On Monday, we looked at some of my favorite highlights from my trip to Iceland. However, the real takeaway, both literally and figuratively, is just how much yarn you find everywhere in that country. There’s lopi wool practically everywhere you turn! Wool and knitting so permeates the Icelandic culture, it’s remarkable. I know you’re all curious to see what I got my hands on, so let’s take a closer look at this Icelandic yarn haul!
specs: 100g skeins of 100% wool, single ply
gauge: 10 sts/4 in. on US 11 needles
What I’m making with it: I’m waffling between making a big ole hat and a chubby cozy cowl with this yarn. I’m being so indecisive! On the one hand, no matter what I make, it’ll come together quickly. I think this miiight be better as a hat because scratchy wool on a bare neck might not be fun forever, but I love neckwear so much. Anybody want to help me tip the scales toward one of those projects or the other?
specs: 100g skeins of 100% wool, single ply
gauge: 13 sts/4 in. on US 10 needles
What I’m making with it: As you can see, I’ve got something in the works for this yarn already. No indecision here! I wanted to make a point of casting on a project while in Iceland, so a lopapeysa (traditional Icelandic sweater) was in order! I’m doing a bottom-up, steeked cardigan and am in the midst of knitting the colowork yoke – tune in soon for a look at my finished sweater and tips & tricks for lopapeysa success. I’m super pumped to have a new sweater just in time for summer, haha!
Lopi Einband/Loðband Einband
specs: 50g skeins of 100% wool, single ply
gauge: 8-9 sts/inch on US 1.5 needle
What I’m making with it: This vividly-colored, laceweight, single ply yarn is begging to be turned into a funky shawl. I am dying to play with some new colorwork stitches with this, but of course, this shawl will probably not make an appearance until at least the fall thanks to my current design schedule. The struggles of a knitter!
specs: 440g of 100% hand raised, sheared and spun Icelandic wool, 3 ply
What I’m making with it: I got quite a quantity of this yarn for it being handspun! For whatever reason, I feel like a vest is calling my name with this yarn. We’ll see, though. This yarn is serious. It still smells a lot like sheep, and I’ll have to swatch and block it to see if inspiration strikes when I get my hands & needles on it. :)
Fun fact: I bought this yarn from one of our AirBnB hostesses, a hobby farmer who made this yarn from her own sheep’s wool. How special is that?
specs: 50g skeins of 100% wool, 10-ply
gauge: 18 sts/4 in. on US 6 needles
What I’m making with it: Another lopapeysa! I bought this men’s XXL sweater quantity of yarn at a freaking grocery store in Iceland. I promised my husband a sweater for Christmas, giving him the option of choosing the colors and type of sweater he wanted me to make, so when we found a sweater pattern he really liked in Iceland, he was like, “I’m cashing in my Christmas sweater right now please!!”
The moral of the yarn story
You’d think I spent an arm and a leg on all of this 100% wool, but you know what? Two sweater quantities of yarn were only the equivalent of about $200. Isn’t that insane?! If I had any more room in my suitcase at ALL, I would have gotten even more. It’s the whole cultural permeation thing – the wool is raised in Iceland and the yarn is made there too. I think the secret has got to be an economy of scale. There’s just so much yarn everywhere! I don’t think I’ll ever get over how much I loved being in a place where yarn crafting is practically the default, rather than an exception. Takk, Iceland!
All of the lopi! Gorgeous skeins, sounds like you had a great trip!
Nice haul! On a personal note, I might recommend sticking your new skeins in a ziplock bag in the freezer for a bit. I brought home a couple skeins of Lopi that had moths once. Not something I would wish upon anyone!
Holy crap! I am so grateful for the tip! *scurries off to find a ziplock*
Hi Heidi, the yarns are beautiful! Is there a way to buy them on-line for those of us unable to travel due to illness? I cannot believe you bought that beautiful yarn at a grocery store!!! I hope you will post pics as your projects go forward, so we can all ooooohhh and aaaawwweee over your skills!
Webs carries some Lopi and so does this site. Shipping might be bananas, but it’s a start!
I loved reading about your yarn adventures in Iceland. I am an amateur knitter from Canada and I am going to Iceland next week and I am sooo into buying yarn over there, Did you saw a difference (quality and price) between buying yours in the supermarket and the craft stores?
Nope! It was identical. :)
I am so excited to have come across your blog! We are going to Iceland in June and I was hoping to travel to some yarn shops. Interesting to see that there is a symbol to identify handmade crafts. What a wonderful and unique idea!
You’re going to have so much fun! :)