August 16, 2016

Iceland, France, And A Wee Bit of Knitting - Part I

We loved Iceland - a country of magnificent scenery, loads of outdoor activities, and friendly people who all speak English! Hiking, cave exploration, snowmobiling, horseback riding, beachcombing, swimming in mineral springs, sightseeing, shopping, eating - there is something for everyone.
 
Iceland is one of the safest countries on earth and has one of the highest levels of literacy. We were only there for five days and we took three tours during that time. I would highly recommend the Iceland Horizon tour company to anyone thinking of visiting the country. Our guide, Odin (how's that for a good Norse name!), was knowledgeable and informative.
 
Iceland puts its hot mineral springs and waterfalls to good use - supplying the nation with low cost hydro power and heat. We only got to see one of the major waterfalls in the country - a good reason to go back.
 
 

The Gullfoss Waterfall
 
video
 
And you can hear Gullfoss!
 
video
 
Strokkur Geyser 
 
We had the opportunity to view the Strokkur geyser. It erupts every five minutes. Tourists should take note of wind direction lest they get sprayed with very hot water! There were a few people with a tour from India who stood beside me while we waited for the geyser to erupt. I told one of the ladies that their voices would be on my videos - my own Bollywood soundtrack! She laughed and encouraged me to include them in my memories!
 
The Bessastadakirkja  Lutheran church with the President's house in behind.
 
On the city tour, we stopped to go inside this church on a very blustery morning. The location is beside the water, open, and windswept to say the least. The President's residence is the large white building behind the church. No fences, no security guards, no visible security measures of any kind. We were simply told not to go there!
 
And the knitting:
 
There was no end of knitted wear in traditional Icelandic motifs, using wool from Icelandic sheep.
And there were hundreds of balls of Létt Lopi yarn for sale everywhere. I wore my own handkint Strokkur pullover on several occasions while in the country.
 

 
Everything on sale from the heavier Icelandic Lopi sweaters to finer weight lace shawls and scarves.
 
 
And, of course, my favourite - socks!
 
 
There were reindeer skins available at many stores! Not suitable for use as rugs, I assume that people purchase them for wall hangings. Reindeer were imported to Iceland from Norway in the late 18th century and live mostly at higher elevations in the east and northeast. There is an annual reindeer hunt in order to control the population of the animals.
 
Summer knitting back home:
 
I have started a pullover from myself, September Morn, using DROPS Nepal yarn. It has been too hot and humid here at home to work on it so I have finished a couple pair of socks. I have to really rev up my knitting again now as my knitting group starts up again in September and I should have more to show for the time away!
 
 
Pattern: Thuja
Yarn: H&W Comfort-Wolle Sockenwolle Comfort Color
Colour: 116b.02
Needles: Circular - 2.25 mm
 
 
 
 
Pattern: K3,P1 Ribbing
Yarn: Berroco Sox
Colour: 1465
Needles: Circular - 2.25 mm
 
This is the first time I have used either of these yarns for sock knitting. They were lovely to work with and time will tell how well they hold up. I am not expecting any problems.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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