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 Un-spun Icelandic
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Clara
queen bee

USA
4398 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2012 :  7:14:18 PM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In the 1950s, a young Meg Swansen spent a month in Reykjavik. While she was there, she noticed these totally cool wheels of yarn (they called them "cheeses" apparently) that weren't even SPUN. She sent some to her mother, Elizabeth Zimmermann, who promptly became the U.S. distributor.

It's one of the lesser-known Icelandic yarn possibilities in this country, and yet it's totally worth your while - even if just to learn a little more about the nuance of wool. It defies the laws of all yarn, wearing like steel even though it has no twist whatsoever.

Here's this week's review!

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher

SandyHarsh
New Pal

27 Posts

Posted - 09/12/2012 :  7:58:40 PM  Show Profile Send SandyHarsh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Do you think this would be good for a shawl? I'm not talking lacy shawl but a warm, winter-worthy shawl.
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gael1940
New Pal

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2012 :  05:01:51 AM  Show Profile  Send gael1940 a Yahoo! Message Send gael1940 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You are completely correct about the durability of this wool. I have worn a sweater made of it for about 30 years, the only wear it shows is a little around the cuffs. It has gotten softer and more scrumptious over the years. People who say they can't wear wool seem oblivious that the sweater i have just loaned them is wool. I am a spinner as well as a knitter and have just recently started to spin long staple wool with less and less twist. Can't wait to try knitting with it!
gg
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Purrknits
New Pal

2 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2012 :  05:49:18 AM  Show Profile Send Purrknits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I used this yarn for the Feather and Fan Triangle Shawl in Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle and really enjoyed working with it. It did pull apart here and there but reattaching it is easy and I love the finished product. It is warm without being heavy and seems to be wearing well. The pattern itself makes a very large shawl, however, but could be easily made in a smaller size.
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Bflexner
New Pal

USA
12 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2012 :  09:31:14 AM  Show Profile Send Bflexner a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'm glad to hear that this old friend is still around. The sweater that I made with it is older than my youngest child (37). I still wear it daily to go get the mail in the winter! It's like getting a hug from an old friend!
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bellsonme@yahoo.com
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2012 :  11:30:01 AM  Show Profile Send bellsonme@yahoo.com a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh! Thank you for this review. I've got a couple of "plates" of this wool -- spinning it wasn't satisfying and I wasn't sure what to do with it. Now I think I'll get some more, and make a sweater with it!
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Riaknits
New Pal

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 09/13/2012 :  12:55:15 PM  Show Profile  Visit Riaknits's Homepage Send Riaknits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you for your review of this wonderful yarn! I've often lamented the fact that most of my knitting friends were daunted by this yarn. It is a minor miracle how well it knits up & performs, and as you mentioned, the plying of 2 or more colors makes this a lot of fun to work with, too. Spot on.
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terryknits2
New Pal

37 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2012 :  06:35:38 AM  Show Profile Send terryknits2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I also have made the Feather and Fan shawl by Cheryl Oberle and did end up making it a bit small than called for and it is still plenty big. This yarn is fantastic for a shawl - lightweight and very warm. I then tried using this yarn to make mittens and wasn't as happy - couldn't pull stitches tight enough without breaking the yarn. My plan is to spin the yarn into a 2-ply and then knit mittens with it. Haven't yet tried a sweater, but it seems this yarn should work super well for sweaters and there are many sweater patterns that call for it.
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Shalee
Permanent Resident

USA
2041 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2012 :  5:01:54 PM  Show Profile  Visit Shalee's Homepage Send Shalee a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I bought quite a bit of it and my first project was a felted project. Knit on larger needles it felts up beautifully! I've considered using some of it like roving. Now I'm re-thinking that and wondering if a good heavy pullover for winter might be a better idea, I certainly have enough!

Sharon in NW PA
I always wanted my own library but I didn't realize it would be all knitting books!


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marfa
Permanent Resident

USA
1953 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2012 :  1:14:46 PM  Show Profile  Visit marfa's Homepage Send marfa a Private Message  Reply with Quote
How do.

Clara, I appreciate your review for many things & among them were these: your writing of Elizabeth Zimmerman reminds us of a great icon, the same for Meg,this is a yarn of opportunities - great opportunities to knit great things!

Thanks to Schoolhouse Press for all you sell.
Martha

http://marfasmewsings.blogspot.com
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theknitress
New Pal

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2012 :  07:24:36 AM  Show Profile Send theknitress a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sounds like interesting yarn! What is the drape like? When you say it "wears like iron" I get that it with holds it's structure to the elements, but does that also mean it is rigid?

What items would you suggest would be the best for this yarn? I see shawls and sweaters mentioned in the comments. Does it have enough elasticity for, say, mittens?

Thanks!
Tamara
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
508 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2012 :  07:56:24 AM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Tamara, if you will look up this yarn on Ravelry and then go to the projects, you will see LOTS of mittens made with Un-spun Icelandic. I have been researching possible projects since reading Clara's review, because I'm wanting to try it myself ... mittens are at the top of my list! Ravelry is usually my first stop when looking for information and ideas for using a specific yarn (or for suitable yarns for a specific pattern).

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time. (OkieDokieKnitter on Ravelry)
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purlthis
Permanent Resident

USA
2749 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2012 :  4:00:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit purlthis's Homepage Send purlthis a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I want to like it, but I know I would die a scratchy death. I'm just too sensitive.

Rachel
------------------------------------------------------
As I get older, I prefer to knit. Tracey Ullman
http://purledthis.blogspot.com/ UPDATED! WITH PICS!
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