Lopi og band

Margrét Linda Gunnlaugsdóttir and Ásdís Birgisdóttir have brought back to life the Icelandic knitting magazine “Lopi og band” with modern patterns designed by themselves. The first issue came out last month after a year of preparation. We are publishing online one of Ásdís patterns, Flétta. Read the interview with the both of them.

Back to Issue 04, Autumn/Winter 2011



You are publishing the magazine Lopi og band. What magazine is it?Lopi og band is an Icelandic knitting paper magazine that publish modern patterns designed by the two of us. The first issue came out this summer in August, after one year of preparation. Have you known each other for a long time ? How do you work together? We are both textile and hand knit designers and we met first when Linda was the editor of the former Lopi og band, 15 years ago. Lopi og band was first published in 1981 and went through a lot pf changes until 1997, when the publication stopped. The last years, Linda was the chief editor and Ásdís worked as one of the designers. Our friendship developed there. We have so much in common: knitting and designing, bit also horse riding and nature. Our friendship and past experience of working together made it really easy to revive Lopi og band. We both brought on the table what it takes to publish a magazine. Linda studied ethnologic and textile design and she was already the editor of the former magazine, like we said before. Ásdís has been the manager of the Craft Association of Iceland for some years, and of the Textile Centre and she has through the years many handknit designs. The two together, we have experience in edition, design, managing and marketing, and we complement each other in this project. How and why did you get the idea to revive the magazine? Interest in knitting has grown huge in Iceland the past years, which is very good for us. Handknitted sweaters are worn in many occasions. But we had been wondering if the lopi sweaters were not a bit too uniforms. It seems there is not much choice and we thought there was a need to be looking in other directions and widen the local market. What’s in it? Our goal was to publish a magazine with our own designs and ideas and add more variety to Icelandic knitting. We aim to have half the patterns with Icelandic wool and half with imported yarn. We hope to reach to a greater number of knitters.   How is the new Lopi og band different from the old one?The new magazine is much like the former one since Linda was already the editor. At the time being, it was known for exciting quality design. The new magazine will be published three times a year with around 30-40 patterns in each. We work with young graphic designers and the magazine cover tells different from what is usually done. It looks like it’s knitted and it got us some attention. We also decided that each pattern would have its own double page so that the layout is clear and more readable. Isn’t it a bit risky to be publishing a new magazine in the middle of the economic turn down? What were the reactions? The magazine was very well received; the interest for knitting is so big and well spread. Our designs tell interesting and different. In this first issue, we tried to work especially with Icelandic lopi and show how the colors can be blended together to achieve more effects and textures. We don’t have so many motifs in it. There are many different fits, some simple, some more complicated. Fashion awareness reflects in our designs and it seems to attract people. There are patterns for both beginners and more advanced knitters. Where can you find it? The magazine is published in Icelandic three times a year. The Flétta pattern is for the time being our only pattern available in English on the Icelandic Knitter. The magazine is sold in Iceland in the yarn shops and bookstores. We offer yearly subscriptions where each magazine cost 1600 ISK but the retail prices in the shops is usually1.800-2.000 ISK. To subscribe, you can call 895-2745 or send an email:lopiogband@simnet.is.   Photo credit: Lopi og band Interview by Hélène Magnússon