My Icelandic Sojourn

October 24, 2022

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63 Comments
  • What a great trip! Thanks for taking us along!

  • This makes me want to go to Iceland, right now! Thank you for sharing this wonderful trip!

  • OMG, they have yarn at the grocery store?? Just think of the weight you could lose if you had to get thru the yarn section before you got to the ice cream section! “Nope, no ice cream today, bought yarn instead.”

    • I agree!!

    • I love love love love Iceland! I just got back from my fourth trip where I discovered Hespa. Every time, I find new things to love. It is such a magical place and I’m happy to see you enjoyed it as well!

      • My daughter’s are going to Iceland next week. I am a crocheter. What specific non-ichie yard should I request they bring home? Thank you so much for posting this great article. Donna

  • I have been privileged to go to Iceland twice. Both times I just scratched the very tip of the iceberg with yarn. I would have need more suitcases than allowed. I just love the yarn and the people. So friendly and helpful. I want to go back again. Maybe soon.

  • Heaven!

  • Fabulous Iceland looks like a beautiful country. My cousin just went and all the pictures were incredible!

    • Of course it’s not silly to get emotional over knitting displays! They connect us knitters over geography and time and that’s moving and beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and connecting us, too!

  • This is my dream trip! Back in 2017, I made my youngest son a Riddari as a break up recovery sweater. I can’t wait to tell him how popular that pattern is!!!

  • My dream trip!! I’ve been knitting sweaters from the Istex Lopi pattern books for years and order my Lopi yarn directly from Iceland but what I really want to do is go with an empty suitcase and fill it with yarn.

  • My son lives in Iceland so I have been lucky enough to visit many times. I never fail to visit Mosfellsbaer to go to Álafoss wool shop, it’s like an Aladdin’s cave, truly glorious!

  • Iceland is on my bucket list! I did make an Icelandic sweater for myself just in case my bucket list doesn’t work out! Love it and keeps me so warm on dog walks when it’s cold outside!

  • So visually stunning…thank you! I am wondering about the plastic-wrapped yarn “cakes” in the 24 hour photo. Are those two skeins? And why wrapped? Ease of stacking in suitcases perhaps. 🙂

    • Those are Plötulopi, the unspun lopi that’s light as air!

    • This article was a dream to read and view. So many beautiful pictures. Loved it!

  • I have bought yarn at Meijer’s grocery store here in the US but it isn’t great yarn. You have been to knitters paradise!!!

  • What part of Iceland were you in? Did you stay mostly on the Eastern side? Were there any of the hot springs near there?
    I will have to give up many dreams and just go there!! There is only one item on my Bucket list!!!!!

  • Last year I went to Iceland and toured Westman Island and the mainland. OMG there was yarn everywhere! I was in heaven. The only souvenirs I bought was yarn. Gudrun’s shop is spectacular. I could have spent all day there (except my O.A.T. Group would not have been happy) choosing colors and weights. The yarns I bought were mainly fingering and you will find the yarn sticky. You can order yarn directly from her. The mittens I made are very warm (I live in North Dakota!) as are the shawls. Now making a sweater and paired the yarn with mohair. It is working well. Iceland is a beautiful country and I highly recommend visiting.

  • My sister just got home from HER trip to Iceland. I think your trip was better than hers. Of course, having Janine along with you just added to the ‘fantastic-ness’ I’m sure.

  • Love this trip!

  • I went to Iceland this summer and fell in love with it. I came home with a giant bag of Letlopi and just finished my second cardigan from the summer stash. (one Helene Magnusson and one Vedis Jonsdottir) Next up is Amaeli for my husband. The woman at the Hand knitting Association who helped me chose my yarn was amazing gave me the tips and tricks I needed to conquer the steek and convert pullover patterns to cardigan. I can’t wait to go back

  • Yarn in a grocery store.
    A display of historic pieces
    All that color and texture
    How lovely!

    I bought some of my Daytripper yarn in duty free in Reykjavik.

  • Thank you, Jillian, for such a lovely, lively, fun read and look-along. Indeed, I, too, now lust for a knit wit trip to Iceland! Let’s all go at the same time and meet up here and there! Jillian, also thank you for your beautiful and inspiring book, Yarnitecture. It has seen me take off into a spinning frenzy these last months! Yarn is just a wonderful thing in life.

  • Thank you for taking us to Iceland . Their yarns are so beautiful and pleasing to feel, wear and look at.

  • A dream trip! Thanks for taking us along.

