Little Lessons: Knitting Léttlopi at Loose Gauge
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.
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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!