"I'm reminded of a hell of a long time stuck inside a sheep shed."
"I travelled out there one September and booked into a mountain spa retreat, late at night. Just popped out for a breath of fresh air first thing in the morning and before I'd had a chance to admire the
scenery, I'd been rounded up by men on horseback and locked up with the Icelandic sheep for the winter."
"No! Couldn't you tell them they'd made a mistake?"
"Turned out to be the last day of the sheep gathering, all the Icelanders were rushing to get to a massive party. Thought I'd explain later, then I met Ivar - we clicked. Not the kind of retreat I had planned, but quite an experience. He was a really solid ram, marvellous muscles."
"Body builder, was he?"
"Naturally rugged, Beaut. You can get enough of the strong, silent type, though. By May, I had pure cabin fever."
"This yarn looks like natural colours to me."
"Oh yes, they have all the shades, Icelandics. My grey fleece blended in, no problem."
"Feels quite crisp, bit like Herdwick."
"Mmmm." Elinor rubbed the wool against her cheek. "Tog and thel, blended together. Double coat, see, soft inner layer for warmth and long outer coat for protection. Primitive and primal. Much like Ivar." It was good to hear her laughing, she's been pretty morose this week. More to do with her January detox than any long, dark, teatime of the soul, I'd say.
Lopi looks like an unplied single yarn, but isn't obviously felted. Elinor was gaily unravelling yards of it off the ball and it just fell into gentle kinks. I couldn't work out how it had been balanced, so as not to twist wildly, like my own hand spun singles. Clara Parkes wrote this excellent review which explains a great deal.
Once through the washing machine wool cycle and just as Clara Parkes writes, the itchiness had gone and the fabric had closed beautifully. Rugged enough to pass a tough test, keeping out a sharp wind coming along the estuary, over the flooded water meadows.