Sunday, March 1, 2009

Björklunden Vid Sjön

...Norwegian for "birch forest by the water", is the name of my school's northern campus where I spent my weekend.  As you will see, this is actually a lodge and not a campus at all - we use it as a retreat center for different campus groups to spend time for a multitude of reasons.  My reason?  To knit, of course!

Below is the room in which my fellow knitters and I spent our weekend knitting.  It doesn't get much better than that, right?

What you can't see outside that window is Lake Michigan, a mere ten second walk from the door.  Bjorklunden has more than a mile of shoreline property and 325 acres of forest.  It is most definitely one of the most peaceful places I have spent my time.  I love wandering around in the endless woods or along the rocky shore completely losing myself in thought (which, if I can help it, has nothing to do with school).  Absolutely beautiful.

While we were there, the group did some yarn dying - many for the first time.

I didn't participate, as anything that involves randomly combining colors to create something beautiful turns into an absolute disaster when left in my hands.

(look at that beautiful sock blank that she's painting, isn't it going to be gorgeous?)
I didn't leave empty handed though.  We had a yarn swap while we were there and we all brought yarn we didn't want, and wouldn't you know it that one of the people dying yarn didn't like the way two of her skeins turned out, so I snatched them up and gave them a home.  I'm really excited to work with them.

This resort (let's not kid ourselves, it's not a campus), believe it or not, used to be a family home.  The mother, having seen a Norwegian stavkirke (chapel, literally a "stave-church") wanted to build one of her own, and ten years later it was complete.

The structure itself only took one year to complete and the rest of the time was spent on the inside.

Frescos cover almost every square inch of the walls - painted by the mother herself.

The one below was one of my favorites.  Can anyone guess why?

There was also an incredible amount of hand-carving inside this small little church.  Take this baptism, um, thing, for example:

The entrance is surrounded by more woodcarving.  In fact, hidden in all the intricate carvings that surround the door are eight of the tools that were used to build this chapel, which I failed to capture because I was taking pictures of the angels.

All in all, I had a wonderful time and really hope I can make it back there again soon.  I'll just have to join every group on campus to ensure that I will be able to take advantage of every single opportunity, right?

That's the "campus" in the background.  Call it what you will - I call it fantastic.

(more posts to come)


  1. Wow -- what an incredible place!

  2. That looks like such a relaxing place to spend your time...and right before finals, too! Sounds like you had fun. :)

  3. don't tell me you're becoming a tour very informative.

    i'm sure if i had gone i never would have left. hey, how's this for a plan: summer trip to bjorklunden. yes?

  4. That is awesome!! I'm quite jealous...

  5. Wow, that looks like such a lovely place!