Posted on September 6, 2012
The Icelandic Yarn Hunt: Part 6
One big reason I wanted to visit Iceland was for the yarn. (I know, shocker.) I always thought, “Ya know, this is a country KNOWN for their sweaters, their yarn shops MUST BE incredible!!”
But here’s what I’ve learned.
After traveling through a good portion of the lower half of the country, I’ve discovered that there are no “yarn stores.”
First thing I found was yarn in the grocery store. Yes – it was cheaper than fruit and bread! So I stocked up on yarn rather than lunch.
Once in Reykjavik, we found wool stores that sell hand-knit and machine-knit items. They sell fair isle sweaters, socks, mittens and hats.
But hidden in the back of these stores are small secret areas of yarn!
And we found a lot of these secret caves of colored wool throughout the city.
Barley weighed in and voted out of the yarn stores we found, Handknitting Association of Iceland to be the best wool store with the most selection and best prices.
And there isn’t much more than wool at any of these shops. If you look hard, you may find a random “wool-alpakka” blend or an acrylic. But there is a great reason for that. Iceland is cold and wet.
So why would you want to knit with a silk or cotton. It’s not like it would be comfortable to wear! I’m sure they don’t sell a whole lot of Icelandic wool in Florida, right? The Icelandic wool is built for the weather. It’s insulating and water resistant.
Look at their sheep, they know what’s up!
So get over the American notion of a yarn store that sells everything from Silk to Wool to Fun fur. You won’t find that crap there. Just good-‘ol water resistant, a little scratchy but warm as hell, wool. You won’t get anything knit warmer than that.