Monday, July 28, 2014

Estonia Adventures Part 1: Iceland

Earlier this month, Amber and I went on an epic adventure to Estonian Craft Camp. We will get to Craft Camp next week - which was life-altering - but first, a quick stop in Iceland en route to Finland en route to Estonia (thank you, Icelandair!).

Iceland is one of my favorite places. This was my third visit and even though it was for a mere 48 hours, we were able to experience new magical places and revisit some of our favorite stops. Iceland is a must-visit for any travel-loving, yarn aficionado. Their love of wool and knitting knows no bounds. Free range sheep dot every landscape and Lopi yarn can be purchased in even the smallest town's grocery market.

You know of our love of Lopi yarn - the Icelandic yarn made from Icelandic sheep's wool since we have made no fewer than 5 Lopi sweaters between Amber and I. The hardy Icelandic sheep that produce all this yarn are the only sheep to see in Iceland and they are everywhere. Farmers let them graze free during the spring - fall and then they gather and sort them every September to keep them safe during the harsh winter months.

Sheep with her babies on a picturesque fjord

We hopped off our plane at 6am, rented a car and immediately headed up to the West Fjords - a 3 hour journey to a northern land of fjords. We stopped along the way to take in the elven magic of the moss covered lava fields at Glanni.

Magical Moss covered Lava fields of Glanni

Once we reached the West Fjords, we were greeted with the epic and otherworldly landscape of this remote part of Iceland. We spent a bit of time in Holmavik at the Museum of Witchcraft and Sorcery and then stayed the night in a picturesque B n' B in Bjarnarfjörður that had its own hot pots.

Sheep and carin

Amber frolics in the West Fjords

On our way back to Reykjavik the next day we stopped at one of our favorite places - the wool shop Ullarselið in Hvanneyri. This shop stocks the beautiful naturally-dyed Hespa yarns by Gudrun Bjarnadottir. We all purchased mass quantities of yarn at this, our first yarn-buying opportunity of the trip! The natural colors that Gudrun achieves using Icelandic mosses and lichens are irresistible. She combines these native dye plants with indigo and madder for more depth of color. The yarns are all Icelandic wool and all of us purchased the lace weight - perfect for shawls.

Jaime has some tough decisions to make...

We ended our Iceland adventure with a late night dip in the Blue Lagoon in the midnight magical!

10pm in Iceland in bright!

Next up: Helsinki, Finland: Marimekko and Finnsheep wool


Rosie Wednesday said...

What a fun trip! I can't believe how light out it was even at 10 pm!

Bellbird said...

Wow, to say that I am interested in your trip is a serious understatement! It looks and sounds so amazing. Iceland is really really really far from New Zealand but if I'm ever up that way I think I'll use your trip as a template!

ashveen said...

Oh my, oh my, this seems like damn great fun. I'm going to Iceland next week also, can't wait, can't wait!

Anne Sockwell said...

I opened up my Zite app and this was the first post - as I started it I read I thought "Amazing! This sounds just like what Amber told me about!! Then I scrolled to the top and I see Fancy Tiger! Haha - love seeing the pictures and admiring your beautiful projects. Can't wait for another Coffee and Breakfast with you two!!

Anne Sockwell said...

Jaime, I just realized that you wrote this, so you might be mystified by my comment about Breakfast! Amber was sharing magical tales of the trip... Congrats on a beautifully written and photographed blog, though!