Hélène Magnússon

Margret-Shawl Mosi-MittensHélène Magnússon is a leading knit designer in Iceland. She began her professional life as a lawyer in Paris before she made a complete life change and moved to Iceland in 1995. There she learned the language while working in a sheep farm and soon after studied mountaineering and Textiles and Fashion Design at the Iceland Academy of Arts.

Shown on the left, Margrét is a truly beautiful traditional Icelandic triangular shawl in a wonderful array of color, from her book Icelandic Handknits. Shown on the right, Mosi is a fresh take on traditional Icelandic stranded mittens.

My-Icelandic-Sweater Hélène’s passion for textiles led her to extensively research Icelandic knitting traditions. She is the author of two important patterns books about Icelandic knitting: Icelandic Color Knitting: using rose-patterns brought back to life the unique Icelandic intarsia as seen in old shoe-inserts and Icelandic Handknits: 25 Heirloom projects and techniques gives an overview of the various knitting traditions in the 19th century and beginning of 20th century. Her expertise has earned her the respect of textile historians and museum curators in Iceland and worldwide. Hélène believes the best way to preserve traditions is to continue using them. Shown on right, My Icelandic Sweater from her book Icelandic Knitting Using Rose Patterns.

This is what led her to found The Icelandic Knitter (icelandicknitter.com) in 2010, dedicated to the Icelandic knitting heritage. Hélène’s aim is to revive traditions and give them new life: she publishes unique patterns inspired by the past with a modern twist, produces specialty Icelandic yarns Love Story and Grýla, teaches, lectures and organizes hiking and knitting tours in Iceland for knitters around the globe. Along the way, she shares her love of Iceland’s breathtaking nature, her insights into traditions and culture, and her knitting expertise through workshop intensives making for a one of a kind experience and an unforgettable journey to the land of fire and ice.

HeleneMagnussonVisit The Icelandic Knitter to see more of Hélène’s designs, yarns and books.
More of Hélène Magnússon on the Knitting Museum site.
Photos and text reprinted with permission of Hélène Magnússon.