding - everything was sweet and delicious!

Bread pudding presentation

I've never been disappointed at Rataskaevu 16 and their staff is always so nice. We totally enjoyed our 3-hour dinner and our entertaining waiter who wrote a personal note on each person's receipt! Kristjan P wrote "I can't thank you enough for making the night so amazing!" Well, I can't thank you enough either, Kristjan P!

Five of us took the tram to Karnaluks, a notions, yarn, and fabric store located near the bus station. I had warned the knitters about the size of this store and it is now even larger than the last time I was there. It is overwhelming! One friend was looking for buttons for a sweater she is knitting. She found so many options. In the end, she brought home two sets of buttons rather than making a final decision. The prices were so good that she spent less than she would have on one set of buttons at home.

A portion of the button display at Karnaluks

Nearby is another small yarn shop, Wool and Woolen (Lõng ja Lõngast), and we stopped in. The owner is very friendly and she answered questions about how she opened her yarn shop after freedom came to Estonia. There were opportunities available to her as a woman that she hadn't had before. This woman is strong, independent, and an entrepreneur!

On our way back to the old town, we stopped at the Rahva Raamat book store in Viru Keskus shopping center and then walked through Tammsaare Park and happened upon an outdoor photography exhibit titled Our Own. The exhibit was described as "a series of portraits introducing Estonian people and showing, even in its limited capacity, the diversity of the population of our small country and nation." We were excited to find photographs of people from Seto since we would be going to that part of Estonia soon.

Our Own, outdoor photography exhibit

Annela Laaneots,
former King Peko of Seto

Liisi Lõiv,
young Seto woman in handmade folk clothing

Kauksi Ülle,
ethno-futuristic thinker and poet

When we traveled to Seto on our handicraft tour, we actually met Kauksi Ülle in person at the Obinitsa Art Gallery. I will have more to tell about the handicraft tour in an upcoming blog post.

No comments:

Post a Comment