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 named Netta in the shop.

So, my sense is that at Þingborg they sell yarn spun and hand dyed by local people, as well as rovings, garments and so on. It is a beautiful, well lit and spacious shop. They have Plötulopi in natural colours. You could feel the lanolin in some of it. It was wonderful. I bought 940 grams (about 2 pounds) of grey/black which should be enough for a sweater. I will make the body in grey and knit the yoke pattern with the colourful plötulopi that I bought elsewhere. I also bought 3 batts of fleece here which I will use for felting later this summer. If you go to Iceland, knitters, do not miss Þingborg. Even the parking lot is interesting:

Highway 1 goes all the way to Vik. Back on the road, there was so much to see...

We made another fibre related stop at Hvolsvöllur, where we accidentally discovered
Gallerý Prjónles . Here, I bought several soaps encased in felted wool and some buttons. They had beautiful glass buttons from the Czech Republic. I think the photo at this link gives an idea of how the soaps are enclosed in felt. Like most of the other yarn shops that I visited in Iceland, it felt like a craftsperson's workshop, rather than a locus for consumer indulgence.

There were waterfalls at every turn. Iceland is full of scenic attractions which are almost entirely unspoiled by guard rails. Here is Skogafoss:

Eventually, we did make it to Vik, a small village by the sea. We ate lunch and walked on the black sand beach. The view reminded me of the Percé Rock in the Gaspé in Quebec.

The basalt columns facing the beach on the other side of the promontory at Halsanefs Hellir are amazing.

But here's the most important place in Vik, Víkurprjón:

It's a combination souvenir shop and knitting factory which sells a wide variety of hand knitted sweaters alongside machine knitted sweaters. Each hand knitted sweater bears the name of the knitter. You could see the knitting machines and plates of Plötulopi behind the scene.

Here's the Google map showing the route from Selfoss southeast to Vik. In general, we stayed in the south of Iceland. We would like to go back and rent a more serious vehicle and drive north next time. For us, however, the south was spectacular and we were glad to have two weeks to explore it. HarpaJ has a wonderful set of photos of Vik on Flickr here.

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Mary Lou said…
I think I recognized some of those rocks from a rather offbeat movie called No Such Thing, set in Iceland, but it's English, I think. I found it very funny, but it is quirky humor.
Harpa J said…
And you didn't stop for coffee at my house?''' :-)
Vík is lovely - did you meet Þórir - the owner of Víkurprjón?

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