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It’s an exciting time at MDK: we’re days away from our favorite group-knitting tradition: Bang Out a Sweater.

Bang Out a Sweater is a knitalong with an ambitious—but not too ambitious—goal: to knit a sweater, start to finish, in one calendar month. We’ll start on March 1, and by March 31, many—many!—of us will be swanning around in brand-new sweaters. It’s wild, fast fun, and a great way to come together as knitters, virtually and in person.

When Hélène Magnússon shared her early sketches of the Crowberry Sweater, we knew we had a superb Bang Out a Sweater contender on our hands.


  1. Knit to a gauge of 15 stitches over 4 inches/10 cm, the Crowberry Sweater is built for speed. And the fabric is light as a feather, a highly prized attribute around here.
  2. Ease with spice. Constructed from the bottom up and worked in the round to the underarms, there is plenty of TV-eligible, chatworthy stockinette stitch—but not too much.
  3. Bespoke details—that curved back hem and a beautiful yoke—elevate our skills and impress our admirers and onlookers.
  4. Style for days, style for all. The Crowberry sweater is of-the-moment, but classic.
  5. Options! Sleeves, or not. Vivid color, or the warm embrace of neutrals. It’s your sweater, so it’s up to you.

There’s even an option to change yarns. The designer’s choice—using a strand of Plotulopi and a strand of laceweight Love Story Einband, together—makes for a sumptuous and unusual fabric. But we couldn’t help noticing that our favorite budget-friendly Icelandic yarn, Léttlopi, would make a smashing substitute yarn.

With Léttlopi, we can get Icelandic character, beautiful color, and a light, lofty fabric—without double-stranding.

So, if you’ve been tempted, but are still undecided about banging out a Crowberry with us, we direct your attention to some sweet sweet Léttlopi colorways. Think of it as a dessert menu—there’s no harm in looking.

How to Make the Swap

Yarn substitution always requires a bit of thinking, and we’ve done that part for you. Here’s all you need to do to knit the Crowberry Sweater in Léttlopi.

First, choose your size. Sizes and finished measurements for all sizes can be found in the pattern, and on the Crowberry Sweater pattern page here. Instead of thinking deep thoughts about ease, our suggestion is to measure a sweater or knit top that you love—that measurement will have your preferred ease built right into it. Find the size with the closest knitted measurements to that garment, and presto: that’s the size to knit.

Second, go to the Léttlopi product listing, where you’ll find the skein quantities of Léttlopi for all sizes of the Crowberry Sweater and the vest version.

Here they be:

A  5 (5, 5, 6) (6, 7, 7) (7, 8, 9) skeins

B  1 (1, 1, 1) (1, 1, 1) (2, 2, 2) skeins

C  1 (1, 1, 1) (1, 1, 1) (1, 2, 2) skeins

D  1 (1, 1, 1) (1, 1, 1) (1, 1, 1) skein

A  4 (4, 4, 5) (5, 6, 6) (7, 7, 8) skeins

B  1 (1, 1, 1) (1, 1, 1) (1, 2, 2) skeins

C  1 (1, 1, 1) (1, 1, 1) (1, 1, 1) skein

D 1 (1, 1, 1) (1, 1, 1) (1, 1, 1) skein


Third and finally, choose your colors.

Color A is the body color for the sweater or vest; B, C, and D are for the colorwork yoke, and the cuffs of the sweater version.

We’ve put MDK’s best color minds on the task of choosing a few colorways. They are a starting point; feel free to swap out shades for the body or colorwork. The main factors to keep in mind are: what do you like, what will you wear, and do you want a lot of contrast or more of a gradient effect in your sweater?

Here they are. Color A, the body color, is on the left in these selections.

A (body): Oatmeal
B: Mimosa
C: Royal Fuchsia
D: Apricot
A (body): Navy Blue
B: Ash
C: Lapis Blue
D: Glacier Blue


A (body): Ash
B: Celery Green
C: Black Heather
D: Bottle Green


A (body): Ocean Blue
B: Milky Way
C: Galaxy
D: Golden
A (body): Rust
B: Frostbite
C: Black Heather
D: Pine Green

I like them all—a colorway for every mood.

If you’re undecided about your yoke colors, here’s some good news: most sizes require only one skein of each yoke color, and two skeins at most for the largest sizes of the Crowberry Sweater or vest.

So if you’re torn between two colors, get them both; the color that doesn’t make the cut will make a fine addition to your hat and mitten yarn supplies. Léttlopi’s price point makes it easy to keep your options open. Audition those yoke colors by swatching.

One More Option

We’ve gotten this question from quite a few knitters: if I’m using Léttlopi for my Crowberry, can I still carry along a strand of Love Story Einband?

We didn’t think of that until we were asked, but yes you can! And it would be lovely. Love Story Einband is such a thin filament of a yarn that it will hardly affect gauge.

