Upon booking, and in order to make your trip enjoyable, please make sure you are familiar with the physical condition required, the day-to-day itinerary, the hikes, as well as the list of equipment. For any questions, please check our FAQ first (answers to frequently asked questions).
Departure: May 10-16, 2023, 6 nights
Group size: 12
Price: 299.000 ISK
Single room supplement (only available 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 bathrooms, shared kitchen. Possibility of single room.
- 2 nights in a country hotel, double rooms, dressed beds, private bathroom
- 2 nights in a country guesthouse, double and triple rooms, dressed beds, shared bathrooms
- Full board from day 2 till lunch day 6, breakfast on day 7.
- All transfers as per itinerary, knitting as per itinerary. Yarn for knitting little samples during the workshops.
Because participants come from all over the world, the tours are operated in English. Hélène is however bilingual in French and a lexical of knitting terms in German/English/French/Icelandic is available during the tour.
Physical condition and hiking level: easy.
The hikes being optional, the tour is accessible to all people in good health. In order to enjoy the sight-seeing, you should be able to go up and down a flight of stairs and to walk 1 km on relatively flat but slightly unveven terrain.
Day 1 (May 10, 2023): Knitters arrive to Iceland from many different countries at various time during the day. Night at a conveniently located guesthouse in Reykjavík, close to the Icelandic Handknitting Association of Iceland, full of lopi sweaters and wool.
Day 2 (May 11, 2023): In the morning, Hélène will pick us up at the guesthouse and then we’ll head out for a knitting adventure and drive to our charming guesthouse, an isolated farm at the foot of a mountain, with different animals, a family of elves and an outdoor hot tub. We will stay there for the next two nights. En route we will stop at various places in the Borgarfjörður region that are of interest to all knitters, spinners, dyers and wool lovers: plant-dyed and handspun yarns, friendly rare cashmere goats, amazing wool, you won’t be disappointed! Picnic lunch enroute and delicious dinner on the premises.
Optional hike: 1-2 hours Ascent/descent: 170 m. Stairs up and down, trail on uneven terrain.
Day 3 (May 12, 2023): The day will be spent doing a knitting workshop with Hélène. The early afternoon is open for hikes around the area, petting the animals, relaxing in the hot tub or just knit in peace, all with an extensive view on the amazing landscape! Gourmet lunch and dinner with products from the farm and homegrown vegetables.
Optional hike: 2,5 hours Ascent/descent: depending on participants’ fitness, up to 315 m/1033 ft on uneven terrain. The hike can be shortened to everyone needs.
Day 4 (May 13, 2023): This will be a busy day as we continue our journey further North. We will visit the Glaumbær Turf Farm Museum and crafters from the area in the beautiful fjord of Skagafjörður, until reaching the village of Blönduós where we will stay for the next 2 nights. The afternoon is opened for walks by the beach or in the little village. Lunch enroute and truly delightful dinner at our guesthouse with a breathtaking view on the sea.
Day 5 (May 14, 2023): Today is all about knitting and we will get to visit the Textile Museum in Blönduós and admire the fabulous collection of knitting, representative of the many Icelandic knitting traditions. We will even be allowed to touch the artefacts! Exquisite meals on premises from our local chef.
Day 6 (May 15, 2023): Now is time to return to Reykjavík with a few woolly stops, such as the visit of the Ístex mill where the famous unspun lopi is made. We will end our journey at Hélène’s inspiring knitting studio in the old Reykjavík. It will then be time to say good-bye and enjoy a last free evening in the city.
Day 7 (May 16, 2023): Departure.
THE TRADITIONAL ICELANDIC LOPI SWEATER
A bit of history: the emergence of the lopi sweater: Hélène will tell us about the Icelandic knitting traditions with a focus on the youngest tradition- the Icelandic lopi yoke sweater, that has become the most prominent representation of Icelandic knitting today. It is however a fairly recent invention probably dating back to the 50’s and that became immensely popular in the 70’s. Hélène will show us a few genuine samples and will share with us stories from elderly knitters she has been interviewing in the past years.
Icelandic wool: Hélène will tell us about the different types of Icelandic wool and the genesis of the famous unspun lopi and we will experience the feeling of knitting with this highly breakable yarn.
Traditional Icelandic lopi sweater: We will knit a doll size traditional sweater with all the elements of an adult one. Special attention will be given to the color yoke.
Shaping your lopi sweater: The Icelandic lopapeysa is traditionally fairly square in shape and has no front or back. We will see many different ways to create a scooped neckline and to add shaping to the sweater for a better and more refined fit, both for women and men, as well as how to alter existing patterns. We will also discover an old method allowing to conveniently knit the sleeves from the top down while achieving a perfect fit.
Steeking your lopi sweater workshop: Lopi sweaters are always knit in the round then simply steeked (cut into the finished knitting) to make them into cardigans. Typically, an Icelandic knitter would much rather steek a garment than bother working it back and forth and purling, especially if colorwork is involved. We will try our hands at the traditional ways and compare them with other methods. We will also see different ways to finish our steeks once cut.
Finishing your lopi sweater workshop: “The knitting is only half of the work” said grand-mother Olga Hallgrímsdóttir. Finishing a garment is indeed just as important as the knitting: we will learn all sorts of finishing techniques, for example how to make crochet edging, vertical or horizontal button bands, sew in a zipper, and how to care for your brand new lopi sweater.