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Icelandic Polo Sweater

Imagine the voyage…eleven hundred years ago, 800 miles across an uncharted Norwegian Sea, above the Arctic Circle in wooden sailing ships to arrive at a place so full of desolation and so lacking in welcome, that only the thought of retreat and a return voyage was more frightful. This was the plight of the Viking rebels who sailed from Norway in 874AD to form what is today the world’s oldest republic. Iceland.

They brought with them only two breeds of domestic livestock: Icelandic horses and Icelandic sheep. Over time, both would have as much impact on the history and development of the country as man himself; however, without sheep, Iceland would have been uninhabitable. Today, these hardy animals are extinct elsewhere in the world, but flourish along Iceland’s rugged salt-soaked coast. Their survival is due to the unique wool they produce which contains two very different fibers; one is long and coarse for protection from wind, rain and snow and the other is a short, soft fiber which creates an incomparable insulation element. The yarn made from this wool is unusually soft, water-resistant, very lightweight and by virtue of its two distinctive length fibers, has a remarkable tensile strength.

Our Icelandic Handknit Sweater is made today the same way it has been for centuries, completely by hand to our specification. After the wool is carded, the sweater is made without the help of any machine process. Using the raw, undyed and natural-color wool fibers, the knitters twist the fibers from three different skeins into yarn by “finger spinning” as they knit the body and fully fashion the sleeves, armholes, neck and collar. The versatile polo-style body is plenty roomy and the 10” deep, four-button front placket results in an easy-to-wear, easy-to-layer garment. Except for the front button placket which is knit separately and then attached, there are no seams in this sweater. It’s all one continuous endeavor of warmth, durability and worthy of inheritance.

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