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Are you joining Léttlopi KAL 2023? Awesome!

It’s time to get swatching. No groaning over there! Swatching is going to give you the opportunity to get to know your yarn and to understand how it knits up—and most important, it’s going to ensure that your finished sweater fits.

The first thing you may notice when you pull out the instructions for the Destination Pullover or Daytripper Cardigan, is that the pattern gauge is 13 sts and 18 rounds to 4″ (10 cm), and that is quite loose in comparison with the standard gauge for Léttlopi yarn, which is 18 sts and 24 rounds to 4″ (10 cm). Don’t panic! It’s not a mistake! Léttlopi is one of a group of yarns that can be knit at a wide variety of gauges.

The fibers poking out of the strand fill the gaps between stitches and make working at a loose gauge successful. And Léttlopi is woolen spun which means that the fibers are spun jumbled, rather than combed into one direction (as in a worsted-spun yarn), making them bloom and fill the gaps when washed and blocked.

Léttlopi is very versatile. It can be used to knit dense, hard-wearing sweaters at the recommended gauge, as well as lighter, airier sweaters at a loose gauge, as in the Destination Pullover and Daytripper Cardigan.

ENDING today ♦ MDK Gems Special Offer
Order up some Léttlopi today and you’ll find a free ebook download link for Field Guide No. 17: Lopi in your order confirmation email!
By Ístex

The warmth that can be trapped in a loose-gauge Léttlopi sweater is astonishing. (Other yarns that work at multiple gauges include mohair yarns like Rowan’s ever-popular Kidsilk Haze, Jill Draper’s Mohonk, and MDK’s own lofty Atlas.)

As well as working brilliantly at a loose gauge, Léttlopi is also amazing for stranded colorwork. This is the yoke of my Stopover (another stunning design by Mary Jane Mucklestone), and you can see that the colors just sing off each other. Imperfections in stranding technique block out and you end up with beautiful color motifs.

In the following video tutorial I show you three swatches at different gauges, and demonstrate knitting Léttlopi at a loose gauge, as well as discussing swatching techniques and how to ensure maximum success for your sweater.

Video notes: If you are watching on YouTube, you can hover over the time bar to see the different sections of the video, which is handy if there’s a particular thing you want to re-watch. The video also has subtitles which you can display by clicking on the CC button.

I hope that the video tutorial has given you heaps of confidence to get swatching. What are you waiting for? Get to it!

About The Author

We think Jen Arnall-Culliford is flat-out brilliant. Jen is one of the knitting world’s superb technical editors and teachers, and the star of the tutorial videos.

Cheerful. Cool headed. Supersmart. To take lessons from Jen ups our knitting game, every time.


  • Lovely to see your video on working with this yarn, as always very helpful and much appreciated!

  • What a joy to see Jen’s video and comments. She is always helpful and insightful! I look forward to doing a Stopover. The other two sweaters await a soak! Thank you, for bringing us Jen!

  • Thank you, Jen!! Helpful…to say the least.

  • Lovely to see Jen again! We’ve missed her!

  • Awesome to hear from Jen again! Being a Lettlopi newbie, I appreciate the explanation of how the yarn behaves. Thanks Jen and MDK for making me smarter:)

  • Welcome back, Jen! Always love your tutorials.

  • I love Jen’s calm videos. Glad to see her here again!

  • Thanks for the video Jen! And MDK 🙂

  • thank you for the great tips on what to expect from this lovely yarn!

  • Welcome, Jen! We have missed your wisdom and guidance.

  • Thank you, Jen. Your videos are always so thorough and informative!

  • It’s really lovely to see Jen again. And this little article has inspired me to give lettlopi a go for one of my next projects 😀

  • The versatility of Icelandic wool has always boggled my mind. I purchase roving for Deop Spindling at Rhinebeck every year and I order the Istex yarn directly from Iceland in jumper+ quantities. Knitting my Daytripper in larger needles reminded me that when next I order I will have to get a stash of Einband to make inner layering vests for extra warmth. I used 2.5mm needles to swatch for that. Now I have to work out the logistics of the armhole maths and figure how to go on from there. Designing is brainwork so I always support designers by purchasing their PDF’s and I am really, really loving these Field Guides. They are chock full of goodies

  • Great to see you, Jen! Your videos give me so much confidence.

  • Yay! I’m knitting the Daytripper for February.

  • Welcome back, Jen!

  • So happy to see you, Jen! We’ve missed you!

  • I’ve missed you, Jen! So happy to see you again!!!

  • It’s lovely to see Jen again!

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