This year Matt and I decided to vacation in Denmark. Since we were flying IcelandAir, a few day layover in Iceland was added to the plan, I was super excited, because Iceland is all about wool!
I knew it was going to be good when even the hotel was decorated with it.
Lopi is a yarn made from the wool of Icelandic sheep. It is water resistant, thanks to longer, course fibers and warm thanks to shorter, soft fibers. You see the sheep everywhere are you drive around the island.
I couldn’t get a good shot of a live sheep in action, so this stuffed one in the Geyser store, with some yarn being wound will have to do.
Everywhere you go the shops are full of Icelandic sweaters, hats, mittens, coats and blankets made from the yarn. Even the flea market had stall of new and vintage sweaters. A couple of the shops even offered to make a sweater to your size with the color and pattern of your choice.
I’ve heard the yarn is for sale in the supermarket, but I never found that. I did find it for sale in quite a few clothing shops though. The cost was not different enough from the US price for me to buy it here and cart it home. Instead I had hoped to find some patterns to bring home, but unfortunately couldn’t find any.
At first I thought the sweaters were more of a tourist item, but then I noticed how many locals were wearing them. I saw hipster guys with them out at night, women in matching Lopi skirts and sweaters and even a chihuahua in a pink Lopi sweaters parading down the street. Matt convinced me I needed one.
It is loosely knit which keeps it from being too heavy, but so cozy warm. Believe it or not, this sweater is hand knit not machine knit! It’ll be perfect for Minnesota winters. I wore it to dinner and surprisingly everyone was speaking Icelandic to us suddenly. You have to love a country that supports its wool industry so much.
© 2005 – 2012 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish