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Dear Kay,

You have mentioned (often) (sincerely) (comprehensively) your deep love of the Icelandic lopi sweater. Somehow I’d forgotten that you’d hatched this fever while in Iceland.

For anyone craving a quick trip, here’s where the Kay Gardiner Icelandic sweater fever began:

“Icelandic (Sweater) Saga.”

I am dreaming of lopi yokes. I am waiting for my plutoloopy not-yarn plates to arrive. Anticipation for the moment when I can bang out my sweater could not be higher.



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  • UNCLE! I’m in. I’m from to order yarn.

  • Anticipation high over here too! Thank you for the motivation to bang out some wips before the Lopi party begins. And for the promise of a fast sweater. I’ve never knit a sweater quickly before and want to see if that’s even possible.

  • One day I’ll go, camera AND knitting needles.

    • Seriously. It has such otherworldly appeal. Also: sweaters galore. We’ll get there! Maybe we’ll rig up a trip for everybody to wear their Stopovers while stopping over in Iceland?

      • Now that sounds like a swell adventure! Let’s do it!

  • I ordered my plötulopi on Tuesday and it arrived on Friday! I can’t wait!

  • If you love all things Lopi you have to check out Lars Rains. He has published a book on lopi patterns and is a member of our guild.

    • Yes!!! We blogged about it recently, such cool patterns. Can’t get at link just now–use search in blog footer.

  • My brother bought me a Lopi yoke sweater when I was in junior high. He was in the army stationed in Germany, and he visited Iceland. It was very warm.

    I’m knitting Scatter on Alafosslopi. On size 11. I’m used to knitting socks on size 1 so this is quite a different experience. The gauge is 3 stitches per inch.

    • Going from small to big makes you feel like you’ve taken up a new hobby entirely.

  • Expecting yarn in 6-12 business days from Reykjavik. MC “Rough Seas”. Can’t wait to hop on the KAL!

  • I’ve informed my husband that if I’ve not managed to get there beforehand, a trip to Iceland with a good yarn budget would be a suitable 50th b’day pressie (I’m 42 now…)… and besides yarn, I want to see volcanoes, glaciers, special rocks, hot springs, geysers etc etc etc!

    • FUN! Tell him you need a warm-up trip so you can get it all just right for your 50th birthday . . .

  • My needles beat the snowstorm! Let the searching begin!

    • I meant swatching* sorry

      • Same thing, isn’t it? : )

  • All I know is, once again you ladies seem to have your finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist. From the current issue of the New Yorker, article by Nathan Heller about the aviation industry of all things: “If you’d like a bespoke lopapeysa, you don’t need to go to Iceland; you can order it online.” Ha! Nathan, you could have a whole crate of lopapeysas if you can wait another few weeks or so.

    I was scared of the challenge, having never knit a sweater, or done more than a few rows of colorwork, much less the requisite steek if I want the cardigan version. But as I peruse the comments here and on Ravelry, it seems I’m not alone. Wow, if everybody else can be so intrepid, maybe I can, too! Could be just the thing to take the edge of the rest of the school term…

    • The New Yorker tries to keep up with the knitting world, bless their hearts . . .

      I am so happy you’re thinking about diving in. The great thing about Mary Jane’s pattern is that it is on such big needles that none of it will take too long. It’s a pretty low-stakes entry into all the things you mention. And the Ravelry group is proving to be a place of excellent advice.

  • Hey, this looks great!
    I will check the stash, I think there is Lopi there or something similar, and I will join you with Freyja.
    I’ve been knitting by myself for way too long….
    this will be more fun!

  • Pardon silly questions from a very stressed-out brain: I haven’t read/bought the pattern yet … are there instructions for bulky-weight yarn? Or do I need to buy the yarn, swatch it, calculate how many balls I’ll need, but more, and then knit a tiny size? I’m actually probably small enough that there wouldn’t be a sufficiently small size. Am a little nervous about that.

    • The pattern lists the yarn quantities required: 5 balls of main color for smallest size, 1 each of three contrasting colors.

      Smallest size is finished size 32″.

      Re yarn, Mary Jane Mucklestone is working up a hat pattern for using up leftover yarn, so that would be a good hedge should you end up with extra yarn.

  • I’ve gotten my yarn in the mail and purchased some needles of appropriate size at my LYS. I even decided to swatch. I know! So, my swatch comes out to the gauge in the pattern, after washing and blocking, but it seems to be somewhat see-through. I don’t mind wearing a shirt underneath, but wondered if I’ve done something wrong in getting gauge. Is it supposed to be a more dense fabric?

  • I folded – am anxiously awaiting my Lett Lopi! Bless the designer for adding larger sizes 🙂 Using Oatmeal for the body and shades of blues and greens for the yoke and trim.

    • I have never before participated in a KAL. What is the etiquette about starting? Is it cool to begin one minute after midnight? Do we wait until we get the go ahead on the blog Monday morning? How do we keep in touch about our progress? Etc cetera x3.

      Can’t wait!


  • I’ve got to put Icekand on my to-visit list. Meanwhile, my yarn has come from Craftsy – both the first order, in which I clicked on the wrong color, and the second order, which they kindly sent with comped two day shipping. ( I’ll have a new sweater and a new favorite yarn source; such kind consideration !)
    While waiting, I did a swatch on a ball of Lopi that I bought at Knitty City – I’m getting gauge after a good soak ( it didn’t work so well with just a spritz). Ready to start Monday!
    It’s fun to be part of this knitting community- thanks for putting us all together!

    • Re ‘new favorite yarn source’ – of course, I’m not buying any more yarn, only knitting from stash 😉

  • I confess the day the Bang Out a Sweater idea was voiced, I went shopping for Lettlopi–not that I was going to join the KAL, mind you, just browsing. You all know where this is going. My big bag of Istex arrived 2 days ago in Spring Green (MC) with Violet Heather and Sun Yellow CCs. I have 6 inches of a sleeve done (what–it’s a swatch!) and can’t wait to dive in on Caucus day. I too got 14 sts / 4″ on US 11’s and hope the bloom after washing will put me spot-on.
    Here’s the thing: I diligently did a generous swatch on 10.5’s, and got 16 sts /4″ (after washing). Went to 11’s and got 15 sts! So I planned on doing size xxl to give xl measurements, and cast on a sleeve. After several inches in the round on US11’s my unwashed gauge is 14 sts! So I ripped a few increase rounds and started up again for size xl. Fingers crossed!

  • I’m in! Am close enough to the end of Cladonia to finish by the time my yarn arrives. Had a very heavy flirtation with platters of loopy stuff over at Schoolhouse, but finally ordered from Nordic, who has the best color selection I’ve seen. Air mail from Iceland to Hawaii is over the pole – a straight shot. I’m really excited, between the denim color choice and actually doing color work in a sweater. This is fun already!

  • Part of what got me sucked into this whole thing is the fact that I recently spent a weekend at a Nordic film festival, which got the lopapeysa desires burning (though the actual life I lead is not much suited to that much warmth, so this is an excellent compromise!).

    Today I saw a trailer for one of my favorites of this festival, the very sheep-y Icelandic film Rams. It opens in NY/LA next week, and putters its way through US art houses over the next month. Trailer and dates here:

    Recommended! By the time it gets back to Seattle I should have a new sweater!

    • Thanks for letting us know about the movie! I will look for it.

  • I just saw that trailer, too. Sweaters galore! I thought of you all.

  • broken link alert! update to:

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