Our suggestion would be to choose your Léttlopi shades first; as the thicker yarn, it will be visually stronger. Then choose a shade of Love Story Einband that blends or contrasts with each Léttlopi shade, as you please. It can be one shade of Love Story throughout, or a shade for the body and a different shade or shades for the yoke colors. Blending is the subtle choice, contrasting creates a more visible marl. Either way would be beautiful; there are no wrong answers.


  • Oh, I swooned over Mimosa, Royal Fuschia, Apricot, and Frostbite subbing for Oatmeal! I have not banged out a sweater since Big Joy; I am super excited!

  • Bingo! I have been patiently bottling up two questions since my subscriber’s PDF hit my mailbox. Can I knit this with lettlopi? Are we going to bang out a sweater, or what? Happy day!

  • Love this alternative. I’m in. Thinking oatmeal and channeling my inner Barbie with some pinks.

  • Perfect! I’d already planned to Bang Out A Vest in Lettelopi now I have quantities officially listed .
    One week to make color choices…

  • I love this sweater and these color combinations are wonderful. My arthritic hands can’t handle larger needles but I am going to order some extra yarn and do a lot of swatching for gauge on smaller needles (US 7-9) to see if I can use instructions for a larger size that will, in the end, fit my measurements. If I can’t make it work, I’ll still have some beautiful yarn for a sweater.

    • I hope your sweating was successful and you found a size that works for you.

  • I was totally sold on the Plutolopi in shades of black and gray I keep seeing but I dearly love me some color. Now I want the Mimosa/Fuschia/Apricot but…have y’all done any swatches? I love those shades together but it breaks my heart to think of getting half way through a lettlopi sweater AGAIN and realize the colors don’t work the way I imagined and that I can’t rip it where the yarn has already started to felt. (Note this is me being too rough with my WIP which wasn’t turning into what I wanted, not the absolute nature of lettlopi) I feel like I’m asking for too much, but on the chance somebody swatched the colors I thought I could ask!!

  • I Love the first color combo but would use the Royal Fuchsia for the body. Alas, it’s too warm for my climate. Looking forward to seeing what people make!

  • I actually have enough Lettlopi to do this, but I can barely knit right now because I had a pinched nerve in my right shoulder. I am recovering but still can’t knit most days because of the lingering soreness. I will enjoy seeing what others come up with until I am able to start, though!

  • Though this sweater is beautiful, it is not for me at this time. But I am really looking forward to seeing everyone’s progress. I assume that there will be a thread to follow for those of us who are interested in seeing the materials and colors people are using.

  • It would be SUPER helpful to have the sizes of the sweater as well as the number of balls of yarn.

    • AMEN!!! I completely agree that the SIZES need to be identified along with the yarn quantities. Right now we can’t order yarn! PLEASE?!
      CM, Minnesota

      • I hope your sweating was successful and you found a size that works for you.

    • Right here on the pattern page:

      There is little to no ease in this pattern, so we recommend measuring a sweater you like the fit of and using that as your guide to the size for you.

    • From the Crowberry Page:
      To fit bust sizes 26-28 (30-32, 34-36, 38-40) (42-44, 46-48, 50-52) (54-56, 58-60, 62-64)”
      [66-71 (76-81.5, 86.5-91.5, 96.5-101.5) (106.5-112, 117-122, 127-132) (137-142, 147.5-152.5, 157.5-162.5) cm]

  • My last attempt to Bang out a Sweater took eleven months, but I have a long-languishing Plotulopi stash that might need to become a Crowberry vest. Without sleeves, it’s doable, right?

    • The test knitters raved about the speed of the pattern.

  • Is it cheating if I start banging early?

  • For the vest, there’s no Color D?

  • Love the Crowberry sweater and vest option! I’ve purchased the ebook and all I have to do now is choose colors. This one will be fun.

  • The Lettlopi skeins seem small, low yardage. I’m going to attempt the vest. Hope I’ll have enough yarn! For my size, 4 of the main color and 1 each of the contrasting colors are called for. If I make gauge, will I be playing yarn chicken?

  • Yes! This is SO cool! I have some Lettlopi and shall count my skeins for sweater potential. Thank you for the suggestions!

  • Did I miss the needle size if switching to Lettlopi? Does it remain the same as the plotulopi Love Story version?

    • Hi Barbara,

      The needle size is whatever size you need to get gauge. Although I’m famously a reluctant swatcher, it’s very easy to knit Léttlopi to a looser gauge than this sweater requires, so swatching is highly recommended for this one.

  • I have some Lettlopi in my stash. I’m in! Yay!! My very first KAL was in same yarn back in 2018 – the Stopover. Still a favorite to wear.

  • I’ve barely worn any of my sweaters this year because hot flashes. Someone please tell me this will end some day and I can be a sweater knitter again.

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