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Dear Kay,

It’s a NASCAR green flag! Disney World rope drop! Black Friday at Walmart! It’s Bang Out a Sweater Day, so we hope that you’re starting your Stopover today, or yesterday, or tomorrow. Or whatever sweater you’re banging out. Gah, we ought to get more orderly about this sort thing, but that’s not likely.

We hope you’re having fun. Who’s in? Let us know!

The banging out of sweaters commenced at 12:01 am EST this morning. If you somehow weren’t up at midnight, casting on a sweater, well, we don’t know what to say. Fortunately, there’s Periscope footage marking this moment:


In My Own Personal Odyssey

What follows are images that are deeply moving to me: my first glimpse of a sample of the Plötulopi yarn I’ve ordered for my Stopover.

The swatching action going on at the Bang Out a Sweater forum on Ravelry is fast and furious (PDX Knitterati Michele, I’m looking at you), so this may seem sort of tame. But to me, it is very beautiful.

I have Julie Lindsey to thank for these. Julie is an all-around game person, maker of Happy Go Lucky Yarns. She knows how to spice up Knit Night at Windy Knitty, bringing both Léttlopi and Plötulopi.

Swatched. Léttlopi at the top, Plutoloopy below.

Reminder: Léttlopi is a yarn. Plötulopi is a not-yarn. It’s a pencil roving—that wheel-like plate under the swatch. It’s hairy, thin, shaggy-dog stuff.


Having never seen Plötulopi in the fiber, I was frankly thrilled. And to see it in direct comparison with Léttlopi, well. Drink it in, all the Icelandic authenticity of Icelandic wool, two ways.


Plutoloopy is going to be a great, weird experience. I got to knit a little with it, and it wants to fall apart. But in the swatch, it’s sturdier than you might expect. Such a conundrum.

Thank you, Julie, for the PlötuLéttLopi doubledecker swatchfest. [wipes semi-tear of joy at having dream come true]

Stay tuned. My batch from Iceland is due any moment.

The Ravelry conversation is fascinating. I’m learning a lot!



(Liftoff photo:

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  • Good morning Ann, what size needles did you use for the Lett? Couldn’t make it to mid-night but I did get a swatch close to gauge, had to go down to 9’s. Now to get crackin. The pluto is gorgeous.

    • I did both swatches in the picture on 10.5s 🙂 the Lettlopi is a lot more dense than the Pluotlopi! I’m actually going to go with the Lettlopi. Sorry, Ann! And thanks for saying all those nice things about me! ❤️

  • If anyone is interested in a source here in the US for plütolopi aka unspun Icelandic, Schoolhouse press has been a distributor since the 1960s. (I do NOT work for them, LOL!) Once you get the hang of it, what a dream it is to knit! It spit splices very easily in the event of a break and it is so lovely. And one wheel gets you pretty far.

    • The airy fabric is so cool. And yes, Schoolhouse Press has the most brilliant, authentic selection of yarns.

  • I have to confess, I started mine on Friday, and knit up to the armpits + started a sleeve over the weekend. But I have to work all week, so I thought a head start was justified. ;->

    I hope someone does a white-with-black-and-gray highlights. I can’t do white myself (I am guaranteed to spill something on it).

    • I think this is the knitting equivalent of “It’s five o’clock somewhere.” Right on!

  • Here in Iowa this has to be delayed until we caucus! Start tomorrow after all of the results are turned in, though.

    • I, too, will be caucusing tonight. But, I confess I started my sweater this weekend. Knew I couldn’t start on it tonight after work because of the caucus. 🙂

    • Wow–can’t believe it’s actually caucus time. Are you a frequent caucuser? Do you caucus any other time of the year? I think we should have knitting caucuses.

      • I’m all in favor of a knitting caucus. It’s guaranteed to be less spiteful than these political caucuses! I would definitely knitting caucus way more than once every 4 years!

      • I was thinking we should organize some bangoutasweater meet-ups in places that have a quorum of KALers. I’ve noticed at least 2 others in my vicinity. Now I want to call them caucuses.

  • Just waiting, in the mountains of Asturias (Spain) for the wool from Iceland and the needles to arrive (every other size in the box but those…why?) then off, up and away for my FIRST ever Stopover sweater, in fact my first ever Icelandic knit. Unreasonably excited!

  • I am also waiting for yarn to arrive. We’ll be “Bang Out A Sweater … The Second Wave”.

  • This is so fun! I live in sweden and I will co later today. Thanks for the co video, it’s nice to se you 🙂

  • I love how the “plutoloopy” looks like it has more of a halo… hmmm, perhaps a second sweater will be in order if I can bang out this first one! Knitting with not-yarn could be a must try thing on every knitters bucket list!

  • Life got in the way this weekend, so before I can Bang Out a Sweater, I need to bang out a sermon for this evening. But my bag of Lettlopi is sitting by my chair as inspiration and motivation. If Icelandic Lopi turns up in a sermon about Irish Brigid, you’ll know why.

