My mother kindly knitted a shawl for me from the yarn that was spun in a mini mill in Norway from Icelandic goat down. The hair is called cashmere but as the goats in Iceland have never been bred for anything particular their soft down is of different length. Not the desired minimum of 4 cm. The yarn that Telespinn span for me in Norway is therefore second class yarn, containing bits of the coarse hair which first class cashmere yarn should not contain.
Icelandic goats are an endangered species it means there are not many of them they are now around 815. It is impossible at time being to start breeding goats here only for their hair, but it will hopefully be done in due time when the goats are 2500 and less threatened.
But never the less the yarn is lovely and expensive due to the cost of the spinning.
The shawl is lovely and light and very precious.
As far as I know this is the first shawl ever to have been knitted out of Icelandic goats' down.
That is one more step on the way to save the Icelandic goats.
Anna María Lind, MA Textile Art Winchester School of Art.