An Icelandic Yarn

Thank you for all your entries for the giveaway of A Quilting Life.  It’s been so fun to read everyone’s favorite cookie of choice.  I love that some of you stood up to me and don’t even like to snack on cookies while quilting — chocolate will do very nicely thank you very much.  And I was a bit shocked that some of you don’t even allow food or drink in your sewing room.  A lofty goal indeed — but not one that I could ever keep.  I’m too weak!  The giveaway is open until the 14th, so if you’re interested in the book and haven’t entered, go here.

So, before the giveaway, I promised to tell you the tale of my little blog meet-up in Iceland.  About two months before our trip was scheduled, I noticed a comment left on someone’s blog that was signed by “Berglind from Iceland”.  I was immediately intrigued, since I knew we would be going to Iceland soon, so I clicked on the link.  What a wonderful treat!  Berglind’s blog is just beautiful!  I immediately e-mailed her, told her that we’d be coming to Iceland soon and asked if she had any suggestions for our trip.  I was surprised and thrilled when she suggested that we meet and she would take me to a few of her favorite shops.  Wow!  What a fantastic offer!

We were going to be in Reykjavik on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so the plan was for Berglind to pick me up at the hotel on Saturday morning and we would shop for 3 or 4 hours.  And then the flights-from-hell happened and our three days in Reykjavik were reduced to one.  I couldn’t ask my family to wait around while I spent half a day shopping with Berglind, so I e-mailed her to cancel.  I was SO upset — I love meeting local people when I travel and the perfect opportunity was slipping through my fingers.  Then, the brilliant FirstChild suggested that we add a day to our trip so I e-mailed Berglind again.  She was so sweet and so flexible — and I was VERY lucky.  Our meeting was moved to the following Friday, at the end of our trip, and even better, since our time together would be shorter, Berglind suggested that we meet at her house.

What a thrill for me!  I got to meet Berglind AND see her beautiful home AND get a tour of her sewing room.  I’m kicking myself for not taking pictures of some of Berglind’s beautiful quilts.  There were piles of them in several rooms.  I have no idea how she gets time for all her quilting.  (BTW, I’m very proud to say that Berglind is a Viking girl like me — I would expect no less, coming from the land of Vikings LOL!)   Berglind is just gorgeous!  She has four children — the oldest two were in school, but I was lucky enough to meet her adorable little four-year-old (almost five!) Arna and her new two month old baby boy.

Thimbleanna: Iceland

Isn’t Arna a doll???  I’m sure you can imagine that I wanted to take her home with me.  And look at her perfect little braid!  (Oooh, and I hope you’re noticing those beautiful quilts too!)

Thimbleanna: Iceland

After a quick visit at Berglind’s home, we had to get down to business and go shopping.  We only had time for two shops — I had been to a few of the yarn shops (more in a bit) while shopping with my family, so Berglind narrowed our choices down.  She took me to see her favorite place that carries Tilda fabric — I had mentioned that I can’t get Tilda fabric anywhere near me.  The Tilda fabric is actually in a larger store — Berglind called it a stationary store, but it had a lot of craft items — it reminded me a bit of a small Michael’s — only with more atmosphere.  Here are the Tilda fabrics — ummmm, Yum!

Thimbleanna: Iceland

While we were fondling fabrics, Little Arna was on a mission of her own.  She spied some fun pink yarns — Berglind said she and her older sister love to make bracelets with them.  Clearly, Berglind is doing her duty to pass on the love of crafting to the next generation LOL!  How cute is Arna in her little polka-dot jacket?  I’m so sorry I didn’t get a picture of her full outfit — she was wearing the cutest glittery tennis shoes.

Thimbleanna: Iceland

Berlind’s other choice for me was the cream-of-the-yarn-shop crop, litla prjonabudin (sorry, I don’t know how to get those special characters out of my keyboard.)  (The link will take you to their facebook page — you might not understand the language, but I guarantee you’ll understand the pretty pictures!)

Thimbleanna: Iceland

What a treasure!  This is just a small little shop, but they had the most beautiful yarns.  And they were so helpful — of course I had to have a few souvenir skeins.

