Realizing that there might not be very many people (knitters and non-knitters alike), who are very familiar with Icelandic lopi yarn, and being that it has become my favorite yarn as of late, I have decided to offer a little more information about this yarn.
Traditional Lopi yarn is fleeced from Icelandic sheep. The name "lopi" comes from the word "unspun wool". The yarn consists of two layers of the Icelandic sheep's unique wool; one layer of short hair and one layer of longer, softer hair. Lopi is considered to be a lightly processed yarn. Although it is available in a variety of incredible colors (dyed), natural lopi comes in a range of browns, from cream to dark brown.
Lopi does have a reputation for being the itchiest yarn in the world. And yes, as I grew up in Arizona, trying desperately to wear the beautiful Lopapeysur (traditional Icelandic sweaters) that my relatives sent me, waiting for the coldest day of the year....only to have to scramble out of it by 9 am for fear that I might break out in some sort of rash, I can see why. On the other hand, lopi is also known as one of the warmest yarns in the world. This is often proven by the fact, that on the coldest evenings in Reykjavik, you will still find many people out and about in their traditional lopi hats and sweaters, perfectly comfortable. In addition to being warm, lopi is also known for being lightweight, yet waterproof. Being that warm and waterproof are not qualities we often need out of our desert attire, I have yet to knit any lopi sweaters. But I have really enjoyed making my stuffed animals out of it and plan to make many more.
Here are some additional links about Lopi: