Léttlopi is the most versatile weight of Iceland’s unique and ubiquitous national yarn. While classed as a heavy worsted, it knits into beautiful fabrics across a wide range of gauges. It’s the star of Field Guide No. 17: Lopi, featuring designs by Mary Jane Mucklestone.
Specs & Details
On a visit to Iceland you will find Lopi yarns everywhere, from grocery shore shelves to Lopapeysur, the colorful yoked pullovers worn by old and young, which are probably the number one souvenir to take home from your trip.
We have loved knitting with Léttlopi for years now, and it is the featured yarn for Mary Jane Mucklestone’s exuberant designs in Field Guide No. 17: Lopi.
This marvelous yarn is spun from the double-layered fleece of Icelandic sheep, a robust breed that has spent 1,100 years on the island, adapting to its rough topography and cold, wet climate. Icelandic wool takes dye beautifully—just look at Léttlopi’s glowing colors, from pastels and brights to jewel tones and rustic landscape neutrals.
Léttlopi has another intriguing characteristic: It is a gauge shifter, which means that for cold-weather accessories and outwear, it can be knit to a firm, dense fabric at the gauge stated on the label, or to a looser gauge for sweaters and scarves that have warmth without weight and are comfortable indoors. Mary Jane Mucklestone blew the minds of hundreds of knitters in 2015, when she published her famous Stopover pullover, which showcased this gauge-shifting property. Several of the designs in Field Guide No. 17 are knit to this lighter—and speedier—gauge.
Léttlopi is a yarn of character, hardwearing and resistant to pilling. Although definitely a rustic wool, after a nice wash, Léttlopi can be worn by all but the most wool-sensitive.
To know Léttlopi is to love it. If it’s a new yarn to you, we recommend starting with two balls in different colors and a quick, small project, such as Mary Jane’s Jaunty Beanie or Trinket Mittens.