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  • That plaid yoke leapt out at me, too. The inside-out, though… no. It’s all moot for me, though, since knitting with Lopi makes my eyes itch and my nose run! So I’ll just watch, this lopapeysa season!

  • What a lovely book! I’ll be snagging a copy for sure. I found a lopapeysa at a thrift store not long ago. Since I am middle aged, I have concerns about bursting into flames in a full on Icelandic knit. So… I was thinking about deconstructing, using the sleeves to make it longer, and morphing it into a sleeveless tunic. Will I regret this decision? Are there cardinal rules I would be breaking…?

    • There are lovely sleeveless lopapeysa patterns! They look great.

  • I always add front neck shaping to Lopi sweaters. I think it would enhance the look of these nice sweaters.

  • It’s been years since I’ve had a hankering to knit a lopapeysa, but your post makes me want to order the book, buy some brightly colored yarn and get cracking! As a long time resident of central Ohio, I can attest that while the winters can get mighty cold (the past two were brutal), this is not tundra – you have to travel to northern Ohio and Michigan for that. On a happy note it’s been predicted that this winter will be mild here. Fingers crossed.

  • There’s even bulkier Lopi? This is a thing I did not know.

  • Come January, yes. Ohio is tundra. 🙂

    Gorgeous sweaters! I should step up to a colorwork yoke someday, what with living in the tundra and all.

  • Where do you buy your Lopi? I am vacillating between ordering from an Icelandic dealer and paying about the same in shipping ($30) as the cost of a sweater’s worth of yarn ($32), or supporting a US business and paying more for the yarn and less in shipping.

  • Kay would you be able to share the yarn you use? I’d love to knit a mens sweater for under $40. Seems like most everything is much more $$. Here is a free lopi sweater that might not be too scary for those adverse to lots of color-work, the two colors chosen can be fantastic:http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/scatter-2
    Thank you Kay!

    • I buy Lopi locally at Knitty City in NYC. Tolt Yarn and Wool Company is a good online source. http://www.toltyarnandwool.com/products/lopi-lettlopi?variant=845189237

      They sell the lett-lopi for $5.50 a ball, which is a bit higher than I pay here in NYC, but if you figure 8 balls for a man’s size medium, you’re in the 40-dollar range. Best of all, there is no compromise of quality; it’s beautiful stuff.

  • I had a brief exchange with a person last winter who said I should knit one of these gorgeous things. I said, I can’t knit something for myself that I cannot wear doing chores. (Socks are an exception; socks have no rules. I don’t wear lace pattern socks in my muck boots, but I would if I felt like it. Emphasis on “felt.” Heh.) Anyway, she said, oh but you CAN wear one of these rugged sweaters [in the barn and heaving hay bales around and cleaning the Poultry Palace and raking out the goat barns]. But I think I would get a million bits of pointy hay and minuscule irretrievable fragments of goat poop and a cloud of chicken dust stuck in my sweater and I would be very very SAD.
    What say you, Kay?
    I will believe you, whatever you say. You’ve got the Power. The Lopi Power.

    • I’ve got the power of the goat poop of the lopi. Or something. Your confidence in me is humbling.

      I think your friend is right, frankly. These things are pretty rugged. I’d just make sure to make it oversized so that you can layer it over something lighter in case you get too warm. Think about Icelandic sheep, and how danged attractive they look, poop and all. The other way to look at it is, whatever you’re wearing, you’re getting stuff stuck to it out in the barn, so it might as well be a lopi sweater. You can knit one in roughly the time it will take to make a pair of socks. Test drive it!

  • Terrific designs and Gale you skillful little lopapeysa lenswoman !

    • Thanks you Lori 🙂 . This was a blast to photograph although slightly cooler weather would have been a boon.

  • Lopi is play-doh for knitters: fabulous colors and not expensive, plus knitting at 4 stitches to the inch makes ripping out and re-knitting almost fun!

    The second sweater I ever knit (over 25 years ago) was a lopi pullover for a gift. Now I’m itching to knit one for myself. The glorious green Asymptote pullover on the cover of Modern Lopi is stunning.

    I’ve knit mittens with two strands of lett-lopi held together using the Family Mittens pattern from Homespun Handknit. They are fabulously warm.

    For anyone concerned about the itch-factor, some knitters use (non-silicone) hair conditioner to soften garments knit with lopi. A rinse in water with just a little bit of vinegar is also said to help soften lopi fabric.

