A Woven Blanket Inspired by Sarah Moss’s “Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland”

For the shelves in the Sea Library to be filled with new books, I’ve learned to weave on a large wooden frame, my loom. I weave wool blankets for book readers to hug their shoulders. I call them the “dreaming blankets”.

Weaving is a beautiful process, similar to reading or writing – line after line after line. No wonder, we say: to weave a story.

This is a second dreaming blanket. (Did you see the first one?) Colours are inspired by Sarah Moss’s book “Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland”, by “hidden people, molten lava, boiling quicksand, blizzards pouring black clouds across a blue sky, aurora sweeping the mountainside like searchlights”.

Sarah Moss had a childhood dream of moving to Iceland, sustained by a wild summer there when she was nineteen. In 2009, she saw an advertisement for a job at the University of Iceland and applied on a whim, despite having two young children and a comfortable life in Kent, England.

The resulting adventure was shaped by Iceland’s economic collapse, which halved the value of her salary; by the eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull; and by a collection of new friends, including a poet who saw the only bombs fall on Iceland in 1943; a woman who speaks to elves; and a chef who guided Sarah’s family around the intricacies of Icelandic cuisine.

In her book “Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland”, Moss explores hillsides of boiling mud and volcanic craters and learned to drive like an Icelander on the unsurfaced roads that link remote farms and fishing villages in the far north. She watches the northern lights and the comings and goings of migratory birds, and as the weeks and months go by, she and her family learns new ways to live. “Names for the Sea” is her compelling and very funny account of living in a country poised on the edge of Europe, where modernization clashes with living folklore.

One dreaming blanket takes me 15 days and 2 km of wool yarn to make. It costs € 245 + the book as a gift + free post. If you want to order, let me know. Weaving these is the only way right now how I can support my own dream, the Sea Library.

If you prefer bright colours, maybe the first dreaming blanket, inspired by a colourful story of two old gangsters in a port, is just for you.

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