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Authentic Iceland Knitting and Hiking - IK08

A noter: Vous trouverez toutes les informations en français ici.

Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson
Photo: Héléne Magnusson

Difficulty:

EASY

HARD

Price from:  

Adult: 386900

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Departures: 19th - 26th September 2018

Duration: 8 days

Group size: 6 - 12 participants

Note: Tour is operated mainly in English but Hélène is fluent in French

  • Tour Description

    8-day Authentic Iceland Knitting and Hiking

    This enchanting tour takes us to an authentic and peaceful hideaway, located right by the edge of Northern Europe’s biggest wilderness. There, we will experience the spirit of the Old Icelandic culture, participate in a sheep round up, hike in the untouched wilderness and colorful landscape in the East of Iceland and knit delicate lace. The unique accommodation, in delightfully renovated and preserved old buildings, will make us feel as if we are taking part in an adventure from the past and are “sleeping in a museum.” Our hosts will make all of the food in an old kitchen in front of us with mostly local ingredients. Hélène will give us a thoughtful insight into the Icelandic knitting heritage and we’ll learn new and Old techniques during the knitting workshops throughout the tour. The focus will be on Icelandic lace and more specifically on the klukka, the traditional women slip knitted in fine wool and decorated with undulating lace patterns. The klukka is the inspiration behind Hélène’s new book* on the amazing lace dresses of Adalbjörg Jónsdóttir and modern variations of them designed by Hélène. This is an unforgettable journey that will give us a unique insight on how people in Iceland used to live. Along with knitting and hiking, it is possible to go horse riding (optional, not included in price) in your free time.

    Departure:

    19th - 26th of September 2018

    Tours are operated mainly in English but Héléne is bilingual in French.

    A lexical of knitting terms in German/English/French/Icelandic is available during the tour.

    Price: 386.500 ISK per person

    Not included in price: flights to and from Keflavík International airport

    Single supplement (only available in Reykjavík): 15.500 ISK (limited availability)

    Included in price:

    • 1 guide/knitting instructor.
    • 2 nights at a guesthouse in Reykjavík, dressed beds, shared facilities.
    • 5 nights at the Wilderness center, shared facilities
    • Full board from day 2 till lunch day 7, breakfast on day 8.
    • All transfers as per itinerary, knitting as per itinerary. Yarn for knitting little samples during the workshops.

    *Upon booking, and in order to make the best out of your trip, please make sure your are familiar with the day-to-day itinerary and the list of clothing (equipment list) to bring.

  • Tour Itinerary

    Day 1 (19th September 2018): Knitters arrive to Iceland from all over the world at various time during the day. They will be spending their first night at a guesthouse in Reykjavík close to the Icelandic Handknitting Association of Iceland, full of lopi sweaters and wool.

    Day 2 (20th September 2018): Hélène will pick us up at our guesthouse at 6:30 AM and we will head to Reykjavik airport where we will take a flight to Egilsstaðir. When we arrive at Egilsstaðir, we will drive to an authentic and peaceful hideaway where where we will experience the spirit of the past and enjoy an interesting Wilderness Exhibition. We will be spending the next 5 nights there. Lunch at Hélène’s studio and beautiful Dinner on the premises.

    Day 3 (21st September 2018): Today will be spent on an exciting knitting workshop with Hélène, punctuated by a refreshing hike to the beautiful Hengifoss waterfall. Delicious lunch and dinner on premises.
    Hike: 2 hours Distance : about 4 km/ 3 miles Ascent/descent : 120 m / 393 ft

    Day 4 (22nd September 2018): It will be a fun and active day where we will experience the old and traditional way of Icelandic sheep round up. In September, the sheep are herded from the mountains where they grazed freely during the summer and are gathered in réttir – round-up – where they are sorted out between the farmers from the area. Families and friends usually take part in the round-up and wear their lopi sweaters. Lunch and dinner on premises.

