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  • 27 years ago I travelled by bus around the UK and Scotland. I bought a pile of allafos lopi wool in Skye- the great big worsted kind. I knitted a big intarsia cardigan. Rather awful by current standards, but very much of the ’80’s moment. I kept ALL the left over yarn. About a kilo I reckon (that’s in addition to the hefty weight of the knee length cardigan). I carried it all over the UK backpacking. Then the USA. Then I brought it home to Australia. I tossed out the cardi some years ago. But kept the leftover wool – surely it would come in handy some day. Well, with a very heavy heart I finally took it to the charity shop the other day. It was like losing a child – and I have indeed had it longer than my children. The absence of that big bag of unused Allafos in my spare room is like the end of an era! I am tempted to pop into the shop just to see it one more time. But we know where that would lead…

    • Great story!!!

  • It’s a hat, not mittens, but I designed Moon Sprites for the very specific reason of using up Lett Lopi leftovers 🙂 http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/moon-sprites

    • You’re THAT Dianna! I’m working on your Sundottir pattern! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sundottir Just started the yoke section & I love it, love it, love it! For anyone else looking for more yoke-y sweaters, it’s a fantastic pattern. It’s very well written & a pleasure to knit up (so far, at least!)

      • Aw, thank you! I’m so happy you’re loving your Sundottir!

  • I’ve been thinking about making the hat Winter’s Fern out of my leftovers. Of course it will take me a few years to get around to it. Sorry about those missing short rows. I confess I was hoping you were going to knit on and the heck with ’em.

  • With me, even reading the pattern doesn’t always help. I empathize. And remember, you like knitting. ;o) Love the sheep hats.

    • Me too!!

  • Thank you so much for the mention! I used Shelter for the baable vest, but lopi would be such a cozy option. My son has a lopi vest with a simple lice pattern knit by a friend that he wears daily. Though he is showing nudist tendencies lately, he never complains about it itching. My Stopover leftovers are destined to reproduce it.

  • Frickety frack! If that was me, I’d be tossing that sweater into the naughty corner so it could have a long, hard think about its behaviour before it saw the light of day again.

    • Ha! I thought I was the only one that did that. I’ve had that discussion with several items over the years. When I tell the story out loud to non-knitting folk, they are sure I am in need of psychiatric assistance.

  • The Moon Sprites hat is lovely.

    As for mittens, couldn’t an appropriate pattern be found to which some sort of pattern or stripes be added? Maybe a version of the Stopover pattern. Maybe a kind of color block/striping that uses the colors in an opposite manner, so the mittens are different yet the same. Well, I don’t know, I am one of the ones whose Stopover is not yet finished.

    Kay, I am sure your finished Ranger sweater will be gorgeous, especially with all of the loving care that you’re putting into its creation.

    Knit on!


  • Been there, done that. Like you said, we love to knit. Bummer though. Can you tell us what yarn that is? I love the texture!! Thank you!

  • Oh dear on the joining of the Ranger. I am sure some choice words were very appropriately used.

    I am tempted to try these Lett-Lopi mittens (free pattern) soon. Can be knit with all of the colours or fewer colours.

  • I’m planning on the Muckle Mitts, also designed by Mary Jane Herself!

  • I’ve been thinking about what to do with the leftovers as well. Although I suppose I need to finish the sweater before I do this. I’m planning to bang out a hat to go with the sweater when I’m done. My basic beanie pattern with the yoke colorwork.

    Very easy. Cast on 100 stitches. Knit 8 rows in k2 p2 ribbing in your main color. Still in main color *k12 m1L K13 m1L*. Repeat from * to * 3 more times. 108 stitches. Work the yoke chart (such fun). In main color K27 m1L 4 times. 112 stitches. Keep on knitting until the hat measures 6 in from the cast on to the working needle. Decrease for the crown. K12 K2tog around. Knit 1 round. K11 K2tog around. Knit 1 round. Keep going like this until you get to K7 K2tog. (8 stitches in each decrease section). From here on out just keep doing the dec round (k6 k2tog around, k5 k2tog around, etc.) until you have 8 stitches left. Cut your yarn and run it through the remaining stitches twice around (I don’t trust it if it’s just once around). Pull it tight. Weave in your ends and give it a little bath.

    You should get a gauge of about 6 stitches to the inch. I planning on using a size 6 needle. I use a combo of a shorter circular and dpns but use whatever your preferred working in the round technique is.

    Haven’t actually done this yet but I think it will work. If anyone is interested (and only with Mary Jane’s blessing) I can write up a more formal pattern.

    I am making the sweater for my niece and she looks fantastic in hats. I think it will make a nice set for her. Most of the women in my family look like doofuses in hats but this particular beanie proportion looks cute on all of us. I much prefer the tighter ribbing and the hat decreases don’t give you a nipple head.

    • Karen, this is a great idea. I “cheated” and skipped the yoke colorwork due to not wanting to emphasize my already-broad shoulders, but would definitely wear a hat with this patterning.

