What is this…”woolen warrior”?

This site started out as a knitting blog, turned into a knitting-nerd-travel blog for a hot minute, and has been dormant for years. Maybe you stumbled over here curious about my email address domain. There’s not much to see unless you love puffins or puffy knits. I have another semi-dormant and semi-professional site over at channotate.com if you’re curious. Thanks for visiting!

Gallery from Kirkjubæjarklaustur to Laugar

Icelandic landscapes from our journey from Southeast to Northeast Iceland these past few days.

We’ve been traveling while Mercury has been in Retrograde. I don’t really know what that means, but I have learned over the years to pay attention to when this happens. Needless to say, I’ve had my share of amusing stories to share. However, it is past midnight at the moment (not that you’d know it looking out our window) and I need to strap on my eye mask and catch some Zs!  How’s that for a tease? 😉 I promise to follow up if I can catch up with myself.

Return to Iceland

I’m back in Iceland! Arrived on Sunday and have been in Reykjavik, Selfoss, the Golden Circle, and the South Coast.  My friend Ivy is traveling with me and we are awestruck by the beauty we see everywhere.

Many of the places we’ve been so far are places I visited on my first visit earlier this year in March. It’s certainly warmer this time of year and there is plenty of daylight (the sun never sets all the way). What was brown and icy is now lush and green.

Today is the start of new landscapes and terrain… places I’ve never seen before. I can’t wait!

South Shore Adventure Gallery

Golden Circle Gallery

Behold the splendor of a few Golden Circle sights from today:

Lopi Love, As Promised

Lettlopi at Álafoss
Lettlopi at Álafoss

We rode the  #15 bus out to Mosfellsbær to go to the Álafoss Wool Store. Compared to Central Reykjavik, this area is on the rural end of a suburban spectrum.  That is, there’s not a lot going on out there in terms of commercial development or housing. Here’s the view from the bus:

#15 Bus to Mosfellsbær
#15 Bus to Mosfellsbær

Once we got off the bus, there was an over the river-and-through-the-woods walk to Álafoss.

Footpath to Álafoss
Footpath to Álafoss

The Álafoss wool factory was founded at the same spot in 1896. There were displays of old knitting and spinning equipment, knit garments for sale, and of course… yarn!

I indulged in a few yarn cakes. Yummy!

In the Land of Lopi

Reykjavik from Hallgrímskirkja
Reykjavik from Hallgrímskirkja

To date, my understanding of Iceland has been limited. In the late 1980s, I associated Reykjavik with a key geographical location in the educational video game Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego. The 1990s brought Björk and her icy Icelandic voice into my consciousness. That’s about it.

Then last year, I started knitting a Lopapeysa sweater because of a class I took on Craftsy.com.  I also started seeing images from this Pinterest feed. Bam! Icelandic intrigue!

I applied for a travel scholarship thru my employer. Here’s the proposal that won me the opportunity:  Resilience: Lessons from Iceland.

Fast forward… now I’m in Iceland! This trip will be a quick one; I’m scouting for the real deal and a chance to get the first impressions/gotta-see Reykjavik-area sights seen. I plan on returning later this year to hopefully expand beyond Reykjavik and dig deeper.

Our first day has been about getting our bearings. We arrived in Reykjavik very early this morning and explored in a travel-weary daze after flying all day/night from San Francisco. We made our way to Hallgrímskirkja, “The Church” in Reykjavik with an observation tower, to get a tall perspective. Everyone is bundled up because it is COLD! Perhaps it isn’t as cold as other places, but when the wind whips through, it feels like it breaks the skin.  Good thing there are wooly wares to wear available everywhere… even convenience stores sell hand knit hats and sweaters! Every interior space we’ve been in is cozy and warm. Lovin’ geothermal energy!

We walked to Harpa at sunset. The colors, light, reflection, texture and contrasts are magnificent!

Harpa at Dusk
Harpa Just Before Dusk

Perhaps tomorrow I will collect myself when I get encounter wool and actually photograph some of the lopi love to share.

Knock-Off Needles

Woolenwarrior just got home and found a little package waiting for her… from China!? Oh yeah! She totally forgot that she ordered some knock-off needles after hearing a tip and review from Paula of the Knitting Pipeline podcast.  Here they are all bundled up:


The knock-off Skacel Addi-esque packaging is especially amusing.

Here’s the verbiage and links that Paula shared in her Episode 142 Product Notes:

Jin Que Circular Needles from China: These are similar to ChiaoGoo or maybe the same. Cable is a bit thicker and not quite as flexible. 
32” Circulars  Price for 11 needles is now $5.99. Shipping now $.99.
Woolenwarrior is looking forward to giving them a try. Stay tuned for a review!