    Day 5 (23rd September 2018): In the morning, we set out on an excursion for a 6-7 hour hike in the Icelandic landscape with a whole day of Waterfall trailing (with possible knitting breaks)! We will be ending the trail at Laugarfell, geothermal hot springs. After enjoying a bath in the beautiful surroundings, we will be picked up by a bus and head back to the turf farm where we will have dinner. Picnic lunch enroute and dinner on premises.
    Hike: 6-7 hours Distance : 14 km/ 8 miles  Ascent/descent : 475 m / 1558 ft

    Day 6 (24th September 2018): The morning will be dedicated to knitting with Hélène, while in the afternoon, we will enjoy some free time that we can used for hiking more in the surroundings, going horseback riding on the premises or simply knitting in peace. Lunch and dinner on the premises.

    Day 7 (25th September 2018): it is now time to say good bye to the wilderness and our lovely hosts and head back to Egilsstadir, where we will visit the local handicrafts and design stores. After lunch, we will take our flight back to Reykjavik. When we arrive in Reykjavik, knitters check in at the guesthouse located downtown, then they will spend the rest of the afternoon and the evening free in the vibrant city.

    Day 8 (26th September 2018): Departure.

  • Equipment List

    Boots and Clothing – an opportunity to show off your beautiful handknits:

    • Hiking Boots – The boots should be of leather (or leather and synthetic) with high cut to give sufficient ankle support. Preferably the sole should be soft but robust. 
    • Long sleeve shirt (thermal underwear) – Wool or synthetic. 
    • Warm wool or fleece sweater (2nd layer). 
    • Rain Jacket or an Anorak with hood – Preferably waterproof and breathable material (Gore-Tex or equivalents). 
    • Hiking pants. 
    • Rain trousers – Waterproof and breathable material. 
    • Liner Gloves – Wool or synthetic (polypropylene / polyester). 
    • Mittens – Wool or synthetic (optionally waterproof) 
    • Socks – Wool or synthetic. Two or three pairs. 
    • Hat or Balaclava – Wool or synthetic.

    Other gear:

    • Backpack for extra clothes and food for day hikes. Size: 30-50 litres. 
    • A duffel bag for your baggage. Note that suitcases are to be avoided. 
    • Swimsuit 
    • Towel 
    • Sun glasses.
    • Water container – Pet plastic bottle. 
    • Ear plugs
    • Slippers (for inside the guesthouse)
    • Head lamp.

    Optional gear:

    • Walking poles. 
    • Gaiters – Calf or knee height and wide enough for your boots. 
    • Camera, spare batteries and a memory card or films.

    Knitting equipment: please make sure to bring the following equipment for the workshops:

    • Circular needles 2, 2.5 mm and 3 mm/ US 0, 1.5 and 2.5 (it is also all right to bring instead US 1, 2 and 3) with a 60-80 cm/ about 24-31“ flexible cable. Lace needles, with sharp points, are recommended.
    • If you cannot or are not comfortable knitting lace in the round doing Magic loop on a long circular needle, make sure to also bring a set of double pointed needles 2.5 mm/US 2.5 (or US 3)
    • Crochet hook 2.5 mm / US C
    • Sharp tapestry needle, darning needle, thread and needle, markers, 4 safety pins, scissors. 
    • Blocking material: a box of inoxydable pins (optional, if you already own some: flexible blocking wires and blocking mat)

    Wool is provided for knitting the samples during the workshops but not for the full size projects.

  • Hélène

    Hélène Magnússon is an Icelandic knit designer who believes that the best way to preserve Icelandic traditions is to continue using them, giving them new life. She has adapted these traditions in knitting patterns and has published numerous magazine articles capturing the spirit and the rich history of Icelandic knitting. She has authored two important books about Icelandic knitting, translated in many languages: Icelandic Color Knitting: using rose-patterns brought back to life the unique Icelandic intarsia as seen in old shoe-inserts and Icelandic Handknits: 25 Heirloom projects and techniques gives an overview of the various knitting traditions in the 19th century and beginning of 20th century. She has also published numerous magazine articles capturing the spirit and the rich history of Icelandic knitting. With the Old Icelandic handspun yarns in mind, Hélène recently developed a range of extra-soft authentic Icelandic lace yarns, Love Story, Gilitrutt and Grýla, made of pure Icelandic lambswool that she hand selects from Icelandic farmers for its softness. 

