textile researcher and weaving expert Ragnheiður Björk Þórsdóttir came to work with Þekkingarsetur and the Icelandic Textile Center to research and analyse old weaving patterns held within the Kvennaskólinn building. The initial temporary research and preservation collaboration resulted in the ongoing project "Bridging textiles to the digital future" funded by Rannís, the Icelandic Research Fund.
Prjónagleði. The Icelandic Textile Center's festival for knitting enthusiasts was held for a second time in Blönduós from June 9 - 11, 2017.
Developing tourism in A-Hún. Þekkingarsetur collaborated with the Tourism Association of Austur-Húnavatnssýsla district and the municipalities of Blönduós, Húnavatnshreppur, and Skagabyggð on developing tourism in the region. The project, a re-run of the 2014 effort (see below), entailed i.a. updating and re-publishing the regional brochure "Milli fjalls og fjöru" / "Between the mountains and the sea" and hiring a tourism representative for the region based in Kvennaskólinn.
Prjónagleði - Knitting Festival. Prjónagleði is a knitting festival initiated by the Textílsetur, the Icelandic Textile Center. The festival is modeled on the annual Knitting Festival in Fano, Denmark and was held in Blönduós from June 10 - 12 for the first time. Guests could chose from 20 different workshops and lectures on a wide range of knitting topics, participate in sightseeing trips to local textile-related sites of interest, and visit a sales exhibition. The aim of the festival is to bring together experienced teachers and knitting enthusiasts from Iceland and all around the world to celebrate "knitting delights", explore new knitting techniques and learn about regional textile traditions.
Library seminar. A seminar was held for library staff members in the northwest Iceland on September 29th. The day long seminar was aimed at staff members without a formal education in the field of library and information science. Experts from the Consortium of Icelandic Libraries taught participants about Iceland's library resources and databases. A lecture on the future of public libraries was held by the head librarian of the district library in Blönduós. The seminar was a collaborative effort of Þekkingarsetur, Farskólinn - the Center of Adult Education, the district library in Blönduós, and the Consortium of Icelandic Libraries.
Conference on Jóhanna Jóhannesdóttir. On September 27 a conference was held on Jóhanna Jóhannesdóttir (f. 4.11.1895, d. 1.5.1989), handcrafter, knitter, and farmer in Svinavatn in Húnavatnssýsla district. Historian Dr. Áslaug Sverrisdóttir presented a lecture on Jóhanna's life and work. Historian and literary scientist Iðunn Vignisdóttir presented a lecture on the history of the former women's school (Kvennaskólinn) in Blönduós, and historian and archivist Sólborg Una Pálsdóttir spoke on the subject of looms, independence, and women's rights. After a coffee break, guests were invited to take a closer look at the textile artist residency in Kvennaskólinn, and visit Minjastofur, the Vatnsdæla tapestry, and a special exhibition of Jóhanna's work at the Textile Museum. The conference was a collaborate effort of Þekkingarsetur, the Icelandic Textile Center, the Textile Museum, and the Icelandic Handicrafts Association. Partners received funding from Húnavatnshreppur district, Landsvirkjun, and the Regional Development Fund.
Assessment of the Salmon Center and Sea Ice Center exhibitions. Þekkingarsetur collaborated with Blönduósbær and the Icelandic Salmon Center to assess the nature/science-focused exhibitions in Blönduós and determine whether they could be presented under one roof. Both exhibitions struggled with a declining number of visitors in recent years. The project was led by representatives from Blönduósbær, the Salmon Center, Þekkingarsetur, and SSNV (the consortium of municipalities in northwest Iceland). A summary on the project and its outcomes can be found here.
Lectures on Sigurður Jónasson and climate change. Two lectures were held in Kvennaskólinn on April 14 in connection with the travelling exhibition on the women's rights movement visiting Blönduós that month: Metereologist Þór Jakobsson presented a lecture on Sigurður Jónasson. Sigurður, born on a farm in Vatnsdalur valley in the Húnavatnssýsla district, translated a Danish version of John Stuart Mills' essay on the subjection of women into Icelandic in 1900. It is said to have had a significant influence on the women's rights movement in Iceland.
Jónína Herdís Ólafsdóttir, master student at Hólar University and National Geographic Society stipendiary held presented a lecture on climate change and the effect it will have on Iceland.
Developing tourism in A-Hún. Þekkingarsetur participated in project initiated by the A-Hún Tourism Association ( Ferðamálafélag A-Hún.) The project included: Organization / realization of tourism related workshops in the spring of 2014; English language class with a focus on tourism taught in collaboration with Farskólinn; vinnslu gagnagrunns yfir ferðaþjónustaaðila á Norðurlandi vestra, vinnslu upplýsingabæklings fyrir ferðamenn í A-Hún., efling samstarfs aðila í ferðaþjónusta á svæðinu, og framkvæmd spurningakönnunar fyrir ferðamenn sumarið 2014. A summary of the project and its outcomes by project manager G. Ágúst Pétursson can be found here.
North Atlantic Sheep and Wool Conference. Þekkingarsetur collaborated with the Icelandic Textile Center on organizing the 4th international conference "North Atlantic Sheep and Wool Conference" , which was held in Blönduós September 2014. A summary on the conference by project manager Jóhanna Pálmadóttir can be found here.
Blönduganga. Nature walk on Sunday, 20.7., during Húnavaka, the Blönduós town festival. The walk was led by Þekkingarsetur's researcher in the field of freshwater fisheries, Dan Govoni. Participants learned about plants and animals in Blanda river and introduced to the practice of electrofishing for research. After the walk, kids were invited to visit the research lab in Kvennaskólinn and take a closer look at water samples taken from the river.
Visiting Scholars. On February 2, 2014 scientists Liza Mack and Nadine Kochuten presented a lecture on their home region, the Aleutian Islands, and their research with the University of Fairbanks, Alaska. Guests were offered a taste of traditional dried salmon and berry jam.
Needs analysis of educational opportunities. In the winter of 2013 - 2014, a needs analysis of educational opportunities in northwest Iceland was conducted for Þekkingarsetur and Farskólinn - the Center for Adult Education by the University of Iceland. Results indicated that the educational level in northwest Iceland is considerably lower than in other parts of the country. Education levels appear highest in Skagafjörður and Húnaþing vestra, and lowest in the Austur-Húnavatnssýsla district. A large percentage of people aged 18 to 45 years have only primary education. Results were presented during meetings with residents and representatives of local councils and educational institutions in Skagaströnd, Sauðárkrókur and Blönduós. The final report by project manager Ásdís Ýr Arnadóttir can be found here.