Winnie’s latest adventures

Farmgirl Sister of the Year, Winnie Nielsen (Sister #3109, aka Red Tractor Girl) recently took fabulous trips to Europe, with stops in Iceland and Norway. She writes,

“Red Tractor Girl seems to get around to the weirdest places, but always finds a red tractor waiting! Here I am in UllKistan (WoolKistan?), where wool is king! You know you are in the right place because one of the few trees in Iceland is sporting a knitted sweater out front! How about Red Tractor Girl becoming a shepherdess? This tractor seems up to the task of a large Icelandic sheep farm. How about that beautiful wooly coat of the Icelandic sheep? No wonder they have shops full of beautiful knitted items and skeins of yarn! I wanted to sit on the tractor, but figured that would be pressing my luck a bit. I mean, how would you explain Red Tractor Girl to people who barely speak English?


The cowl on my neck was knitted from the wool I learned to spin last winter in a drop-spin class for my Expert Level Knitting Badge. It came out all different widths and degrees of tightness, but the ladies in the yarn store encouraged me to make it into something. Voila! A knitted cowl with “artisan” yarn. All wonky, tight, loose, and weird, like trying to knit rubber bands and fuzz. However, it turned out pretty nice in the end, and it was nice and thick and oh so warm.

As you know, the red tractor love started when I was 4 and my dad gave me a little red tractor toy from a consulting job he did for International Harvester in Chicago in 1955. I played with that thing for years and years. When I joined the MJF Sisterhood, I wanted some name that aligned me with some sort of farm identity, and the idea just popped into my head. I have never actually driven a tractor or know anything much about them. It is all a bit of fantasy in my head, but now I identify with red tractors as my farm connection. It has made for some darling MJF swap gifts, which I cherish and love!!”

Below are a few stunning photos from Winnie’s trips. I don’t know where these actual photos are from, but maybe Winnie will tell us in the comments section below …






  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Where is Winnie, Red Tractor Girl, this last year has been sort of like that book Where is Waldo? Look for a red tractor and I might be near by. The first three photos are actually from the Norwegian Fjords. The landscape is quite majestic with huge cocky and rugged cliffs on both sides of the narrow passageways. The 4th photo is a modern art sculpture in Iceland that resembles an ancient Norwegian boat like the kind the Vikings came in when they discovered and established Iceland around 800 AD. As you can see, Iceland is cold and snowy and the walk down to actually see the boat was pure slippery ice!! The last photo in Bergen in Norway along the quiet inner harbor. All of the colorful buildings are the original ones from the early days of the busy port life of the city. When we were in a Norwegian museum of Viking relics, there are several of the large wooden boats used that resemble the art structure above. They were basically huge row boats with a sail. If you look at a map at the distance between Norway and Iceland, it is hard to imagine rowing the ocean to get from one place to another!

    We learned in Iceland, that a Norwegian Viking, came back to the area of Reykjavik around 800 AD and set up a colony. He built woolen mills and established an economy based on the raising of sheep and wool products. Imagine starting a nation on the backs of sheep? Literally. Today, the language of Iceland is based on old Norse and is only spoken in Iceland. Oddly enough, it is quite different from the Norwegian language today such that neither country knows what the other is saying unless they have studied the language. As far as population goes, Iceland is made up of about 50% Norwegian descent, 30% Ireland, and the rest a blend of other Scandinavian peoples.

  2. Cindi Johnson says:

    THAT is a really, really cool tractor!! Oh Winnie, I hope you got to sit on it at some point in your visit. That such a beautiful place can withstand, thrive even, in such a harsh winter environment is amazing at the very least. I’ll bet Winnie returns with many suitcases stuffed with inspiration ~ and maybe a couple of those gorgeous sheep? 🙂

  3. Janet Pulver says:

    Gorgeous scenery, trip of a lifetime! Awesome tractor!

  4. Karlyne says:

    Winnie, I don’t often envy people, but I have to admit to just a teeny pang of envy here. I’m so glad that you got to see places that I still have on my own bucket list!

  5. Heather (nndairy) says:

    What a fabulous time you must have had Winnie! I love that you found a red tractor 🙂 Thank you for sharing with us farmgirls that aren’t able to travel the world yet.

  6. Linda says:

    Great pictures and story, Winnie! I’ve never been to Norway or Iceland – maybe one of these days!

  7. Connie-Killarney says:

    Winnie the pictures are breathtaking and you look adorable!! FarmGirl hug!

  8. CHARLYN says:

    Enjoyed all the pictures, we had a red tractor on our farm. thanks for sharing

  9. Kellie says:

    So, so gorgeous, Winnie! The bright, warm colors of the architecture do reflect a Swedish and Irish aesthetic as well. I never realized they were such a large part of the culture!
    The red tractor is just perfect. <3

  10. LisaMarie says:

    Oh thank you! So gorgeous and interesting history.

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