I prepared for my trip to Iceland as all knitters do by searching for yarn shops on the internet. To my delight I found Knitting Iceland, a miniature knitting kingdom filled with excursions, workshops, an online shop and a knit cafe: Iceland a place for knitters… Well worth checking out, so I contacted Ragga the founder by e-mail and set up a meeting. While I was waiting for her, I had to familiarize myself with the place. I found the notification that she had indeed adopted a sheep, a large selection of Icelandic yarn Lopi in different thicknesses and colours, tons of knitting magazines (like we all do have) and her DVD. Ragga kindly offered me a copy of her ‘Knit your own Lopapeysa’, which shows you her adopted sheep, how it is sheared, how the yarn is dyed at Istex and made ready to knit with, and of course how to knit a typical Icelandic sweater along with Ragga’s modern technical twists.
The DVD is such a delight. It gives you an insight into her knitting life and the opportunity to learn some great new techniques. I love seeing all the Icelanders she has captured wearing their sweaters at the supermarket as well as how Ragga treats her friends to waffles, that look just like the Norwegian ones do. It can be bought from her web store www.knittingiceland.is
One of next year tours, organized by Knitting Iceland, is Knit to the Music with guest tutor Cookie A, a very talented sock designer with vast knitting knowledge. So far I have only done one of her workshops, at Knit Nation, called Knitting off the Grid and it was brilliant! Check out her website: www.cookiea.com
One of Knitting Iceland’s partners is the Handknitting Association of Iceland, they have several shops which offer stacks of handknitted Icelandic sweaters, made by their members, as well as a collection of Lopi yarn in different thicknesses. www.handknit.is I was surprised to find a couple of Norwegian brands among the Icelandic ones, both Rauma and Sandnes Garn supplemented with Norwegian patterns were available. Inevitably I had to invest in Icelandic yarn and chose the lace weight Lodband. What I will design with it, remains a mystery, but I will keep you posted…