    Hélène began her professional life as a lawyer in Paris before she made a complete life change and moved to Iceland, where she studied textile and fashion at Iceland Academy of the Arts. She worked as a hired girl in a sheep farm, as a chef in a popular restaurant of Reykjavik and as a mountain guide for many years. The varied skills she learned in those early years richly inform the amazing hiking and knitting tours she now passionately guides. Icelandic Mountain Guides are glad to have Hélène back in the touring world and are proud to offer the novelty of knitting tours, diversifying the selection of available tours and travel opportunities! The tours attract knitters from all over the world, including native Icelanders, for an unforgettable experience where Icelandic traditions and culture, breathtaking nature and master knitting workshops, perfectly balance one another.

  • Workshops

    Knitting workshops: The workshops will focus on the traditional Icelandic klukka and modern variations.

    Icelandic lace workshop (about 9 hours): we will look at the characteristics of the Icelandic lace, see how motifs and patterns evolved in time and how the unique characteristics of the Icelandic wool played an important role. We will look at the different Icelandic items where lace patterns can be found and pay a special attention to the klukka, the traditional women slip, knitted with fine wool and decorated with colorful wavy lace patterns. Inspired by the klukka but much more intricate and elaborated, the lace dresses of Aðalbjörg Jónsdóttir, an Old Icelandic woman (born 1916), have a unique construction, borrowed to the lopi yoke sweater. Hélène has been extensively researching Aðalbjörg’s work and the result is to be found in her book The Icelandic lace dresses of Aðalbjörg Jónsdóttir: The book contains genuine reproductions of Aðalbjörg’s dresses but also modern variations designed by Hélène with her recognizable style. It is the making of this book and the need for a suitable Icelandic fine lace yarn that led Hélène to develop her own Icelandic lace yarns in the first place. During the workshop, we will go through all the techniques necessary to knit even the most elaborated lace design from the book, from the cast on to the final blocking.

    Icelandic wool workshop (about 1 hour): Hélène will tell us about the unique characteristics of the Icelandic wool, the genesis of the unspun lopi and will tell us especially about the extra soft lace yarns, Love Story and Gilitrutt, she has developed to recreate the lightness and finesse of the Old lace designs.

    Steeking workshop (about 1 hour): the traditional Icelandic shoe-insert, knitted in garter stitch intarsia, is probably the only item in Iceland that is knitted back and forth. Everything else is knitted in the round then cut open (steeked) if needed. A pair of scissors in hands, we will get familiar with the traditional way of steeking and we will even dare steeking lace!

    Icelandic knitting heritage lecture (about 1 hour): Hélène will give us an overview about the rich Icelandic tradition and will show us a few genuine samples and share with us stories from elderly knitters she has been talking to in the past years.

    Knitting equipment: please make sure to bring the following equipment for the workshops:

    • Circular needles 2, 2.5 mm and 3 mm/ US 0, 1.5 and 2.5 (it is also all right to bring instead US 1, 2 and 3) with a 60-80 cm/ about 24-31“ flexible cable. Lace needles, with sharp points, are recommended.
    • If you cannot or are not comfortable knitting lace in the round doing Magic loop on a long circular needle, make sure to also bring a set of double pointed needles 2.5 mm/US 2.5 (or US 3)
    • Crochet hook 2.5 mm / US C
    • Sharp tapestry needle, darning needle, thread and needle, markers, 4 safety pins, scissors. 
    • Blocking material: a box of inoxydable pins (optional, if you already own some: flexible blocking wires and blocking mat)

    Wool is provided for knitting the samples during the workshops but not for the full size projects.

  • Map
  • Departure Dates
    Tour Dates Availability  
    19.09 - 26.09 2018 Confirmed Departure Select

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