Thimbleanna: Iceland

Here’s the pretty display in the center of the shop.  And the whole time I was shopping, the perfect baby was sleeping (he never made a peep the whole time I was with Berglind) and sweet little Arna was sitting on a chair being an angel.  Seriously, she never made a peep either, except on occasion if I said something to her via Berglind.  She was so cute — even holding my hand in the parking lot.  Melt my heart!

Thimbleanna: Iceland

Our little visit was over much too quickly and it was time for Berglind to take me back to the hotel.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun I had — this visit was definitely a highlight of my trip.  I still pinch myself wondering if it really happened — what an opportunity!  Isn’t the internet an amazing thing???

Anyway, just in case you’re planning a trip to Iceland and you want to visit the yarn shops, I’ll quickly tell you about the other places I visited. (Btw, all five of the places I visited are highly recommended.) Two shops are in the main shopping area of Reykjavik.  The first place we stumbled upon was The Handknitting Association of Iceland.  Iceland is known for their Lopapeysa sweaters, made from Lopi yarn – the 100% wool Icelandic yarn.  The Handknitting Association of Iceland had a TON of sweaters (and mittens and hats and more) to buy and people were standing around trying them on.  We found their prices to be better than any of the other shops that carried sweaters. They also sell lots of Lopi.

Thimbleanna: Iceland

The second shop is Storkurinn.  Storkurinn is a lovely shop — it’s a little hard to find though.  I saw the sign on the street and knew immediately that it was a yarn shop, but there was no storefront.  It turns out that it’s on the second floor.  They had a great selection of knitting books and yarn.

Thimbleanna: Iceland

And even a wall of Amy Butler fabrics that eluded my camera.  There wasn’t much time in this little shop — I could have easily lingered longer!

Thimbleanna: Iceland

Then, the day before I met Berglind, when we were on our way back to Reykjavik from the southern coast of Iceland, I tricked convinced the family to stop at Alafoss.  This is the Lopi factory outlet in Mosfellsbaer – a suburb of Reykjavik.

Thimbleanna: Iceland

Lots and lots of Lopi in here.  And, of course, I had to indulge.  How could I not?  The average Lopapeysa sweater sold for around $150 – $200 — I could buy the yarn to knit my own for about $50.  Sold!

Thimbleanna: Iceland

Something Berglind pointed out to me in the store that had the Tilda fabrics was unspun wool.  I would have no idea what to do with this, but Berglind was wearing a pretty brown and white sweater that she had made from this type of yarn.

Thimbleanna: Iceland

So, that’s it! Now I REALLY want to go to Iceland on a knitting tour. Did you know they have them? I found a great write-up of one here.

Who wants to go with me???

XOXO,
Anna

And BTW — And I can’t emphasize this enough — if you’re not following Berglind, you should be. She has the most beautiful blog. She makes beautiful treasures for her family and she’s beautiful and I’m going to say Beautiful a million times in this sentence so you get the point!!!

24 Thoughts on “An Icelandic Yarn

  1. I think Iceland has gone to the top of my places I need to visit!

  2. such pretty shops – I wish I knitted, I would be in heaven!

  3. Wow…what a great trip. Those yarn stores are wonderful. We sure can meet the nicest people on the interet ;) I know and am so looking forward to your visit in July. I’ve marked the calendar.

  4. The best thing about wool shops – other than the yarn itself, of course – is the necessity to have it all in colour-themed boxes. Isn’t that just fabulous? :o)

  5. Jewels on June 12, 2013 at 6:56 am said:

    Anna it looks like you had a great time. That is so cool you met Berglind, she looks like a lot of fun. All the pictures make me want to go and visit. So happy for you. xoxo

  6. such gorgeousness!

  7. brigette on June 12, 2013 at 10:26 am said:

    you’re killin me man. berglind is just beautiful, you’re right and her little girl makes me swoon. i would like to know how you’ve held out thus far about the MFTILDA fabric????????? and the yarn kills me as well. sigh. okay. i’m leaving you now. i noticed that bonnie is looking forward to your visit in july and has marked it on her calendar. i’m looking forward to your visit in august and have it penciled in as well.
    look forward to seeing you then!
    i’ll be the one at the airport in the black shirt, holding a sign that reads: anna banana
    :waves madly

  8. I woud have popped Arna in my suitcase – what a beautiful, beautiful child!! I used to knit Lopi sweaters – I even had some for sale in a shop in the Royal mile in Edinburgh many years ago! yes please, me too, I want to go!!!!!!!
    ps, visited the blog and immediately put it in my favourites!