  • The cast on trick is genius! Wish I had not already cast on – twice.

  • It’s Day One for my ‘Follow Along KAL with a Different Pattern’ and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m using stash Natur Uld which is way too heavy for Stopover; knitting ‘Hela’ in a pullover whilst following along with the masses with the beautiful Stopover pattern. I love Stopover’s waist shaping so I hope to do that with Hela. Thank you for the inspiring video and comments. This will be a blast!

  • I did not understand the cast on trick. Why splice the 2 ends together? From which end would one actually begin to knit? Would I cut off one end after the cast on was complete? I feel so stupid, but had to ask.


    • Hi Diane,

      The trick is explained more fully in this post:

      It’s just a way of casting on over 100 stitches without having to worry about reeling off enough yarn for the long-tail cast-on.

      The comments are helpful, too.

      The refinement of spit-splicing the 2 ends obviously only works with wool yarns that felt, but Lopi is in that category, luckily!

      • You guys are the best. I soooo appreciate your generosity of spirit and patience.

    • I think it’s a great solution, too! Just cut either end and go with the other. If I were using the not-yarn, I’d definitely go on with the yarn from the outer surface–not-yarn does not like any strong pull on it!

      • If you do a long-tail cast on, you cut the end that would be around your thumb. I have tied the two ends together in a knot when I have done this, but I can see that if you splice them together, you can lay that splice over the needle as your first stitch and you wouldn’t have those ends to weave in to complete your project. Genius!

        Good to see Olive, even if she didn’t seem to be feeling the knit along at the moment.

    • Yes-Another Di does not understand the two end cast on? Whih one do you cut off?

  • Didn’t stay up to watch your periscope, but am so glad you showed it here. I think I’d heard of that spit splice trick before, but had forgotten about it. Thank you! Also, why is it I couldn’t find your Ravelry group before? Thanks for the link. I’m good now. lol!

  • I’m in!

    • Hi! Just a heads-up on the sleeves: I started with one as a swatch and while looking at the new extended pattern saw that the increases were a little different from the original. The increases are every 7 instead of every 8 rows. They end up the same stitch count, but in the interest of symmetry you may want to stick with only one of the versions! I haven’t checked the other parts out yet… Now I’m going to choose one version and hide the other in the bowels of my Kindle Fire. I’m a bit too OCD to have these *differences* in my sweater!!

  • I’m starting today, and I can’t wait. I have no business starting anything new,but that’s never stopped me before. I’m in Colorado where the forecast is lots of snow. Perfect timing. I was impatient and ordered lettlopi before I heard anyone talk about the plotulopi. I guess I’ll have to make two. Thanks for this KAL ladies. What fun.

  • I always use two ends for long long tail, but NEVER thought of split splice. So smart.

  • I cannot knit for a few days (PT’s orders), so I shall watch all of you knit up a storm.

    I’ve got my yarn, and I swatched, so I’m ready to go when the back of my hand settles down!

  • I can hear Todd Rundgren now: “I don’t wanna work, I wanna Bang Out a Sweater All Day…”


  • Cast on and knit about 2″ last night during Downton Abbey! This is going fast! I usually take 3 months to knit a sweater, but I may (fingers crossed) get this one done is less than one month, or sooner if I don’t go to work….

    • Don’t go to work…sounds good to me. Knit on!

  • I’d love to knit the Stopover but I’m fulfilling one of my dreams and actually visiting Iceland in April for my 15th wedding anniversary (I’ve decided to invite my husband along too)! I’ve been wanting to knit a Lopi but I just can’t justify it yet as I am planning on buying the yarn for at least 4 of them when I’m there–in the mean time, I’m going to knit another pattern, with souvenir yarn from another trip, and there will be color work….I love the spirit of this and I hope that’s close enough!

  • My swatch — which seems remarkably transparent — is on gauge. However, I’m going to try to finish the extended-play sweater, the Hedgerow I steeked yesterday. It’s likely, however, that when I’m tired of working a button band on 2.25 mms, I’ll be unable to resist the call of lopi on 6mm needles, so I may be casting on tonight after all….

  • Casting on tonight, after I’m finished with the day job. Really looking forward to it! And I’m off all next week, which means plenty of knitting time.

  • Thanks for the appearance, Kay and Olive. Waiting for my yarn to come in the mail. Casting on Wednesday ish, I hope. This is exciting. I loved the old post about Iceland, and Kay’s first lopapeysa.

  • Please do tell, where did you find the pattern for the lovely sweater modeled by Olive.

    • Olive’s sweater pattern is called Voff (which I think is Icelandic for “woof”–just a guess). It’s in Vedis Jonsdottir’s book, Knitting with Icelandic Wool.

      For sure it’s a sweater you can bang out very quickly–less than a skein of the main color is required. By the way, Olive is wearing the largest size and she’s only 10 pounds.

