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Between April and May, Minnesota Knitters rev up the engines and take spring by storm. Yes, this year there were quite a few snow storms in April but I think that made our knitting community even more motivated to find inspiration from all the fabulous knitting events within our community. This last weekend the Minnesota Knitters’ Guild held their annual Yarnover. This is a one day event where well known (national) teachers come for a day and give over 650 students their best instruction, tips for techniques and know-how. The Yarnover also includes a market place that is part reunion, part wool grower and all fun. Meet Ragga Eiriksdottir, Craftsy Instructor

As an encore, the Knitters’ Guild asks one of the teachers to stay over and give a talk at the Guild meeting the following Tuesday. This year our speaker was Ragga Eiriksdottir from Iceland and she spoke at our Guild meeting last night.

All the way from Iceland!! Ragga was a fun, entertaining speaker and shared her love of knitting the Icelandic way. In fact, I would say that she has single-handedly put contemporary Icelandic knitting on the map. With her force of personality, fresh approach to pattern design and knitting techniques plus knitting tours and loads of national pride, it’s easy to see how knitters are excited about getting knitty Iceland style. Icelandic Knitting

One of my all-time favorite knitting yarns is also a big export from Iceland. Lopi yarn comes from the Icelandic sheep which is a pure breed. The Icelandic sheep have two coats of wool. The undercoat is soft and downy and the outer layer is smooth and silky. It’s this outer layer that helps to shed water and keep the sheep dry. I’ve always loved the slightly tough texture of Lopi–it’s a stout wool made to be worn anytime of year which suits the Minnesotan in me just fine. I would rather wear a bulky warm sweater than a coat any day.

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And the colors. Lopi takes dye very well offering subtlety as with the yarn I purchased last night and if you want to crank it up a bit, Lopi will do that, too. Here’s a bag I knit from Lopi Lite. It’s the Lucy bag pattern from several years ago. I felted the bag down a little just to tighten the stitches together but not to make them invisible. When I bought the yarn from my LYS, I bought strictly by color not really having a clue what it would become. I think that’s the definition of a stash, right?

Anyway, thanks to Ragga for the fun talk last night and thanks to Shelley Hermanson for organizing the Yarnover for the umpteenth time. She’s a dear.

Thanks and talk soon!
–Jenny

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