Iceland Journal – Álafoss Mill

Visiting the Álafoss factory shop housed in the old knitting mill in Mosfellsbær where Iceland’s woolen industry was launched in 1896 was on my “to visit” list.

The shop is packed with woollen goods knit, woven and felted from world famous Istex “Lopi” wool, the yarn from which Icelandic sweaters are knit. Unique in it’s composition, Icelandic wool is made up of two types of fibers; fine, soft and insulating inner fibers and long and glossy outer fibers which are water and dirt repellent. Sweaters knit from Lopi yarn are lightweight and warm.

In the old days the small waterfall (“foss”) behind the mill powered it’s machinery. A large selection of old photographs and knitting machinery are interspersed throughout the store, which fills the mill’s first floor, reminding one of the building’s heritage.

My visit to the shop was not disappointing – I left with two large bags of Lopi yarn and a wool blanket. This was the first time I had seen the full range of Istex yarns ranging from super lightweight “LéttLopi” to “Plötulopi”, the unspun yarn used to knit Icelandic sweaters. The colors are luscious and I was unable to resist buying a skein of almost every shade! Luckily the skeins compress and I was able to cram them into the empty spaces in my ski bag to avoid paying an excess baggage fee!

© Poppy Gall 2011

Yarns, sweaters, blankets and crafts fill the whole first floor of the old mill shop in Mosfellsbær

© Poppy Gall 2011

A delicious spectrum of color!

© Poppy Gall 2011

One can never have too much yarn!

© Poppy Gall 2011

Love the company vehicle!

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2 comments on “Iceland Journal – Álafoss Mill

  1. Lara Gunnarsdottir’s avatarLara Gunnarsdottir on said:

    Hi Poppy! Just came across your article. Even though it has been awhile we are excited to learn that you enjoyed visiting our Alafoss store in Iceland. Great pictures you took as well.

    I’m excited to let you know that we have just recently launched our new website at and we hope that you stop by there.

    Hopefully we will see you again in Iceland.

    Best regards, Alafoss

  2. A Napolitano’s avatarA Napolitano on said:

    Love the bumper on the van! Great to see a pic of you, Poppy!

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