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The Circular of Life

photo(161)Dear Ann,

This lopapeysa pair landed in Lincoln, Nebraska today. The Mr. is Riddari (my third) and the Mrs. is Verur.

I did the same neck mods to Verur as I had done for my two previous Riddari, to make the neckline less masculine and crew-y.  My modification was blunt:  I skipped half of the last round of decreases on the yoke, and skipped the neckband decreases altogether. But when my niece tried it on, it was too wide, it stuck up, it looked weird. So out came the scissors of doom.

photo 1(2)

Instagram let loose with a collective shriek at this shot. CALM DOWN PEOPLE.  I cut off the neckband, well above the point at which I was going to execute my fix. Nothing bad was going to happen, especially not with this sticky Icelandic wool.

photo 2(2)

See? No big deal. From the place where I had cut, I  ripped back to the round where I had only done half of the decreases the pattern called for, made all those decreases as directed by the pattern, and carried on. (I did not do the “decrease 13 stitches evenly” instruction at the neckband, which would have brought the neck in a bit snugger. I wanted the neck to remain somewhat wider. Also I hate that instruction with a fury that may reflect badly on my math skills. YOU BROUGHT ME ALL THIS WAY WITH PRECISE YOKE DECREASES SEAMLESSLY INCORPORATED INTO THE STITCH PATTERN AND NOW YOU TELL ME TO DECREASE 13 EVENLY? LIKE AN ANIMAL?)

As day follows night and sleet follows thundersnow, I have cast on my next Riddari.


This is an XS, for a bat mitzvah girl who will be swimming in it initially, but will have it in her life as her Forever Ski Sweater, so I’m making it to fit her mom.

It’s the circular of life. When this Riddari gets to the yoke, it will no longer be Subway Knitting, and I will have to cast on something else. I don’t mind.

Happy weekend, all.


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  1. Oh, Kay, your “circular of life” term has touched my heart. The idea that the sweater is being knit for the girl in her mother’s size so that she will wear it all of her life is so sweet. I expect that sweater will be worn by many generations. Your knitting will bless them all. May the knitter be blessed, as well.


  2. I really admire your lopapeysa commitment. You’ve earned another Grit bead for your vest. (also, great title for the post)

  3. Such beautiful sweaters. You are certainly The Queen of Lopapeysas.

  4. Divine!

  5. Hi Kay:

    If you don’t already have it, try out the “Knitting Evenly” app. It is worth its weight in gold.


    • I love it but you have to fudge it if you’re knitting in the round! It acts as if you are knitting in rows and want the distance from the increase at the beginning and the end to match up. Which messes up the spacing if you are knitting in the round.

  6. Your Lopapeysas are so beautiful. I think I want a Riddari. But maybe I should go to Iceland first, so it would be authentic. Yeah, that’s a plan!

    I also feel your rage at “decrease x evenly.” No.

    • I would not try to talk anybody out of a trip to Iceland, although I think knitting a lopapeysa would be a fine prelude to your journey. And then you’d have something to wear when you get there. They wear them year round, judging from what we saw in June.

  7. “Decrease x rows evenly”, hell, I hate that too!
    It’s not like I’m mathematically challenged or anything, but, when I’m knitting I don’t feel like doing long divisions you know? I found this page very helpful when knitting my Riddari:


    Take care, your work is an inspiration for us all!

  8. Gorgeous. I love that Verur too!

  9. Riddari is one of the handsomest of a handsome breed of sweater, so I happily look forward to seeing more from your needles. As soon as I can justify having a lopapeysa in my climate, I’ll cast on a Riddari too.

  10. Of course both sweaters are to die for. But what is the beautiful quilt you are presenting them on? Your work?

    • Crate and Barrel!

  11. Sigh. No picture of the finished hacked Riddari with improved neckline as shown on the recipient? I’m disappointed. Couldn’t you just tell the lass that you would crop her face out of the photo? However, I really need to make myself one of these. I wonder how long it would take me to come to a decision on a color combo?

  12. Could you move those sweaters out of the way so I can see the quilts?

  13. Those sweaters are gorgeous–lucky teens–and this is a good year to have them! Your needles have been on fire to have made 2 sweaters and a beautiful baby blanket as well. Are you going to make a lopi for yourself? Just found out my niece is having a boy, so I will be making another baby blanket. I’m letting her pick, but have pointed out Quadrature to her after seeing yours.

  14. I don’t know why everyone was so incensed by that photo with the scissors. After all, surgery is sometimes necessary in knitting, just as in other areas of life (one’s health, one’s home, one’s car, etc.). One type of knitting surgery that causes somewhat less angst is steeking. Another may be doing cut buttonholes (rather than those knitted into place). Cutting off an unlovely collar or hem, especially in a very sticky wool yarn, shouldn’t cause a bunch of Pepto moments. After all, EZ would not have hesitated to do so. . .so why should we?


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