While we were planning our trip, Rob mentioned that he liked the patterned-yoke Icelandic sweaters. I gave him the choice of me making one ahead of time that he could wear there or getting yarn there and making one once we were back. He opted for getting yarn there, so I gave him a number of pattern options, he picked one, and I made note of the yardage. One afternoon, the four of us took a trip out to Álafoss to the main Lopi store and he picked out two colors of Léttlopi for a Huron for himself, while I accidentally picked out almost the exact same colors of of plötulopi for a traditional lopapeysur for myself. The pattern I picked out was from an out-of-print Lopi pattern booklet, and the woman at the store kindly made a copy for me. I don’t think it would have been that big a deal to translate it from Icelandic—the colorwork is charted and there isn’t much in the way of shaping—but I did manage to buy a digital English-language version on Ravelry once we got home, so I don’t have to worry about it.
The plötulopi—the wheels of unspun fiber at the bottom of the photo—is interesting stuff. It’s fragile, yes, but not as delicate as I’d been expecting. It can withstand a bit of tension before it drifts apart. I swatched it double stranded on 10s, and the resulting fabric is very lightweight for its thickness and surprisingly soft.
The yarn on the right in the photo is a fingering-weight wool from Finland that I’d never heard of, let alone seen before. Rob and I were running around buying some souvenirs and gifts on our last full day in Reykjavik, and on a lark I popped into the yarn shop upstairs from the grocery store where we’d been buying our dried fish and tea all week. Most of the wares were from companies I can get in the States easily enough—Debbie Bliss, Rowan, Brooklyn Tweed even—but this stuff is something special. Plain and utilitarian on one hand, but richly colored and hitting the perfect midpoint between soft and sturdy. I bought three colors for an Agnes pullover and should have enough left over for some smaller items too. The woman at the store said it’s her favorite yarn for mittens, so maybe I’ll make some in homage to her.