Woollen Circle Offers Warm Welcome

Þórey Axelsdóttir and Anna Dóra Jónsdóttir at Þingborg.

Þórey Axelsdóttir and Anna Dóra Jónsdóttir at Þingborg. Photo: Morgunblaðið/Sigurður Bogi

Vala Hafstað

The next time you visit Iceland, you may want to take the Woolen Circle . A route near the better known Golden Circle of Gullfoss waterfall and the Geysir hotspring area in South Iceland, the Woollen Circle is intended for people interested in wool and knitting.

It is the creation of several women in South Iceland, whose common interest is Icelandic wool. They have set up a website to bring attention to places to visit in South Iceland near the Golden Circle, where you can see high quality handcraft and wool products.

From Þingborg.

From Þingborg. Photo: Morgunblaðið/Sigurður Bogi

There is substantial interest in Icelandic wool abroad, and according to Morgunblaðið , there are even organized trips to the country, where wool is the theme.

The three companies that have joined to create the Woollen Circle all use wool in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way.

First on the list of businesses to be visited is Hespa – an open plant dye studio, located west of Selfoss, where you can learn about traditional plant dyeing methods and watch the dyeing process. Here, too, plant-dyed wool yarn is for sale, as well as knitting and crocheting patterns.

The women behind the Woollen Circle: Hulda Brynjólfsdóttir, from Uppspuni, …

The women behind the Woollen Circle: Hulda Brynjólfsdóttir, from Uppspuni, Margrét Jónsdóttir, from Þingborg, Guðrún Bjarnadóttir, at Hespa, and Hólmfríður Ingólfsdóttir, who works at Skálholt. mbl.is

From there, you can drive east, about 12 km, to the wool store Þingborg, located at Þingborg í Flóa. The store carries unspun wool, yarn and handmade specialist knitting products.

The third business, Uppspuni  (the name plays on the words “to spin a lie”), another 13 km to the southeast, produces Icelandic wool yarn, of various types of density,  in a family run mini-mill.

“The Woollen Circle suits any tourist interested in Iceland and in knowledge about our culture,” Guðrún Bjarnadóttir, who operates Hespa, tells Morgunblaðið . “At all three stops, the atmosphere is personal,” she adds.

The final stop on the Woollen Circle is the historical site Skálholt, where restaurants are located, in addition to overnight accommodation.

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