      • Laura, the yoke colorwork on Stopover is great, because it stays up around your face! I don’t like to emphasize my broad shoulders, and the fact that the patterning doesn’t go down the sleeve makes it work for me. You can see mine on Instagram; I’m pdxknitterati.

        • Michele, I’ve seen your great sweater. It helped give me the courage to do a rolled neck rather than a ribbed one! I agree that Stopover’s yoke patterning is very pretty, minimal and subtle…but it still goes across the full width of the shoulders. This is good for traditional womanly shapes, but not for me.

      • What a great idea, that didn’t occur to me. Tx I bet your SO looks FABULOUS!

    • Like.

  • Because my cat Isabelle seemed to think I was knitting my Stopover for her to lay on, I used the leftovers and made her a small throw. She loves a hand knit, and the sheepiness of the Lopi especially.

    • This put a big smile on my face 🙂

    • Ohhhh! That is so cute, Sally, and such a lovely idea!

    • Also, with regard to leftover yarn from the Stopover. afghans for Afghans is currently asking for socks, mittens (hats?) Inchworm various sizes (see website). As most of you know, they don’t accept garments made from acrylic yarn. Maybe a few pair of lettlopi kids mittens could find their way over there…. Just saying. 😉

      • That was supposed to read “in various sizes”. There must be a tapeworm guiding my phone’s spellcheck.

        • As soon as I knit my cats something from my project yarn (usually little pads we put on the couch), they lose all interest in the fabric and move onto something else. Cat Bastards!

  • Dear Kay, the three things that I always tell my knitting students:

    Read the pattern thoroughly before beginning a project AND
    Check your gauge AND
    Do as I say, NOT as I do.


  • ugh. I HATE when I do that. But I like your attitude. We like to knit.

  • Has anyone felted lopi? It would make cute mug hugs or iphone, eyeglass cases, DPN needle case.
    Speaking of the Stopover I used 6 skeins of lopi (small size) and made a solid crew sweater. I stopped 6 rows before end so the neckline was lower and wider. Sweaters for under $30!

    • Thanks for the neck tip!

      • I also wanted a rolled neckline and did as Kay helpfully suggested. “Knit all the ribbing rows at the neck in stockinette plus a few more rows.” Even with the additional rows that made the neck too low for me, so I took it out and added six more rows of stockinette and bound off with attached i-cord for a more-finished look. The neckline is still plenty low and loose, but no longer practically off-the-shoulder!

  • Elves Lights (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/elves-lights) look fun.

  • I have made two pairs of Handtak mittens, a free Vogue pattern. (The Vogue link (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/handtak-mittens—free-pattern-problem) is apparently corrupted, but maybe if enough people bug them…

  • I was also going to recommend the Handtak mittens. I haven’t knit them yet, but I have the pattern printed out and plan to knit them in celebration of Icelandic Wool Month with Tolt Yarn and Wool.

  • I don’t have suggestions for specific hat, scarf, or mitten patterns, but I’d recommend using any leftover scraps for a baby or cat toy. See the teddy bear at the lower left of the picture. Lopi would be strong enough for such a use, although it may felt a little from baby or critter spittle. A toy would a good way to use up scraps that are just a few yards in length.

    And, Kay: Read the pattern :-)!

  • I’m not a misery loves company kind of person, but knowing that you make the same kinds of knitting mistakes I make A LOT. Often I have to start a shawl project 3 times bec of not thoroughly reading the pattern or perhaps reading it once and then relying on my once-upon-time excellent empty which is now the none-existent memory. Problem is I keep forgetting I no longer have a memory. Truly.
    Btw, your ranger looks pretty darn nice!

  • I am sorry for your knitting troubles. I was thinking about your tube situation, though. Isn’t it actually “One tube forward, three tubes back?” (Only temporarily of course! It will be all better very soon!)

  • I’m confused about the short rows on the Ranger. Are they to lengthen the back a little or some other design feature I can’t see in the photos? I usually do a couple sets on the backs of my sweaters under the armpits to keep the back from riding up, but 10 rows( or sets) sounds like a lot.

  • A striped Distal?:

    Or maybe just use up your leftover skeins that match?
    I had a couple skeins leftover from a long ago project and that is how Distal came to be…

  • Eleven years of knitting and I can attest to the truth of The Harlot’s statement that being an experienced knitter just means making more mistakes faster. Mine are almost always related to issues of reading the pattern.

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  • So sorry about your short rows. I would have done The Wrong Thing and just moved on to the second set without the first set. I have no shame.

    PS I am thinking of Mary Jane Mucklestone’s Muckle Mitts for my leftover http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/muckle-mitts or maybe

  • Well, I’ve never made any myself, but I’m wondering if thrummed mittens would make good use of the leftover yarn. I think spare plutoloopy would work here as well, possibly even better. A quick search of Ravelry showed a good 2 1/2 to 3 pages worth of patterns.

  • Hee, hee, here’s a link for using up lett lopi to knit a mini lopapeysa: