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Icelanders knit crafty response to global crisis

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Trilogia specialized in high-end British, French, and Spanish designer pieces. Until lately, it carried little Icelandic work. But because the government has prohibited the depositing of money in foreign accounts – the only imports allowed are necessity items, such as food – the store has been forced to stop ordering merchandise from abroad.

Knitting to the rescue?

Local designers – often one-person brands – have come to the rescue.

Trilogia now features necklaces from Arora Eir, headpieces from Thelma Design, rouched bags from Hidden Goods, and bow scarves from Gudbjorg Jakobsd.

"The well-to-do ladies are still going to shop for exclusive Christmas, birthday, or Valentine's Day presents. It's just that those who used to buy Alexander McQueen are now buying Thelma," Ms. Yeoman says, referring to the big-money British designer, Mr. McQueen, who commands up to $300 for a belt or a scarf and up to $1,200 for a necklace. The local one-of-a-kind accessories cost less than $150 each.

Some craftspeople have arts and design training, while others have non artistic day jobs and just happened to have paid attention when their grandmothers taught them how to knit those ubiquitous rose-patterned wool sweaters.

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