This week’s yarn review is of a unique yarn called Álafoss Lopi by Ístex. I was lucky enough to receive this as a gift from my friend Kelly when she went on a trek to Iceland, Norway, Finland and thereabouts. She generously brought me back several new types of yarn to try and this was in the bunch.

The basics

Álafoss Lopi by Ístex is a bulky 12 ply yarn. It is made from 100% Icelandic wool. I had one skein, which is 110 yards of yarn. This translates to about 3.5 ounces of yarn. Neat fact – I checked out Istex online and found out that they are the only spinning factory in Iceland!

The colorway

My favorite thing about this yarn is the color that I got. It’s mostly a deep blue but it has green worked into it. There are parts where the green is so bright that it is almost yellow and other parts where it’s so dark that it is almost blue. And yet the effect is not splotchy. The total overall effect you get when you look at is that you’re seeing a pretty blue yarn.

The do have lots of other colors available, a snapshot of which can be seen here (via Needlenart):

So far online I’ve found this yarn available for sale from Needlenart as well as RamWools. It’s priced between $7 and $8 in Canadian Dollars.

The feel of this yarn

This is a 100% wool yarn and it’s got that kind of feeling that causes kids to say “it’s itchy”. I can’t deny it. It’s a scratchy yarn with a very, very natural feeling to it. Since I’m a cashmere / merino lover this isn’t the feel of a yarn I would typically get. But of course this means that it is very natural and very warm!

How I am using this yarn

I really wanted to use this yarn because I love the color but I kept putting it off because I knew that I wouldn’t want to wear the 100% scratchy wool. I decided to offset the scratchiness by combining it with a super soft yarn in a capelet. I chose my Malabrigo Worsted, which I reviewed last week. Previously I had worked the Polar Morn color of Malabrigo Worsted into a capelet but I hadn’t liked how it had turned out because I’d designed it with a built-in twist that I ended up not liking. So I decided to frog that and start over, using both yarns together in repeating rows to soften up the feel of the Álafoss Lopi by Ístex while using it to brighten up the color of the entire piece. And I love the result:

If you’re curious, I used a repeating pattern of crossed double crochet and half double crochet, increasing the rounds when I did hdc.

Conclusion: If I wanted to use 100% wool again then I would consider this yarn assuming its availability.


San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!


  1. I sort of wish I knew enough about yarns and patterns and books to do reviews on them properly like you do. :)

    Also your finished caplet looks awesome!

    • Kathryn

      @Calophi – I just keep playing around with them and learning more and sharing what I know as I do it. :) Thanks on the capelet- I’m really happy with it.