Friday, May 12, 2006

My excursion to SandnesGarn

Nene (2) needs a new cardigan, and a cotton sweater for the summer, and I think they should be handknits. But, based on previous experience, I'm reluctant to spend much time or money on them. So the yarn must be cheap or bulky, preferably both.

SandnesGarn is the biggest spinning mill in Norway, and I think perhaps the oldest too. It's situated a 15 minutes drive from where I live, and they have a factory outlet, where an economical knitter can find some good bargains. Knowing too well that I'm not great at sales and bargains, I don't go there often, but today I decided to give it a try. I was looking for Mandarin Fiesta, an aran weight cotton-acrylic blend, for a quick kids sweater. Normally the Fiesta is NOK 25 a ball, but at the factory outlet you could buy a bag of 20 balls for less than NOK 300. My problem is that I only need 5 balls, not 20, and I don't like to stock up yarn without a plan, so I bought my five balls with no discount. Plan B was to buy pink and cream Sisu yarn, and I think there was quite a lot of second sorting Sisu offered at great discounts. But the Sisu was sitting next to Lanett, which is the softest fingering weight merino, and I just had to touch it to forget all about the Sisu. I tend to think of Sandnes Lanett and Dale Baby Ull as practically identical and interchangeable yarns, but when it comes to softness and quality over time, I think I prefer the Lanett. Most of the time I buy Dale because the colours are more interesting, but for neutral colours like cream, white, baby pink, light greys, there is nothing like Lanett.

There is one more thing worth mentioning about this factory outlet. Through a series of mergers SandnesGarn is now in the same group as Iittala, Arabia and Rörstrand, which means that the factory outlet, in addition to yarn and handknit sweaters, offers the best of Finnish and Swedish glass, china and stoneware design. Things like my favorite Ego cups from Arabia, or the Moomin series, or the famous Alvar Aalto vase in the pictures (for the record, I didn't buy all that stuff today - most of it is just for illustration). But I'm sure Nene will like the yarn for her new sweaters much better when it is presented in new Moomin bowls, don't you think?

Anyway, the Finnish design part of the factory outlet makes it a very dangerous place for me to visit. But I did get a set of Clover 2 mm bamboo dpns at 60% off - now that's a bargain!!!


karen said...

aaahhh - the mumi bowls - I have been planning on going there some time too, now you really got me thinking I should do so soon! Lovely yarns you got!

Terhi said...

Hehee... those dishes looked really familiar! :-) I think we should definately have a similar factory outlet here too, selling SandnesGarn yarns.

iso gnu said...

I found Your Blog. What beautiful and gorgeous knittings! Colours were magnificant ja You are very skilful in knitting. And dishes from Finland,Ego, Aalto, Moomin. ;)So greetings from Finland.

Siri said...

That outlet looks like a very dangerous place! You were very strong coming home with the little bit that you did!
I agree with you about the softness of Lanett. It's near the softness of cashmere, but at a much better price and washable.

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