Meet Our Icelandic Fiber Artist Mentors…
Ragnheiður Jóhannsdóttir “Ragga” is a knitting expert, designer, author and entrepreneur with over 40 years of experience. She is also skilled in herbal dyeing, spinning yarn and basically everything that has to do with wool. Ragga specializes in how wool and wool processing has evolved over the years and has focused on the history of Icelandic "lopapeysa" sweater. What she enjoys most is to teach new skills and to show how you can use your knowledge for further development. She is very excited to share her knitting knowledge with you and loves to work with the Icelandic wool. Ragga will introduce us to the Icelandic knitting techniques and traditions and there will be a choice of various items to knit: socks, gloves, hats, shawls or the traditional Icelandic “lopapeysa” sweater.
Guðrún Bjarnadóttir is a botanist, teacher and sperm analyst at the Icelandic Bull Centre. She teaches botany at the Agricultural University of Iceland at Hvanneyri. Guðrún spends most of her spare time collecting plants and dyeing wool, creating her own yarn from the Icelandic wool. Plants, knitting and Icelandic nature are her favorite things and she says she is very grateful to be able to combine this all in her work. In her home in Borgarfjörður she has an open workshop where she shows traditional methods of dyeing yarn from Icelandic plants or lichens and many other things. We will have the opportunity to spend a morning with Guðrún in a workshop to learn about her process.
Ríta Freyja Bach
Ríta and Páll live in Grenigerði, a small organic farm 3 km outside of Borgarnes. In addition to selling plants, they also work with wool and the horns of animals like reindeers, sheep and goats. From the horns, they make all kinds of useful things, particularly jewelry. Their handcraft is for sale in Ullarselið at Hvanneyri (www.ull.is) and some handicraft shops in Reykjavík. They also have a gallery at their farm. Ríta teaches students at the Agricultural University of Iceland to spin the wool and she has also taught many courses in wool craft elsewhere. We are lucky enough to visit their farm to learn more about Icelandic goat wool, see their beautiful art and taste some pancakes made from goat’s milk. We also have the chance to learn the art of spinning with Ríta one day while at our B&B.