10 February 2011

Vettlingar!

In four weeks, David and I are actually going off on a short vacation that has no other agenda than vacation. Typically our travel involves work or family obligations, but not this time. And our destination? The land of the Viking sagas: Iceland.

I love visiting out-of-the-way places, and Iceland's always been in there on the list, but the devalued króna and some particularly good off-season package deals finally made it a viable possibility. David, as usual, was skeptical, but the prospect of spending 6 days somewhere with tons of geothermal hot springs was a huge selling point.

Anyway, visiting Iceland in early March meant one thing, in particular: a reason to knit some new mittens. I have some Létt-Lopi one of our former techs brought me from a trip there a couple of years ago, so those will (hopefully) become nice, thick Nordic-patterned outer mittens. I started on them tonight, but I think they need to be frogged so I can make the cuff looser. I wanted something a little softer for an inner layer, though, so I decided that would be a good project for some of my own handspun that had been sitting around for a few years now.

021011Mittens

The wool is the lambswool from a border leicester cross that I got at NH Sheep & Wool (The Year of the Deluge), and I absolutely love how these turned out. While my spinning could have been more even, it all worked nicely in the finished fabric, which is squishy and very cozy. And I do believe this is the first real project I've ever completed using my own handspun. No pattern for these. As I often do, I made it up as I went along. The cuffs are baby cable rib for a little extra warmth, and the thumb gussets are placed on the side so that they'll go on either hand.

The other advantage to using stash? It helps free up space for all the really, really cheap Icelandic yarn I anticipate buying. In fact, I did a major cleanup and destashing this past weekend. This trip wasn't the sole reason, as it was very badly needed, but it may well have given slightly greater urgency to the task.

As it was, I managed to empty out a huge box that had been at the bottom of a huger pile of stuff, untouched since I moved in over 5 years ago. That, in turn, freed up space along the wall for some of the bins I'd been storing under my bed. So now there's an empty bin under the bed and space to fit more bins. And since I have more non-yarn bins that need to be gone through and that I may well be able to free up, I'm foreseeing a distinct possibility of a yarn frenzy up near the Arctic Circle in the very near future.

14 comments:

goblinbox said...

Go forth to Iceland, young lad, and BUY A SHITLOAD OF TEH YARNZ!

Chris said...

Iceland in March... How much light do they have each day then?!

Yarndude said...

You're packing an extra suitcase to bring all the yarn home in, right?

JelliDonut said...

Hot springs AND cheap yarn?!?!? Where do I sign up? Have a marvelous time.

Lucia said...

Those are beautiful mittens. I've been contemplating a lining for the ones I just finished, even though they're quite warm enough, because catching my fingers on the floats is a bit annoying.

I so envy you your trip! It's probably a good thing I'm not going: I'd probably bring home several sheep.

Melanie said...

Have a great vacation! Sounds fun. :)

Kimberly said...

The mittens look lovely and warm! Have a great trip and a get a nice boatload of um, souvenir yarn, yeah, that's it, souvenir yarn!

Lisa/knitnzu said...

Seriously? Your first handspun knit project? They are LOVELY!

Ginny was in Iceland around xmas maybe 3 years ago (did you meet her, I think maybe not) on her way to Copenhagen.

She LOVED it. The hot springs, going to where the earth is growing, having really hot water in the hotel room, the public transportation (I forget, it runs on some cheap renewable resource).

Maybe we'll stop there on our way to spain in the fall... I want to see those Lopi models in person...

HAVE A BLAST!

kmkat said...

I think Iceland would be a lovely place to visit. Add in the Icelandic yarn, and w00t!

Mary said...

I have been to Iceland twice - I LOVE it there - once in October, once in February. The weather is generally not too cold, the gulf stream keeps it around 32 degrees F in the winter.

In Reykjavik, one place to go for yarn is Handknitting Association of Iceland near the big cathedral. Have a wonderful trip! Hopefully you will see the northern lights.

Tiger Tsuki said...

I shall have to have my broker buy up the market in Icelandic Yarn Futures! ;)

Enjoy your trip!!

Laurie said...

Can't wait to see what you come home with. Wonder how much daylight has shown up in March there.

tornwordo said...

Awesome mittens. Just looking at the thumb gives me knitter's anxiety. I could use a hot spring about now.

Janet said...

Mel - I have just the book for you to read - Iceland's Bell by Halldor Laxness. Also his book Independent People.