  9. What a wonderful trip Anna! Lucky you to get to meet up with a blogging friend, and a new one at that. She sounds lovely. Her daughter is precious and the quilts I could see are gorgeous! And don’t even get me started on all the fabric and yarn you got to fondle!! Lucky, lucky you. I’m sure you’ll come up with something absolutely stunning with that Lopi yarn. Can’t wait to see it. I’m off to visit Berglind’s blog. Thanks for sharing with us!

    Debbie

  10. I am SOOOOO jealous you got to meet Berglind & 2 of her gorgeous children…. we have been blogfriends for years I would love to visit … she is so nice … looks as if you had a great trip

  11. Kitty on June 13, 2013 at 7:50 am said:

    Looks like you had a wonderful trip despite all the travel delays. What fun to have a guided tour of local shops and meet a new friend!

  12. can’t believe you have only just found Berglind online………we’ve been blog friends for years……so jealous you got to meet up…..

  13. Wow – what an exciting time indeed. The yarn stores look amazing. We used to be able to the “cakes” of unspun lopi at our local knitting store but after the Icelandic banking crisis they couldn’t get it any more. It was fun to knit with – and great for knitting to felt. I made a great striped bag with it before.

    Now when I do finally make it to Iceland I know some places to visit!

  14. What a fun post and what an incredible adventure and what a nice son for helping you work it out!

    OK, this is really pitiful, but I read on Huffington Post that that NSA whistle blower guy told the Chinese officials that he was considering seeks asylum in Iceland, and the article was like, “Ohhh, it’s so cold there with no trees.” And I was thinking that it wouldn’t be so bad; there’s lots of yarn there. Of course, he doesn’t look like a knitter, but those really were my thoughts!

  15. What an adorable little Arna! If her mother is half as beautiful as she, then her mother IS beautiful indeed! What a fun tour. Even though I’m not a knitter, I can appreciate beautiful yarn and sweaters and such.

  16. What a treat for you Anna. Iceland is somewhere I would love to visit. And yes…Berglind is beautiful!

  17. What a fabulous day! The Internet is such a great thing isn’t it?! Beautiful day and beautiful new friend – and beautiful new blog to explore for us!! Thanks Anna. x

  18. It all sounds wonderful – all that yummy yarn and I agree, meeting up with an online friend is a wonderful thing. And you know I’d be up for an Icelandic knitting tour/trip!! ; )

  19. WOW WOW and WOW again – the places you visited where such eye candy – beautiful colors of yarns and displayed so wonderful. That little sweetheart – what a cutie – I bet you’d want to tuck her into your pocket and take her home. What a wonderful visit and I’m so glad you could meet up with her and have a little blogging fun. Knitting tour – who knew :) – but why not. I sure wish I could knit – I’ve tried but this girl can’t seem to get it.

  20. I can see my daughter wanting to go to Iceland! Your trip looks heavenly!!

  21. We are so happy to see that you were able to convince your friends to stop by at our store in Alafoss, Mosfellsbær.
    Great blog and we love your pictures. We hope to see you again in Iceland.

    Best regards,
    The Alafoss Team

  22. Ah…. lovely! Ya know, it’s on my “to do” list to visit Iceland. I think I need another job! Thanks for taking me along! Cheers!

  23. Oooh, this is an absolutely fascinating post Anna. The colours in those shops you visited are wondeful but I’m especially excited by the sight of those Icelandic jumpers. I’d have LOVED to have tried a few on. Thanks for the introduction to Berglind too – fabulous.

  24. What a spectacular part of your trip. Love it. I would have loved to see all the Tilda stuff. I made myself a Lopi sweater when I was in Australia. I still have it. I was a senior in college then. They are so awesome. But too hot for me now! LOL. I would have gone nuts in those yarn shops. When you go on the knitting retreat/tour there, let me know. I’d love to go with you. :-)

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