The reason I went to Iceland was because I received a grant to help me improve my teaching by incorporating art and physical education in the classroom. I found a program through Knitting Iceland that had knitting workshops, design workshops, and yoga and dance classes. Perfect.
Turns out the sheep population in Iceland is larger than the human population, so I was able to visit with lots of the fuzzy creatures.
I also had the opportunity to learn about dyeing yarn with natural, plant-based dyes.
I spent a lot of time knitting and admiring the pieces that others made.
Traditional Icelandic sweaters, or lopapeysa, are a solid color for most of the sleeves and body, but have a multi-colored, intricately designed yoke. Like this one, that was for sale at the Handknitting Association of Iceland.
I got to learn how to make one of these by creating a tiny version in a workshop that taught top-down sweater construction.
For this project, I did my one and only steek (for you non-knitters, this means cutting into knit fabric, which also strikes fear into the hearts of many knitters) in order to make the front opening on this mini-sweater. I knit it in the round, then reinforced the edges in order for it to get cut open without unraveling. I conquered that fear, but it would still be nerve wracking for me to do this to a full-sized garment.
Overall, the trip was great. The grant was valuable. I learned new techniques, and I got inspired. What more can you ask for?