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Icelandic Redux

Dear Ann,
As I headed into the scrum of Vogue Knitting Live last weekend, I knew one thing: Védis Jónsdóttir was going to be there, and I was going to find her.
Let’s review: Védis Jónsdóttir is the designer of Riddari, the sweater pattern I picked out for Carrie when we were in Iceland last June, which I finished at the end of 2012 to great fanfare (in my mind). A smashing sweater and a smashing success. In the Siberian conditions of New York City this past week, I have even had the rare pleasure of seeing a child wearing a handknit unprompted, without me standing by with a camera and giving directions. (It’s either that nice of a sweater, or that cold–actually it’s a perfect storm of nice sweater + cold.)
Védis Jónsdóttir is also the author of the newly released book, Knitting With Icelandic Wool..
Although I entered the Marriott Marquis without a fixed expectation of what Védis Jónsdóttir would be like, I did have a notion. Something along these lines:
vintageicelandicdress.jpg
Or these:
icelandicmaidenhorseback.jpg
Or heck, she might even look like this:
bjork.jpg
Here she is, real-life Védis Jónsdóttir:
jonsdottir.jpg
Despite the lack of either horse or headdress, she’s lovely. We had a nice chat while people waited for her to sign copies of her book. I hope I run into her again.
I wouldn’t fault anyone for doubting that I have my finger on the pulse of what’s hot in the world of international fashion and design. But by knitting an Icelandic sweater at this particular moment, I landed smack in the middle of the zeitgeist. As proof, I commend everyone to read this fun article–illustrated with amazing photographs–on Icelandic sweaters. Not only do I recognize every one of the shops mentioned from my own explorations of Reykjavik, I actually recognized some of the people.
GO TO ICELAND. That’s my message.
Love,
Kay

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. Is one of the people you recognize from Reykjavik the sweater-wearing accordian player? That would combine two of my favorite things: fiber and folk music. (Assuming he wasn’t playing something like Lady of Spain. ;)

  2. In my knittermind, I’ve always associated the Icelandic yarn and style of sweater with EZ; not that she had anything to do with the design of course, but that her appreciation for the lopi and the Icelandic style of sweater was the reason she personally imported lopi for resale when it was difficult for anyone in North America (and maybe elsewhere) to get it. Somehow, I thought the “Icelandic sweater tradition” was already well-established before EZ became a conduit for the yarn, but according to this article, that would not be the case.

  3. You SO have your finger on the pulse, Missy. ‘Nuff said. B x x

  4. OK, having now read the article, that last pic looks like something out of a terrifying Scandi (and yes I do know Iceland is not part of Scandinavia) thriller series, like The Bridge on LSD. Those long nights in Winter send people a bit odd, sometimes…..

  5. Back in the early ’70s I knitted my then-boyfriend a Lopi sweater. Not a lopapeysa as we might envision it now, but a white pullover with a shawl collar, a band of gray fair isle right above the bottom ribbing, and the tiny gray lice motifs scattered over the rest of the sweater. Pattern was from a Reynolds Lopi booklet. At the time I also bought enough Lopi to make a lopapeysa for myself, which never happened. That yarn is still in my cedar chest, awaiting the needles. Someday…? Who knows.
    btw, I am enjoying you and Ann’s daily blogging ENORMOUSLY! It used to be such an event when there was a new post from M-DK in my Google Reader. It still is a joyous occasion, but now it happens pretty much daily. Yay!

  6. Miss Red Pen here to tell you that you did not, in fact, finish that sweater at the end of 2013.
    I will go to Iceland this summer, and then I, too, will buy yarn and maybe even make a sweater with my finger on the pulse etc etc.

  7. Well, she is adorable! I only know one other Icelander, who is the same, so perhaps it is a cultural thing!

  8. How I would love to go yarn shopping in Iceland!!!!!!!
    By the way, thank you for the link to that great article! :-)

  9. I love your new method of blogging frequently, and I appreciate the time you devote to the blog. You guys are the best!

  10. Going to Iceland is definitely on my bucket list. If American goes there, I’ve got more than enough miles!

  11. I’ve been slowly implanting the idea of a vacation to Iceland in my husband. Maybe a few years et, but I just know we’ll get there. :)

  12. Wow! How bout that fabulous feather-and-fan Vedis! I’m going back to Iceland RIGHT NOW.

  13. I think I would like Iceland a lot. It just seems like a cool place. And the link to that article was excellent: Farmer’s Market looks to be one of those very special places.

  14. I hope you made it to her lecture! A nice armchair trip to Iceland…and in a warm room.

  15. Your message and my message are the same: go to Iceland.

  16. Védis’s feather and fan sweater is making me crazy. Maybe this was the one day a year when she takes a lopi break.

  17. Belinda above, and any others who might be curious: actually, Iceland is Scandinavian in heritage, if not in geographical location. Settled by Vikings, ruled for some centuries by Norway and then Denmark; and the Icelandic language is a descendant of Old Norse, still closer to its roots than the other Scandinavian languages.

  18. Ann – I was thinking the same thing, but turns out it is Icelandic lace (I think). Her pattern Miðja ? Lovely.

  19. “To great fanfare (in my mind)” may be the best thing I’ve read in 24 hours.

  20. thanks for the link to the great sweaters! they reinded me of a sweater my mom bought me when i was a little girl. she didn’t knit, but encouraged my drive and desire to learn knitting.
    BTW, the pic of that pretty girl on horse back looks as if she could be a. relative…
    LoveDiane

  21. “To great fanfare (in my mind)” may be the best thing I’ve read in 24 hours.

  22. Are there any unattractive people in Iceland? Goodness!!!

  23. What a treat! I am on a two-week trip without internet and I come home to a plethora of posts. I love your lightning blogging and appreciate all you do! A long time fan.

  24. Hey, what about that fur collar? I love the collar!

  25. I’d love to go to Iceland, but it is definitely not in the cards. Think one of you could go (or go back) and then we could vicariously live through your trip. No? Then to the archives I go!

  26. Bjork is just the coolest, isn’t she? Didn’t give a stuff what anyone else thought of her swan dress – and her music is so original. Met another person recently who has been to Iceland, sounds like an amazing spot to visit.

  27. I think “imaginary Vedis on a horse” is my favorite. It’s got a very cheerful Pippi Longstocking feel to it!

  28. Thanks for the link to the fun, illustrated article. I loved it!!!