Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Better Know A Crafter: Knitting in the Wild North Edition

Jaime and I had so much fun in Iceland--it was seriously magical. Iceland is an amazing place. One of the things that made it so incredible was the lovely and inspiring knitters we met on our journey. We adored each and every one. Here are the folks that made Knitting in the Wild North so fantastic!

Ragnheiður "Ragga" Eiríksdóttir

Ragga is one of the ladies behind Knitting Iceland, the folks who organized the Knitting in the Wild North tour. Ragga is a native Icelander, and has a great passion for the Lopi wool and Icelandic knitting tradition and it was catching. After taking Ragga's Lopi sweater class and seeing the many sweaters she was knitting while on our trip we were hooked. Thanks so much for sharing your passion!

Hélène Magnússon

Hélène is another amazing lady behind Knitting Iceland. She totally impressed us with her amazing intarsia. Hélène showed us many samples from her book on Icelandic Color Knitting and we were blown away by the complex color work. It was great to learn intarsia from such an expert. Hélène also was our hiking leader and showed us which mushrooms and lichens to pick and stowed away coffee, tea and chocolate in her backpack, for which we are grateful.

Ysolda Teague

photo of Ysolda in her Lopi Sweater courtesy of Ysolda Teague

Ysolda has been inspiring us with her amazing knitting patterns since back when we first fell in love with her Urchin hat pattern. Since then we've knitted with fervor her plethora of beautiful patterns. Her Coraline, Damson, Emily and Ishbel are just a few of our favorites! It was great to meet Ysolda and get to know her. She blew us away with her ability to make up a pattern for a fitted sweater in a slip stitch pattern on the fly while riding on bumpy buses. It was so inspiring to take her shaping class and we are looking forward to her upcoming book on sweaters. We can't wait!


What would we do without Ingibjörg? This fabulous viking lady was our chef, driver and tour guide extraordinaire--not to mention a fabulous knitter and naalbinder. That's right, Ingibjörg is helping to keep the endangered viking craft of naalbinding alive. She amazed us with her many talents!


Can you believe this sweater? And these mittens? And this shawl? And this hat!? Shannon impressed us with all of her handknits. Shannon hails from Toronto and was very adventurous with her eating habits and willingness to try every Icelandic dish put in front of her.

Mary Ann

photo of Mary Ann in her Ripley courtesy of Hélène Magnússon

Mary Ann is from Portland, Oregon. She is seen here staying warm in the Icelandic highlands in her Ripley hat, another fantastic Ysolda pattern. When not knitting, Mary Ann can be seen wrangling sheep in the Icelandic countryside. She was the best sheep wrangler of us all and showed us all how to get in there and wrastle a sheep!


photo of Diane in her pretty sweater courtesy of Diane

Diane is from Wisconsin. She is retired and spends a lot of her time knitting hats for the troops. She has knit something like three million hats to donate to the troops and luckily kept this one for herself (this may be an exaggeration, but she's knit a lot of them!). She also knit the awesome sweater she is wearing in this photo. Thanks for inspiring us with your giving nature, Diane!


This is one of about 50 knit or crocheted items that Debi brought along. She has only been knitting since February, but you can tell she is on her way to knitting stardom with her prolific knitting. Debi was the first knitter we met on the plane to Iceland - we could pick her out because of the cute Owls sweater she was wearing. Debi, I wish I could finish half of the things you do!


This is Cindy from the Netherlands showing off a small portion of the stash she acquired in Iceland. We loved Cindy's bubbly personality and adorable accent. Here she is wearing a sampling of the gorgeous lace she knits. I wish we could meet her children which I imagine to be decked out in knits from head to toe!


Amber is from Minnesota. Like everyone, Amber was sporting super-hot handknit garments everyday such as this owl sweater and another brown sweater knit on tiny needles that was gorgeous. What we loved best though, were her mittens. Adorable colorwork mittens with robots or koi made us want to knit some so bad!


Catriona is from Canada--we now are under the impression that Canada is filled with nothing but amazing knitters who just wear handknit garments at all times. Here Catriona is showing off a stunning Koigu shawl and purple cardigan, photographed in her natural habitat surrounded by yarn.


photo of April in the elf hole courtesy of Debi Stolier

April, also from Canada, was so awesome because she could fit into elf holes and we believe she might secretly be an elf. She also had a sweet urchin hat knit out of a "Unicorn wool" so you know we loved it. It was so great to meet you, April!

So these are all the amazing ladies we were fortunate enough to travel through Iceland with. We were inspired daily by them and it just makes us so proud to be a part of the worldwide knitting community. This concludes our reports on Iceland, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!


Cindy said...

My dearest Amber and Jaime!
How I love reading about our big journey in Iceland. You are so sweet, showing all of us in your last post of the wild north.
And yes, you should see our 3 children...covered in handknits, from head to toes!
I'll remember you forever!
Lots of hugs, Cindy

Anonymous said...

Lies! I only brought 12 knitted things. 13 if you count the shawl I knitted on the trip. ;)

It was great meeting you guys, I had a lot of fun hanging out in the blue lagoon! ~debi

Unknown said...

You forgot two other inspiring ladies: Amber and Jaimie!

Lizz said...

Looks like you two really had the time of your lives ... thanks for all the great photos, and I can't wait to see the Lopi sweaters you come up with!

melissa said...

Thanks so much for sharing this amazing adventure. Even my husband is ready to go!!!