Upon booking, and in order to make the trip enjoyable, please make sure you are familiar with the day-to-day itinerary, the fitness condition required, as well as the list of equipment. For any questions, please check our FAQ first (answers to frequently asked questions).
Departure: 2020, September 9-16, 7 nights
Group size: 12
Price: 320.000 ISK
Single room supplement (only in Reykjavik): 15.000 ISK
Not included in price: flights to and from Keflavík International airport
Included in price:
- 1 guide/knitting instructor.
- 2 nights at a guesthouse in Reykjavík, double rooms, dressed beds, shared facilities.
- 5 nights at a country guesthouse, dormitory style and double room, dressed beds, shared facilities. Outdoor hot tub and sauna.
- Full board from day 2 till lunch day 7, breakfast on day 8.
- All transfers as per itinerary, knitting as per itinerary.
- Yarn for knitting little samples during the workshops
- A Gilitrutt wool kit to knit a lace project during the tour.
Because participants come from all over the world, the tours are operated mainly in English but Hélène is bilingual in French. A lexical of knitting terms in German/English/French/Icelandic is available during the tour.
Fitness et hiking level: moderate.
Accessible to all those in good health, who are doing some sport regularly, and who are used to all-terrain walks. 2-6 hours walk per day, without carrying much weight. Because we are taking only half day hikes from our country guesthouse and back, participants have the possibility to skip some hikes.
Day 1 (2020, September 9): Knitters arrive to Iceland from all over the world at various time during the day. They will be spending their first night at a guesthouse in Reykjavík close to the Icelandic Handknitting Association of Iceland, full of lopi sweaters and wool.
Day 2 (2020, September 10): Hélène will pick us up at our guesthouse early in the morning and we will head to Reykjavik airport where we will take a flight to Egilsstaðir. From there, we will drive to our peaceful hideaway where we will experience the spirit of the past and spent the next 5 nights. The drive will be punctuated by a truly beautiful hike to Hengifoss, one of Iceland many amazing waterfalls. Picnic lunch en route. Dinner on the premises.
Hike: 2 hours. Distance: about 5 km / 3 miles. Ascent: 140 m / 460 ft
Trail, uneven terrain.
Day 3 (2020, September 11): Today will be spent on an exciting knitting workshop with Hélène, punctuated by a refreshing hike in the surroundings and enjoying the interesting Wilderness Exhibition. Sheep will start to arrive from the mountains. Evening chasing Northern lights if the weather allows! Delicious lunch and dinner on premises.
Hike: 2 hours. Distance: about 4 km / 2,5 miles.
Trail, uneven terrain.
Day 4 (2020, September 12): It will be a fun and active day where we will participate in the old and traditional way of Icelandic sheep round up. In September, the sheep are herded from the mountains where they grazed freely during the summer and are gathered in réttir – round-up – where they are sorted out between the farmers from the area. Families and friends usually take part in the round-up and wear their lopi sweaters. Lunch and dinner on premises.
Day 5 (2020, September 13): In the morning, we set out to the highlands on a beautiful hike along the Waterfall trail. The hike ends in the geothermal hot springs of Laugarfell, where we enjoy a relaxing bath in the middle of nowhere. Picnic lunch enroute and dinner on premises.
Hike: 6-7 hours. Distance: 7 km/ 4 miles. Ascent/descent : 120 m / 390 ft
Trail, uneven terrain.
Day 6 (2020, September 14): This morning is dedicated to knitting with Hélène, while in the afternoon, we can enjoy some free time that we can used for hiking more in the surroundings, picking up berries, going horseback riding on the premises or simply knitting in peace. Lunch and dinner on the premises.
Day 7 (2020, September 15): it is now time to say good bye to the wilderness and our lovely hosts and head back to Egilsstadir and take our flight back to Reykjavik. When we arrive in Reykjavik, we’ll check in at the guesthouse located downtown, then gather at Hélène’s inspiring knitting studio in the old Reykjavík. The rest of the afternoon and the evening are free in the vibrant city.
Day 8 (2020, September 16): Departure.
ICELANDIC LACE DRESS
The workshops will focus on the traditional Icelandic klukka, the traditional women slip knitted in fine wool and decorated with undulating lace patterns.
A bit of history: Hélène will tell us about the rich Icelandic tradition from the moment it came to Iceland in the 16th century to our modern times. She will tell us especially about the lace tradition and more specifically about the klukka and her meeting with Aðalbjörg Jónsdóttir (1916-2018). She will show us a few samples and will share with us stories from the past.
Icelandic wool workshop: Hélène will tell us about the Icelandic wool, from the very fine handspun lace yarns made of thel to the highly breakable unspun lopi. She will tell us especially about the extra soft lace yarns, Love Story and Gilitrutt, she has developed to recreate the lightness and finesse of the Old lace designs, I particular the dresses of Aðalbjörg. We will experience the feeling of knitting with such different yarns.
Icelandic lace dress workshop: we will look at the characteristics of the Icelandic lace, see how motifs and patterns evolved in time and how the unique characteristics of the Icelandic wool played an important role. We will look at the different Icelandic items where lace patterns can be found and pay a special attention to the klukka, the traditional women slip, knitted with fine wool and decorated with colorful wavy lace patterns. Inspired by the klukka but much more intricate and elaborated, the lace dresses of Aðalbjörg Jónsdóttir, an Old Icelandic woman, have a unique construction, borrowed to the lopi yoke sweater. Hélène has been extensively researching Aðalbjörg’s work, recreating genuine reproductions of Aðalbjörg’s dresses but also designing modern variations with her recognizable style. It is the making of this book and the need for a suitable Icelandic lace yarn that led Hélène to develop her own Icelandic yarns in the first place. During the workshop, we will go through all the techniques necessary to knit even the most elaborated lace design from the book, from the cast on to the final blocking.
Steeking workshop: the traditional Icelandic shoe-insert, knitted in garter stitch intarsia, is probably the only item in Iceland that is knitted back and forth. Everything else is knitted in the round then cut open (steeked) if needed. A pair of scissors in hands, we will get familiar with the traditional Icelandic way of steeking and we will even dare steeking lace!