Handknitting Association of Iceland

Day 22/100 – Back in the zone

Today was hard, being back at work after a jam packed 4 to 5 days in Iceland. So I relaxed by getting back into my crochet, after lovingly stroking all the yarn I brought back with me. I make a point of visiting the Handknitting Association of Iceland, located a stone’s throw from Hallgrimskirkja on Skólavörðustígur. It serves as both a store where you can buy handmade (and some machine made) knitted/woollen clothing along with being the best place (in my opinion) to buy the yarn to knit or crochet something yourself. It’s certainly the cheapest place I’ve found in Iceland and certainly cheaper than back home in the UK – the shawl I’m currently working on will cost less than £14, which for pure wool is fantastic.

The association was set up in 1977 by women who were supporting their familes making garments,  establishing standards and guidelines for the production which are still in use today

Whilst the flagship store is on Skólavörðustígur , there used to be another, smaller store on the main shopping street in Reykjavik – Laugavegur, however that seems to be closed now that I have also visited. There has been quite a few pieces in Icelandic media over the last couple of years about the influx of chinese made ‘lopapeysa’ you know the infamous Icelandic sweaters – that the stores are ironically charging even more for! If you buy from the Handknitting Association, you will find a tag inside the sweater with the name (and sometimes contact details) of the person who handknitted your item, how cool is that?! You can also buy from their website (see link above) and they will customise the size and colours for you – because it’s being made for you (the only thing to consider is that as iceland is not in the EU, you’re liable to import taxes, which for the UK is 20%).

So if you’re a yarn-a-holic like me, you should definitely visit when in Iceland.

 

 

 

Day 6/100 Crochet Cosy

Fairly quick post tonight for day 6 of my hundred days blogging challenge: A few weeks ago as the weather started to get a bit chillier, at the weekends I statted to crack out the tea pot a bit more often, however the main problem was that the tea gets cold faster than I can drink it so I decided a tea cosy would be a good project.

The first challenge was finding the right pattern, given that I didn’t know the name for my style of teapot – turns out it’s a stump tea pot, which doesn’t sound very attractive! Once I had that info, a quick search threw up a few possibilities on Pinterest, but I went with one by Stephanelli Designs on Ravelry that was a cute striped number. I changed the ordering of the stripes to suit my taste but otherwise followed the pattern to a tee (badoom cha). The pattern uses a 5mm needle and worsted weight yarn, so I guessed that the acryllic I had from poundland would probably be the right weight and it seems to have worked well.

img_3532
Side view, hiding the unfinished ends

I think it was a very easy pattern, well written – which as I’ve found out is almost more important that the technicality of the stitches – basically if someone doesn’t explain how to do something in standard terms or very well, a pattern can quickly take a turn for the worse. Not with this – I started it about 8pm and worked on it whilst watching TV, so it took about 3 hours (not including the sewing in of ends which I haven’t done yet) and left me feeling very accomplished!

Looking foward to tomorrow’s tea staying warmer that bit longer!