by Blaine Davis
There were nine of us staying for September; I was the only man. The average age was about 22, with the group consisting mostly of young women who had just finished their education or were preparing to continue onto higher education. They were from the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Sweden; it was a good international group.
Since we had been told to bring our own supplies because the local grocery store had a “limited supply,” I had an extra suitcase filled with yarns. As it turned out, the store had enough wool yarn to fill a whole wall in the place. Iceland is a knitting culture. I went home with a lot more yarn than I’d brought. I also had brought a small loom to do samples on and I started with that, then moved on to a larger one. My weaving samples consisted of several smaller pieces and one large tapestry. It takes a long time to do a tapestry of any size, so I was spending more time on the loom, and there were a few late nights. In addition to my own weaving, I also ended up doing a little teaching.
It was nice in the morning to look out at the river and mountain in the distance, drink coffee and eat, then start weaving. I’d usually go for a walk in the afternoon, or go the town’s swimming complex, which had a heated pool and hot tubs of varying temperatures.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience, one that I’d like to do again; maybe somewhere else, or maybe just back to Iceland… sitting at the large upright loom, looking at the river and mountains. I came to the realization that what I had gotten myself into was something nice."