In July this year I celebrated my 40th birthday with an incredible trip to Reykjavik in Iceland. I had wanted to go there since I was 16 years-old and obsessed with the singer Bjork.
The Bjork obsession has diminished somewhat in the last 24 years – I still love her but no longer feel the urge to pretend to be her – but my fascination with her home country still remained.
It was a perfect holiday. Iceland was magical, with scenery unlike anywhere I have ever been before. I waited 24-years for that trip and it was everything I wanted it to be and then some.
Knitting is huge in Iceland – no doubt it stops them going mad in the cold and dark winter months spent indoors – and the traditional Icelandic yoke jumper, the lopapeysa, is sold all over Reykjavik.
It is a style I have always loved and I knew that making my own with a traditional Icelandic pattern and Icelandic yarn would be a perfect souvenir of my birthday trip.
I bought my pattern and yarn from the Icelandic Hand Knitting Association and, considering how shockingly expensive everything in Iceland is, it was pretty cheap. The yarn and pattern came in at less than £30. And the ladies in the shop were incredibly helpful, explaining the pattern and yarn to me.
The yarn I bought, Plotulopi, is a a traditional unspun yarn that is incredibly fragile and really unlike anything I have ever knit with before. I knit the lopapeysa with two strands of yarn, on size 6mm needles. I loved knitting this jumper. The fairisle yoke was so much fun to knit. And it was a pretty quick knit. Well it would have been if I didn’t have the kittens. I know I have mentioned this before, but it is almost impossible to knit or sew with two very active and very curious kittens jumping around. The majority of this jumper was actually knit under a blanket so they couldn’t pounce on the yarn! But they are very cute so I will put up with this!
I love my finished lopapeysa. It’s so warm and snuggly. I feel like I am being hugged when I wear it. And best of all, like all good souvenirs, it brings back happy memories of a perfect trip to Iceland.