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  • Stopover Story - Mary Jane Mucklestone

    Hooray for Iceland! Hooray for Icelandic wool month at Tolt Yarn and Wool.

    I’ve been lucky to visit a number of times and each time has been an amazing adventure.

    I’ll share some of my favorite landscapes and cityscapes with you plus, tales of two sweaters.

    I’ve loved Icelandic wool since I was a little girl and bought a soft and comfortable, finely knit hooded cape in Reykjavík.



    My more recent infatuation with Icelandic wool began a couple of years ago I was visiting Tolt and took a class with Ragga Eiríksdóttir where we made a darling wee lopapeysa. I was smitten by Tolt’s Wall ‘o’ Lopi – on wheels no less – I wanted to wheel the whole thing home! Instead I got a nice big bag of Léttlopi, which I always kept handy for swatching when the spirit grabbed me. Then one day I realized I was leaving on a trip, and I needed a lightweight packable sweater to bring with me. With 3 days before departure, I decided to use Léttlopi at the usual regular Lopi gauge, believing the fluffy nature of the wool would fill in the gaps…that is how my sweater Stopover was born!



    When I look at the Icelandic landscape I see patterns and colors that I want to use in my knitting…sometimes it feels like a future memory if that makes sense.


    In 2012, I visited the Lopi factory. In the shop I was captivated by the “plates” of Plötulopi…the unspun roving. I just loved how they looked…big fat disks…like round ripe cheeses…or sponge cakes! You buy everything by weight, so I bought a nice stack. I kept this tower where I could see it daily content simply to admire it. Until last summer when I realized … oh yes…that I had another trip on the horizon, this time a hiking trip led by my friend Hélène Magnússon. For this, I wanted a sweater even lighter than Stopover…Plötulopi would be just the thing. I’d heard you should knit it with two strands held together…but I wanted it to be lighter! So I carefully knit with just one strand…it breaks a little if you are not careful, but you can just spit splice that baby back together with no problem.


    I finished my sweater the night before we left Skógar and hiked over the Fimmvörðuháls pass between the Eyjafjallajökull and Mýrdalsjökull ice caps, then down the other side to the Þórsmörk nature reserve. Epic! I’m writing up the pattern and hope to have it out soon.


    My advice…begin your Icelandic adventures now. Knit with Icelandic wool!


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