The story behind Lofoten Wool
100% pure local wool from naturally happy sheep – Designed and handled by professional crafters.
Once upon a time, in the picturesque Lofoten archipelago of Norway, a passionate textile craftswoman named Ragnhild Lie discovered a disheartening truth.
The country’s precious wool, nurtured by native breed sheep, was being shipped off to foreign lands, leaving local knitters yearning for their own heritage yarn.
Determined to rewrite this narrative and preserve the cultural legacy of wool craftsmanship, Ragnhild decided it was time to take action.
Keep on scrolling 🐑🧶👇
*Story photo cred:
Banner: Sophie Peelman
Chapter 1 & 2: Dan Mariner
Chapter 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7: Aurora Stenersen
Chapter 8 & 9: Ragnhild Lie
A noble quest begins
Drawing on her extensive expertise in working with wool, Ragnhild embarked on a noble quest. She envisioned a workshop that would not only celebrate native breed sheep and their wool but also bring together the craft-loving community of Lofoten. Thus, in 2013, the first flock of Old Norse Sheep found their home on her small farm, heralding the birth of Lofoten Wool.
From the very beginning, sustainability became the beating heart of this endeavor. Ragnhild’s unwavering focus on local production, the preservation of traditional craft skills, and the creation of high-quality products resonated not only locally but also earned admiration far beyond Norway’s borders. Lofoten Wool’s reputation grew as a beacon of excellence, embodying the belief that true quality stands the test of time.
As the soft rhythm of the archipelago’s waves embraced Ragnhild’s workshop, each skein of yarn spun a tale of dedication and love for nature’s gifts. The knitters who once yearned for local wool found solace and inspiration in the threads created with their very own heritage.
Over the years, Lofoten Wool blossomed, weaving together a community of artisans and craftsmen who shared a passion for sustainable, low-impact practices. Their creative endeavors breathed life into the stories whispered by the wool, echoing the traditions of generations past while forging a path towards a brighter, greener future.
Today, Lofoten Wool has developed into a strong team. Solveig Elton Jacobsen is the administrative manager, craftswoman, and designer. Kiia Nummenpalo is a craftswoman, graphic designer, and works in sales.
At Lofoten Wool, a haven of creativity and sustainability awaits.
As you approach the farm store and workshop, Høystålet, near the idyllic villages of Steine and Stamsund, a warm chorus of contented sheep greets you, inviting you into a world of natural happiness.
At Lofoten Wool, the process is a symphony of eco-conscious practices. The journey begins with the careful collection of wool from their own Old Norse sheep, affectionately referred to as Viking sheep. Embracing the spirit of community, they also collaborate with local farmers in Lofoten and Northern Norway, sourcing wool from Norwegian White sheep. The threads then find their way to the workshop, where they undergo a meticulous transformation into exquisite fabrics.
Hand made with care and love
Nature’s palette plays a starring role in the narrative, as every yarn and fabric is lovingly dyed using plant-based hues. The result is a breathtaking array of vibrant and mesmerizing colors, inspired by the very essence of Lofoten’s wild landscapes.
The heart and soul of Lofoten Wool’s creations lie in the skillful hands of talented crafters, each one a guardian of their cherished craft. With unwavering pride in their workmanship, they craft each knitted product by hand, instilling them with a timeless allure and a promise of longevity.
Lofoten Wool stands as a bastion of tradition, upholding and cherishing the heritage of ancient crafts. Each product is a testament to their dedication to producing goods that endure the test of time – a promise that their stories will be woven into the lives of generations to come.
Stepping into Lofoten Wool is not merely a shopping experience; it is an immersion into a world where nature and craftsmanship co-exists inside each product.
So, if you ever find yourself close to Høystålet or Henningsær, be sure to visit Lofoten Wool. Discover the wonders of the Old Norse sheep, the magic of plant-dyed hues, and the enduring elegance of traditional Norwegian craftsmanship.
What can you buy and experience at Lofoten Wool?
Yarn: Lofoten Wool curate the finest wool from farms graced by diverse sheep breeds in Lofoten. Their passion for quality and sustainability shines through in our two exquisite yarn collections:
- “The Røst Collection”: Embrace the softness and lightness of crossbred wool from both white and black/brown sheep, with a full year’s growth and wool shorn in autumn.
- “Double Coated Wool Collection”: Experience the strength of wool from native sheep like Old Norse (Gammelnorsk sau), Norwegian Spæl, and Gammelnorsk Spæl. The longer hairs lend resilience, while the finer fibers provide comforting warmth.
The journey of our yarn begins at Fatland Ull, where expert sorting by color and quality takes place. Next, it embarks on a coastal express journey to Hillesvåg Wool Mill, where it undergoes gentle washing and spinning, transforming into the beautiful yarn you adore. Some of the yarn finds its way to KriviVev at Tingvoll, where our skilled artisans weave fabrics that breathe life into our captivating designs.
As you immerse yourself in our yarn’s enchanting textures, you’ll notice a touch of nature’s grace. The yarn contains sheep fat (lanolin), lending it a delightful softness and lightness that only grows with each gentle wool wash.
Before diving into larger projects, we encourage you to knit a sample patch, wash, and measure its stitches and pin thickness. Our Røst Collection will surprise you, becoming whiter and softer after a wash, adding an extra layer of charm to your creations.
To infuse our yarn with a kaleidoscope of colors, we engage in the art of plant dyeing in our workshop. Each batch of 100g skeins is a unique masterpiece, and while we do our best to match the colors, the handcrafted process adds a delightful variation. So when purchasing our products, give us a heads up if you prefer a light or dark/more intense hue. Ensure you buy enough of each color, as our batches can quickly run out, and we wouldn’t want you to miss out on your vision!
Farm shop: At Lofoten Wool, we uphold the cherished values of our island heritage, taking utmost care to honor our sheep by utilizing every precious part following their slaughter. Embracing the spirit of sustainability, our commitment goes beyond just the wool.
The Old Norse Sheep, guardians of hidden treasures, store fat around their kidneys. We harness this natural gift to craft aromatic soap and Liver Paté, infused with the essence of local herbs. Each product exudes the essence of Lofoten, a delightful convergence of tradition and innovation.
For our sheepskins, a journey of transformation awaits. Directly from Horn’s slaughterhouse to the mainland, they find their way to ‘Roar Pels’ tannery, a master in the art since 1946. There, these skins are transformed into exquisite hides and rugs, breathing new life into the legacy of our sheep.
To ensure your enjoyment for years to come, we provide comprehensive washing and care instructions with all our skins. A testament to our commitment to quality, these instructions are a guide to preserve the beauty of your treasured possession.
* If ease of care is a priority for you, our short-haired skins are a washing machine friendly option, combining convenience with the allure of nature’s embrace.
You can also find us in Henningsvær!
That’s right. Henningsvær, with its unique vibe and cultural scene, is a perfect spot for our fabulous new branch.
In our shop, you’ll find hand knitted sweaters, beanies, mittens, wool socks, and a solid collection of yarn and knitting patterns.
Come and check us out – when in Henningsvær 😊