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A drive across Iceland’s magnificent landscape is not complete without a sighting of a fluffy white sheep. But these seemingly wild, wooly creatures are more than just a cute photo opportunity. For centuries, Icelanders have farmed these resilient animals and processed their wool to create beautiful garments and household products. A celebration of Icelandic wool craft will be held October 3rd through 9th at Félagsheimilið Þingborg and Uppspuni Mini Mill and Yarn Shop, close to Hotel Rangá. We invite our guests to visit South Iceland Wool Week and learn more about the history of sheep farming and wool processing in Iceland, see interesting demonstrations and participate in handcrafting workshops.
Icelandic Sheep – Rugged and Resilient
Iceland has a long history of sheep farming, dating back over 1000 years to the arrival of the nation’s first Nordic settlers. Iceland’s sheep are some of the hardiest creatures around, able to withstand our country’s unpredictable weather and tricky terrain. A thick woolen coat is the key to the Icelandic sheep’s sturdy nature, protecting the animal from wind, rain, snow and sleet. It is therefore not surprising that Icelanders have found practical uses for sheep’s wool over the centuries, particularly woolen garments. From the famous lopapeysa sweater to hats, mittens, gloves, blankets and more – products made with Icelandic wool are both beautiful and practical. Ask any Icelander and they will tell you that woolen garments are essential for any outdoor pursuit. Whether you are horseback riding or hiking, Icelandic wool will keep you warm.
What is Wool Week?
South Iceland Wool Week is a celebration of Icelandic wool and wool handcrafts. Visitors can take classes and workshops in knitting, crochet, spinning, dyeing and more. Visitors will also be able to visit Uppspuni Mini Mill where they can see a sheep stable, watch a sheep shearing demonstration and learn about wool processing. You can find a complete schedule of all the events here. The event is hosted by Uppspuni Mini Mill, Þingborg Wool Workshop and the Spinning Sisters. These local Icelandic organizations are dedicated to preserving and celebrating the traditional ways of wool processing and crafting. Teachers and local artisans will demonstrate their handcraft and give presentations about the history of wool processing in Iceland. Visitors will also have the opportunity to purchase a variety of beautiful woolen products. An Icelandic woolen sweater, hat or blanket would be a wonderful souvenir of your trip or a fantastic gift for loved ones back home.
Uppspuni Mini Mill and Yarn Shop
Hulda Brynjólfsdóttir and Tyrfingur Sveinsson own and operate Uppspuni Mini Mill and Yarn Shop, a traditional spinning mill located in South Iceland. After Icelandic sheep are sheared, their fluffy wool is not yet ready to be used for handcrafts. The wool must first be cleaned and prepared before being spun into yarn. Uppspuni Mini Mill uses machines to process wool from Icelandic sheep and turn it into the skeins of yarn you might find in a shop. The mill creates yarn from Hulda and Tyrfingur’s sheep, as well as other local Icelandic farmers. As part of South Iceland Wool Week, visitors are able to visit Uppspuni Mini Mill and see exactly how Icelandic sheep’s wool is turned into yarn. Visit a sheep stable and see the fluffy creatures up close before watching a sheep shearing demonstration. Then, walk through the mill to take a closer look at the machines which are used to spin raw wool into yarn. Uppspuni Mini Mill also has an on-site shop where guests can purchase yarn, hats, sweaters and other woolen products.