  • I knit a beautiful Icelandic poncho in Lopi yarn approximately 40 years ago when, if I recall and correctly informed, was one of the first times it had been imported and marketed in the US. I recall the making of the poncho vividly because the lopi yarn was pungent with sheep lanolin and my hands were so soft while knitting the project. I was correctly informed that the lanolin would add to its warmth and weather proofing in cold weather. I still have and wear this. It is as beautiful now as it was when first made!

    Here is my question: Is the Lopi yarn currently being imported for sale in the US the same as what is sold in Iceland? I have been told that the Lopi yarn sold here is Lopi style but does not have the softness, hand and lanolin saturation of the original yarn, which is no longer exported from Iceland.

    • Barbara,
      I cannot really answer your question. I will say that I don’t notice any lanolin (smell or feel) in my lett-lopi–some of which I purchased in Iceland and some of which I purchased here in New York, all from the Istex mill. The colors are still glorious and the sweaters still seem like cast-iron in terms of sturdiness. Once I’ve washed the sweater to block it, it gets very soft and drapey, and grows a bit.

  • So, does a colorwork/fair isle sweater become a Lopi by virtue of the yarn? Or are the motifs part of the overall definition as well? If you already answered that in the post, forgive me. 😛

    Part of why I ask, is that Heidi Kirrmaier has a gorgeous design called Snowflower, which I have considered taking on because of the way it is worked. The yoke is cast on provisionally so it can be worked bottom up and then the body and sleeves are finished topdown. Her thinking is that the decreases for the yoke are less visible when worked bottom up and working the body topdown provides the advantage of getting the lengths just right. For someone who has trouble getting the length right on a bottom up construction, this method appeals to me. Plus, Heidi’s patterns are just so well thought out.

  • I always wanted an accent in my name. How did you know? xoxox

    (I am also very tempted to knit the super bulky wrap. I’ll attest to it being super soft and cushy and irresistible)

    • It would take about 5 minutes, no? Just looks like fun to knit and I know a girl who would wear it. Your girl is a bit smaller…..

      • Pretty sure it’s an easy weekend knit even for someone as distracted as I am. I’m thinking it’d make sitting in my chilly house this winter a little more elegant.

  • I look forward to new posts and the newsletter!

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  • Verur, in THAT colourway, reminded me of a similar sweater my mother knit me over 40 years ago. I loved that sweater. Thanks for the memories.

  • The cover sweater with green color work is calling to me. But I’ve never knit a Lopi and tend to shy away from fair isle -style stuff.

  • I have some Icelandic Lopi from an Icelandic friend. Just one colour (very red) Need to find something to do with it.

  • Okay, guys. I like the weeks where you write about stuff that doesn’t translate into obsessions. This week you have caused me to be obsessed by Lopi sweaters and ganseys. Like I don’t already have too much stash and too many sweaters. Can’t you write about baseball or hockey for a while? Something that won’t lead me directly into temptation?

  • Kay, the lopi sweaters that you knit fit the recipients so well. Do you have any tips for how to get the correct size when you are knitting for people who do not live near you? What measurements do you go by? Do you measure their chest circumference and arm length, or go by the measurements of a sweater that fits them, or go by the size they normally wear? I am knitting a gansey for my son (bottom-up), and I keep having to wait for him to come home to make sure that it’s fitting him, and I’ve had to rip back in parts and add length in parts even though I have all of his measurements. I’m at the bottom of the sleeves and waiting for him to come home for Thanksgiving next week so I can finish knitting the cuffs! Thanks!

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  • Your version of Riddari is amazing. What colors! Gorgeous. I’m searching the internet now for the pattern….

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  • Hi Kay – I am loving these lopi sweaters and can’t wait to get my hands on these books!
    Btw, I’m in Ohio and depending upon where your girl is, a big old Lopi in bulky might work!
    Which college is she attending in OH? I have a soph at the College of Wooster right now lol

  • Hi ii recently bought enough Lettlopi to knit a sweater using one of their designs (neon) but it calls for regular lopi. The gaige is different on my swatch. I read you use the lett lopi. No one i spoke to, including the Alafoss people and the local knitting store, think its possible to switch to the lett lopi. Where and how do i convert this pattern? What do you do to convert them? Thanks for a reply. I’m dying to get started but dint want to mess it up. Karen

  • Really interesting and useful piece. There was a need for this book.