  • I am watching / stalking while working on another project. We are flying through Reykjavik in early March. Anyone know if they sell Lopi in the airport?

    • We flew Icelandair from Dulles to Reykjavik a few weeks ago, and I did spy yarn (mostly neutrals) in a shop in the terminal where we arrived. Good luck and great travels!

    • I tried in January 2015, but the terminal that I was in had only sweaters–no yarn.

  • Not part of the BOAS, but enjoyed the video and the lesson. Carrie is a great videographer and her, ‘mhmms’ resonated with viewer. Of course Olive contributed her own sound effects…

  • I’m in but waiting for my yarn to arrive from Iceland so for now I’m living vicariously through y’all.

  • Thanks for posting the periscope video – the live version was past my bedtime on a work night. Glad to see Olive in action. Even if she was less-than-enthusiastic about being on camera. Appreciated the cast on spitting tip. I’ll remember that for next time – I had already started my sweater on Saturday (to get a jump start because of the caucuses here in Iowa tonight. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.)

  • In. Waiting for yarn. Excited. Impatient.

  • Today is bring your swatch to work day! (it wasn’t fully dry last night.)

  • Very excited to say, I’m joining you in knitting an Icelandic sweater. I’ve chosen to knit Iðunn which was a knitty pattern from 2012, which is also close to the time that I went to a talk given by its designer, Ragga Eiriksdottir, and saw the sweater in person here in RI. I’m using stash Lite Lopi which I bought at my LYS a couple of years ago, so win-win.

    I hope to reward myself, after knitting with stash yarn, by springing for some plutolopi, since I’d love to try this, and love the idea of a using it in a lightweight summer sweater.

    I’ll be watching you all and learning from you as I knit mine.

  • Also, anyone else notice the reference to “bespoke lopapeysa,” in last week’s New Yorker? We are SO current. Of course, the article was making the point that there was no need to fly to Iceland to purchase one since all you have to do is order it on line. But, we KNOW better. The thing to do is fly to Iceland to pick up the yarn to KNIT one.

  • I placed my order with WEBS the very same day I read about the KAL and there did not seem to be an issue with quantities. Now I’ve got an email saying they regret that they can’t fulfill my order and can’t predict when the yarn will be back in stock ????☹️???? Major disappointment.

  • Love the video. And I clearly meant to cast on at the same time as Kay as I woke from a very vivid dream about 5.15 this morning (I am in Scotland) convinced that I had just cast on my sweater. Sadly no, but I am now back from work and am getting to it. It makes hubbie’s watching of Wheeler Dealers (car TV show) pass without sarky comments from me. Win, win. 🙂

  • I have got almost one half inch of ribbing on needles in that green apple color of Letlopi, and I am so happy to be a part of this project.
    I think the best way to proceed would involve knitting all day long, snow falling outside and someone with a faintly discernible Icelandic accent reading Haldor Laxness aloud in front of a fire.

    I think when this is over, if you ever decide to have another Icelandic event I would gladly join in on a stash busting project which used Istex Einband….I have a ton of it. I don’t know what to do with it.
    Has anyone out there used it to good advantage?

    • I have a ton of Einband as well. Bought it for lace weight projects I never actualized. Maybe I should hold two strands together and call it Lettlopi. That’s how plotulopi works. The gauge may be off because the plotulopi isn’t spun and the Einband has some, I *think.* Either that or I need to change my lifestyle so lace becomes useful.

      • I found all this Lopi at a grocery store/ gas station someplace north of Reykjavik. I was way hung-over with jet lag and really just looking for a bottle of water, but all that wool was just calling out to me from the back wall of the store.
        In my jet-lagged state, I also had a faulty understanding of the conversion rate and thought I was getting a fantastic deal on those 20 or 30 balls of Let Lopi and Einband.
        My kids think of this yarn as something you might get at a Stuckey’s gift shop, only Icelandic.
        Which is hilarious, because it seems so exotic to me.
        But I want to do something wonderful with it, and am waiting for that magic idea to present itself. Maybe Icelandic lace, one day, as that seems the obvious place to put it.

  • C/O last night, got into the color work at the hem, soon it will be the long MC cruise up to the armpits!!

    If you want to get into that Icelandic, icy winter frame of mind, we just finished season 1 (only season) of “Fortitude” on Amazon Prime – set on a fictional Arctic island, actually filmed in Iceland. A dark, spooky whodunit.

  • Haha! I had a good time with that swatch, and even more fun auditioning color pops with duplicate stitch! I cast on last night and got into the MC, but my gauge swatch is having the last laugh. Not anywhere close to gauge on the real deal. I ripped everything out and cast on for the next larger size, because my gauge is now 14 st/4″. We’ll see if that’s still true on version #2! (It will probably go back, just as a gotcha. But a little big is better than a little small.) Happy knitting! I love your plutoloopy experiment. Thanks to you and Kay for leading us on this adventure.

  • Not sure I believe you about that glass of water waiting on the kitchen counter…

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