Showing posts from May, 2009


I thought that by now I would have posted more about my trip to Iceland. We had wonderful drives to Þingvellir and a night on Vestmannaeyjar. Alas, I must go to work each day and try to keep up life in general. I have not given up yet though so dont be surprised if another travel post appears here.

I'm grateful that we are finally getting a bit of rain in Rochester. The weather has been dry and quite cool. In fact, it has been so cool that we've had to pile on the knitting while lounging on the back porch:

I've held off planting my tomatoes for another week, following the sage advice of the gardeners at last week's plant sale at Warner Castle. That's just the name - there is no castle. This is one plant sale I like to go to every year. I didn't buy much - some marigolds and a Lady's Mantle for a friend - but I enjoyed looking around and chatting with people.

In Knitting
Toward the end of last week the endless repetition of the small tree motifs on the Mystery…

The Road to Vik

Getting back to the subject of our travels in Iceland this Spring, here are some of the things we saw and did on the way to Vik, a town on the southern coast of Iceland which, as it turns out, is a centre for hand knitting.
We had hardly started out when we decided that we had to stop to take this photo in Selfoss. The water was almost this turquoise colour. Yes it was.

A little past Selfoss is the fibre paradise known as Þingborg. I'm not sure how to describe this place. They have a shop, but it seems there is another part to it, further down the road, where there are almost certainly fibre related activities going on. Their website is all in Icelandic, but you can tell it's not just a shop. The woman in the shop spoke English. I was too reserved to ask many questions. Now I'm sorry that I didn't. She asked me if I spun and I said that I used to, for my mother and she gave me a look look that said, "I know your type." Oh, and there was an extremely cute dog na…


Thanks for your consoling remarks. I really should have swatched before I started this. I was ready to press on and finish until I read Halla's comment about the needle size that her friends use with Einband - 4.5 or 5 mm which is considerably larger than the 2.5 mm needle I am using. I ran my knitting upstairs, plunged it into a sink of water and Eucalan and left it there to soak for 20 minutes, needles and all. Then I remembered that I am not knitting with the regular Einband that is sold by Alafoss, which is probably what Halla's friends are using, but with a the much finer mystery Einband from the Handkntters Association sale bin. Remember that I was getting 50 wpi with it. Compare that with 37 wpi from the Alafoss Einband. Maybe the green yarn isn't Einband at all. Anyway, the 2.5 mm seems to be just fine. I blocked it and while it isn't wide enough for a curtain, check it, eh?

Did you click to embiggen? At any rate, I am now in love with this yarn. T…

Lace, or Loofah?

Whilst in Iceland, I did a fair amount of yarn shopping. I've been anxious to start working with it.  I showed you the Plötulopi a few posts back - that's the unspun, very delicate yarn that is wound into cakes (or plates or whatever). This week however, I started knitting with a different yarn - Einband.
Einband is an Icelandic single. In German, I think this word means book cover. Anyway, it's the absolute opposite of the Plötulopi. It's thin, compact and practically unbreakable. When I first tried it out, it felt as though I was knitting with string. I have two kinds - Loðband (above) and green mystery (below). I bought the Loðband at the Alafoss outlet and I bought the mystery Einband in a sale bin at the Handknitting Association of Iceland in Rejkyavik. It was wrapped in blank paper bands, noting the weight on each. 

This yarn sticks to itself like a spider web, or like vetch. I wasn't going to post about it until I had a blocked piece to show, but frankly, I…

And on and on...

Re the comments
Mary Lou, I keep hearing about the article in Piecework. Must have a look. 
Anonymous points out thatTKGA will be in Buffalo this August, and Galina will be there? Well, we are lucky then. There's something about the show here.
Jasmin - Yes, I really do think that interviews of this kind are definitely worth preserving. The Internet Archive can be hit and miss, but more and more, libraries are subscribing to software like Archiv-it that help them collect and preserve web sites. There's some knitting content there, but I wonder if there is a library that has decided to collect knitting sites in particular. What's that British library with the big knitting/fibre collection? Anyway, Jasmin, thanks again for the podcasts!
More Iceland
On Tuesday we had a super 6 km hike in the hills behind the H. golf course. There were warm springs and pools and there was supposed to be somewhere you could bathe, but frankly it was too cold so I satisfied myself with taking off my …

Galina, Galina...

Listened to this long but interesting interview with Galina Khmeleva of Skaska Designs who I seem to go on about from time to time. It's on a podcast called The Knitmore Girls, which I had never heard of. A few days later they did an interview with Cheryle Oberle, designer of the North Sea Shawl among other things. I haven't listened to that one yet, but I think that these interviews will be important documents in knitting history and I hope they will somehow be preserved. It does not seem to be covered by the Internet Archive, alas.
I hope that we can lure Galina to Western New York and knit with her again one of these days.

In the End

When I returned from vacation last week, Iceland was still very present in my mind. I was convinced that each evening I would write a post detailing one day of travel. Ha ha. A week later, overcome by the day to day, I've begun to loose the thread. And, of course, there are new things to report. 
So, I've decided to abandon the chronological approach and just see where things go. Of course, I will start with knitting.
My airplane knitting project was a a birthday present and I can't show it yet. Before finishing it, when I came to the nupps section (hint for knitters), my bamboo needle broke. A search for a replacement led to my first visit to an Icelandic yarn shop, in Hveragerði. It's in their mall, right when you come into town off the main highway, on the right. The shop is quite similar to our yarn shops (and so are their grocery stores) except that they have plenty of Icelandic yarn. 
In addition to finding needles, I was anxious to try out Plötulopi, an unspun, 1 p…