I knew I wanted to spend most of my time here working with Icelandic wool, specifically the unprocessed fleeces. And while I'm very excited about rettír, the annual sheep round up, in a few weeks, this also means it has been a long time since sheep have been sheared here. The've all be vacationing all over the country, where ever they please, for the past few months. I initially had a hard time finding some Icelandic fleeces this time of year, but I have since found two great sources.
One is Þingborg, an amazing place in the south that started as a school and is now a wonderful store that sells all forms of wool. I wrote to them to see if it would be possible to order some raw wool even though they don't sell online, and they were happy to help. Before we could even work out the details, I woke up to this surprise, huge bag of all the rest of the wool they had available right at my doorstep. Also, in true Icelandic form, they won't even LET me pay for the wool until they're done sending all the batches to me. They're about to hand wash more grey fleeces for me and send them up here to the residency sometime soon. What a wonderful place!?
Since this adventure, I've actually found a second source of wool here in our tiny town of Blönduós. Ístex, the only wool processor in Iceland, has their washing facility here. During most of the year, rumor has it they have seconds galore as they process through all the fibers. Right now they're pretty much done washing until after rettír, and the main gentleman is on holiday, but it turns out they still have a bit left over from this past year! They're out of white fibers, which is great for both of us because most people want the white wool, and I want all the other natural colors, especially the unique mixed variations. I should be able to check that place out, and maybe even go on a tour, next week once the guy is back from his vacation. Iceland is a magical country!