  • Oh my! These photos are delicious! I’ve been wanting to go to Iceland for about 5 years. I live in Maine so it’s not even that far. I love the great BIG shawl, I need to make one of those. The shoe inserts are the Bomb, how clever is that! And now I’m going to make some mittens even though I never liked mittens before because I know I will love some Fair Isle mittens. I have a fear of flying I really need to get over. Thank you for this great article! LOVE EWE

    • Shoe inserts! I have some hiking boots waiting.

  • Grocery stores with YARN???!!!!! Yes PLEASE!!! I must go to Iceland!!! Thank you for sharing your amazing journey!

  • Loved the trip through Iceland. Asked my husband to take me there and he said I would have to bring an empty suitcase, for all the yarn I’d be bringing back. He’s not kidding, what a beautiful wonderland for the senses.

  • Does anyone know the pattern of the mittens in the top photo? Would love to knit them!

  • Oh my!!! This was just stunning! To think, walking into a grocery store and seeing walls covered with Icelandic yard just blows my mind. My mind has always seen Iceland as a sort of dark, forbidding, frozen tundra… I wish I could see this beautiful land in person. Thanks for sharing.

  • P.S. In the email I received about your wonderful article there is a picture of Fair Isle mittens. Is that pattern available somewhere?

  • Who messed up and named the country Iceland instead of Yarnland?

  • Thank you, Jillian! I was in Iceland in 2002, driving around the western part of the country with my husband and a map from the car rental company that was full of errors, so navigation was mostly by the seat of our pants. We could drive for hours without seeing another soul, although there were millions of sheep and Icelandic horses. Every corner presented new and breathtaking views of Iceland’s unique natural beauty. Every place we stopped for gas or food had yarn for sale. I’ve been wanting to go back for 20 years, but haven’t made it yet.

    • Oh, thank you for renewing my love for Iceland, and my deep total desire to go there and play with yarn! And more!

  • Oh my gosh! Feeling low today, and your article filled my senses with joy! A grocery store with a wall of yarn sounds like Heaven to me. Thank you for the reboot your article gave me!

  • wonderful travel account. When I saw the shoe inserts I was reminded of Helene Magnusson’s knitted shoes. I have made the design a number of times it is very clever. Inspired by traditional Icelandic shoes.

  • Oh I’ve got to go there!! Is there a best time of year to go?

  • Wow! Since all of my LYS are out of business, I could really get excited over a 24 hour store that carries yarn! Especially if it were good yarn made of wool or other natural fibers.

  • When is your next trip??

  • I love this post! I would get emotional at seeing all those hand knitted products too!

  • I so wish this post could have been a couple of weeks earlier! We just returned from a trip to Iceland but I only saw one yarn store and never knew about the grocery store selling yarn. That would have been dangerous!! We did see a lot of sweaters but I didn’t one because couldn’t confirm that it was hand-knit 🙁

  • TWENTY FOUR HOUR GROCERY STORE THAT SELLS YARN.

    Be still my beating heart! Iceland sounds like heaven on earth!

  • I got to go with Cat Bordhi and Jim Pell a few years ago. It was a wonderful trip. Feeling lucky?

  • I loved Iceland and hope to return soon. One of my friends grew up there; her aunt used to knit sweaters as a source of income. I had a beautiful one from her.

  • I am going so Iceland this winter so I loved your story. I plan to bring back some yarn but had no idea I might stumble on some in a grocery store! Amazing.

  • I recently traveled to Iceland with Rowan Tree Travels. We visited some of the places you mentioned and more. It is a beautiful place

  • Thank you so much— I was just awestruck when I went there in July of 2021

    • Wow! I don’t knit, so I’m wondering what/where is the best place to purchase one of these beautiful sweaters? Are they very expensive?

  • Can not wait to get back

  • I want to go to Iceland!

  • Beautiful items.

  • When we were in Germany the little grocery stores and even their ‘dollar’ stores had walls of quality yarn too. A knitter’s heaven! I’d love to go to Iceland too.

  • Such a wonderful adventure! Thanks for taking us along! And yes please! 24 hour grocery with yarn? Absolutely!

  • Love this! I was so disappointed that there was NO YARN at the airport when we had a layover.

  • Weeping with jealousy and envy!!!!

  • Bucket list trip for sure! Thanks for the report, Jillian!

  • All beautiful – thank you. I gotta go to Iceland.

  • Looks awesome

  • In 2018, I returned from Iceland with Lettlopi and a pattern for a volcano hat! My husband loves it, and it’s a fine reminder of our trip to the land of fire and ice. Here’s a link to the free pattern by Alafoss: https://alafosswool.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/free-volcano-knitting-pattern/

  • In 2017 my Hubs and I went to Iceland. I left part of my heart and soul there. I too ate at the fancy gas station on Borganes