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MDK Field Guide No. 17: Lopi combines two of our favorite things in all of knitting-dom: Mary Jane Mucklestone’s lyrical way with color and pattern, and the national yarn of Iceland, the wondrous Lopi, in this case in the versatile worsted weight known as Léttlopi.

This week, we’ll review each of the patterns in Field Guide No. 17. We begin with the Daytripper Cardigan (Ravelry link), a garment we’ve been wanting forever, or more precisely, ever since we had the fun of knitting Mary Jane’s brilliant Stopover (Ravelry link) pullover.

Quick to make, full of color, the Daytripper Cardigan is a lightweight sweater because it’s knitted on US size 10 (6 mm) needles.

It includes a steek for the front opening, which is a great new technique to try.

Léttlopi’s bountiful palette (we’ve got 38 shades) means that half the fun of starting a Daytripper Cardigan will be scheming up color combos for the body and yoke. Get out your colored pencils!

We’ve put together four combos for your consideration. In each of these examples, the first color is the main color of the cardigan, and the second color is the color of the bands—but of course it’s all up to you, the knitter.  We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Color it in!
Thanks to Jen Geigley, we've got a coloring book style illustration of Daytripper Cardigan that you can use to see your palette come alive in Mary Jane's design!
By Kay Gardiner  ·  26
By Ístex

How Fast Is It?

Like its big sister the Stopover, the Daytripper Cardigan will amaze you with how fast it knits up. It’s another benefit of Mary Jane’s trick of knitting Léttlopi to a looser gauge than the label prescribes. Not only is the Daytripper Cardigan lightweight enough to wear in climates outside of Iceland, it knits up in a matter of days.

Join us!  It’s going to be a blast.


  • Here it says bottom up. Ravelry says top down. Hmmm.

    • I am new to the lopi game. How does lettlopi compare to the unspun plötulopi as far as gauge and substituting?

    • This was my bad, y’all! I knew Daytripper was top-down, but my memory of many Riddari pullovers plus Stopover took over that space in my brain. We edited out my mistake.

    • I test knit this. Daytripper is written as top down. But I think Stopover went bottom up.

  • Loved the lightness of the Stopover but had gifted to my sister. Have some raspberry/fuchsia in stash that is calling.

    Does anyone know if the steek is planned as seen or needle felted?

    • That would be sewn not seen. Sigh.

      • The directions are written for a sewn steek.

        • I’ve knitted and steeked another cardigan of MJs, Solbein, and I used a felted steek. It worked wonderfully.

  • Steek instructions have you sew by hand, which is interesting. She just says “sew” — I assume you’d probably want to use a backstitch. Will have to wait and see.

    • I used backstitch when I test knit this. Worked beautifully! Lettlopi is a good hairy/sticky wool that steeks well.

  • Does anyone know how itchy this yarn is?

    • A bit late to the ‘itch party’. For me, I need to wear a full length sleeve, and something high around my neck, such as a polo neck, or a scarf, as that area is sensitive to itch. I really hope it works for you.

    • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
      I’m a person who likes knitting with rustic, woolen spun yarn (Shetland is a go to fave, I also like Texel and Cheviot) and who can wear it next to skin without issue. I do not like lettlopi at all. Knitted with it once and never again. Not only is it unpleasantly brillo-like, in my opinion, but it’s a single (something I don’t love) and it has an unpleasant hand (again, my opinion). So many people love it – so I recommend giving it a try to see what you think. I dislike it not for the scratch factor but because I just hate the hand. Also, didn’t much love the drape.
    • I agree with everyone who says “itchy” is a personal assessment. But I will chime in to say that I wear my Lopi sweaters over short sleeve tees and even tank tops with no discomfort.

    • As others have said, itchy is a personal thing. I banged out a Stopover (as a cardigan as it happens and first & only steek experience) but despite wool wash and hair conditioner, I find it too itchy to wear even over a long sleeved turtleneck shirt. It’s wonderfully warm and since I’m always cold, I was really looking forward to wearing it through the winter, but sadly it’s spent most of its life in my closet.
      I have a lot of Lopi leftovers now, so I’m wondering if a hat or mittens might be the way to go. I did love knitting with it.

    • Just to add another opinion here – I can’t have Lopi anywhere near me, even if I wear two layers underneath it. It’s so beautiful and light and I wish so much I could handle it.

    • Hi Carol, I’ve always felt that itchy is in the eye of the itcher. My swatch is soaking right now (feeling pretty chuffed that I’ve actually swatched ahead of time) and should be dry by tomorrow. I DM’s you on the lounge with my email address. If you want to give it a feel before you make a commitment, I will mail it to you.

    • I just knitted and washed a swatch last night. I use a wool wash, but then soak in hair conditioner as well. Itchy” is a very personal thing, so I can’t proclaim you’ll love it. I can’t even stand my hair touching my neck, but will admit I am finding myself being more tolerant of wool I have knit. This is not bad after washing. It’s not alpaca or merino, but I think I can deal with it as a scarf. Hat, mittens, definitely. Sweater neck? We’ll see.

    • I found that the loose gauge of stopover made it less itchy than a more tightly knit Lopi garment.

    • I’ve knit at least 4 lett Lopi sweaters and love them. It’s moderately itchy, but very comfortable over a cotton layer. Since the Stopover and this new sweater are knit at such a loose gauge, they’re very light and lofty. I think the cardigan is going to be wonderful.

    • Exactly my question.

  • Anyone else having trouble getting into the zoom call for the launch party? I keep getting a request for a passcode.

    • Me. I have no code either. I thought I was just me.

  • I want to buy he kit number two and the field 17 but I cannot find a way. Please help me. Carolyn Potter. Carolyn pit dry

  • I loved the launch discussion last evening. It inspired me to buy some Lettlopi. I made my own bundle with enough yarn to make a cardigan, mittens and a hat or 2. I’ll be all set for the knit along at the end of the month.

  • I love the Daytripper Cardigan but would like to knit it as just a pullover. Is there any direction for doing this?

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