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Knitting and Hiking between Fire and Ice - IK05

Þingborg Wool Center, Spectacular Nature!

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




Price from:  

Adult: 265000

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Departures: 12th – 18th August

Duration: 7 days

Group size: 6 to 12 participants

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

  • Tour Description

    7 day hiking and knitting over Fimmvörðuháls

    This adventurous and sporty tour is a combination of hiking and knitting. Combined with the visit of the Þingborg wool centre and the Skógar Folk Museum, the Fimmvörðuháls hike will be an unforgettable knitting experience, with spectacular nature and exciting geological features. We’ll get to knit at the site of a short eruption, which happened just before the now famous one of Eyjafjallajökull. The trail goes from the great Skógarfoss waterfall, up between the two glaciers, onto and then over the recently formed lava, passing right by the two new craters, Magni and Móði, before descending to the magical nature reserve of Þórsmörk. All the way, Hélène will give us an insight into the Icelandic knitting tradition with focus on the colorful traditional shoe-inserts and the unique Icelandic intarsia. We may also try knitting while walking like men and women did back in the day, when time should not be wasted! Accommodation in guesthouses and mountain huts.


    12th – 18th August

    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: 265.000 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)

    Group size: 6 - 12

    Ascent/Descent: +1000m 

    Included in price:

    • 1 guide/knitting instructor
    • 1 night at a comfortable country hotel, dressed beds, private facilities.
    • 2 nights at a guesthouse in Reykjavík, dressed beds, shared facilities and breakfast included.
    • 3 nights in a mountain hut in the highlands, sleeping bag accommodations.
    • Full board from day 2 till lunch day 5, breakfast on day 6 & 7.
    • A support vehicle transporting luggage between huts
    • A cook who will prepare all meals during the hike.
    • Participants´ help with washing dishes is highly appreciated.

    Yarn for knitting samples during the workshops (but not full project).

    Upon booking, and in order to make the hikes enjoyable, please make sure your are familiar with the day-to-day itinerary, the ascents/descents and the number of km/miles walked per day, as well as the list of clothing and walking gear to bring (equipment list).

  • Tour Itinerary

    Day 1 (August 12th): Arrival in Iceland, accommodations at a comfortable guesthouse centrally located in Reykjavik, double room and shared facilities.

    Day 2 (August 13th): Departure for Skógar area on the South Coast, stopping at interesting places for knitters such as an Old Icelandic turf farm and the Þingborg Wool centre where local women produce the softest lopi yarn in Iceland. We’ll also stop at the Skógar Folk Museum and get to know how the Icelanders – the elders, children, women and men - became a nation of knitters. We arrive at a comfortable country hotel at the foot of Eyjafjallajökull glacier in the afternoon. Dinner at the hotel, picnic lunch enroute.

    Day 3 (August 14th): A short transfer to Skógar from where we start our hike up to the hut at the pass of Fimmvörðuháls. The hike follows the Skógá river and its many waterfalls – quite impressive. After a hearty Icelandic meal, we’ll spend the evening relaxing and knitting. Sleeping bag accommodations.

    Distance: ~12 km/7 mi Walking time: 7 – 9 hrs Ascent: 1000 m/ 3300’

    Day 4 (August 15th): From the hut at the pass we hike down to the oasis of Þórsmörk valley passing the craters and the lava field formed in the eruption of March 2010. Arriving at the comfortable hut of Básar where we will stay 2 nights. Evening knitting and resting after a delicious dinner. Sleeping bag accommodations.

    Distance: 14 km/9 mi Walking time: 7 – 9 hrs Descent: 900m/2970’

    Day 5 (August 16th): Today is all about knitting punctuated by a short hike to explore these magical surroundings where elves and trolls have been said to frequent. Knitting workshop in the afternoon. Sleeping bag accommodations.

    Walking time: 3-4 hrs

    Day 6 (August 17th): We catch the public bus in the morning for Reykjavík where we arrive at the guesthouse around lunch time. Farewell gathering and the rest of the afternoon and the evening are free to explore Reykjavík.

    Day 7 (August 18th): 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:

    • Sleeping bag – Down or fibre. Aim for light weight and warm bags. We recommend goose down with high “fill power” or top of the line synthetic bags. 
    • Possibility to rent a sleeping bag: contact
    • Backpack for extra clothes and food for day hikes. Size: 30-50 litres. 
    • A duffel bag for your baggage that is transported between camps. Note that suitcases are to be avoided. 
    • Swimsuit 
    • Towel 
    • Water container – Pet plastic bottle. 
    • Ear plugs
    • Slippers (for inside the huts)
    • 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

    • Circular needle, about 60-80 cm/24”-31” flexible (thin and soft string suitable for magic loop) 4 mm/US 6
    • Double pointed needles: 4 mm /US 6
    • Crochet hook nr 3/US C2 or D3 
    • Darning needle 
    • Scissors 
    • Sketchbook and pen 
    • Wool is provided for knitting the samples during the workshops but not for the optional projects.

    Optional knitted projects:
    Icelandic beret (from the book “Icelandic Color Knitting: using rose patterns”): circ needle 5 mm/US8 and band needles or DPN’s 7 mm / US 10.5 knitted with Alafoss lopi Inserts in shoes (from the website: 1.5 mm/ US 00 (2mm/US 0 will do too) knitted with Einband-Lodband (lace weight)

    Any extra knitting equipment such as sets of needles in different sizes (4.5 and 6 mm / US 7 and 10 are common sizes for lopi sweaters respectively in Léttlopi and Alafosslopi), stitch markers, tape measure, pocket calculator, paper graph, etc…

  • 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

    Icelandic knitting heritage : Hélène will tell us about the rich Icelandic tradition and will show us a few genuine samples. She will share with us stories from elderly knitters she has been interviewing in the past years. 

    Icelandic wool workshop: Hélène will tell us about the unique characteristics of the Icelandic wool and the genesis of the famous unspun lopi and will show us sample of artisanal Icelandic yarns. We will knit a little sample in the round with this highly breakable yarn, using the Magic loop technique, a technique largely adopted in Iceland today. 

    Traditional Icelandic intarsia workshop: Once commonly seen in knitted inserts in sheep and fish skin shoes, Icelandic intarsia is a tradition unique to Iceland. We will cover all the basic intarsia techniques as well as the specifics of the Icelandic intarsia. Hélène will also tell us about yarn management and give us tips for knitting the modern and challenging designs in her book, Icelandic Color Knitting: using Rose Patterns. Yarn will be provided for knitting a tiny insert in shoes. Hélène will have patterns available to knit during the tour if you wish, for example an adult beret from her book or a pair of adult inserts. 

    Knitting equipment: Yarn for the workshops is supplied for knitting samples (not full projects) but make sure to bring the knitting equipment listed in the equipment list.

  • Map
  • Departure Dates
    Tour Dates Availability  
    12.08 - 18.08 2018 Full

Select the number of passengers and departure date.