Knit a Lopi Sweater with Us!

We’re getting ready to start our first knit-along of 2018, and this time our focus is on the seamless colorwork sweater knitting patterns from Iceland! 

Berroco is the North American distributor for Ístex Lopi yarns, meaning they ship the yarn to us and we send it out to the local yarn stores in the United States and Canada. And we’re big fans of these yarns! You can read more about the yarn itself in this blog post, but to keep things moving along, we’re just going to jump right into the details about the knit-along.

What pattern are we knittingYou get to choose! We’ll have a short(ish) list of options at the bottom of this post, but the parameters are any bottom-up seamless sweater or cardigan knitting pattern with a little bit of colorwork in the top of the shoulders (called the yoke). If you fall in love with a top-down sweater, feel free to knit it, just realize we’ll be working in opposite directions!

Why are we knitting these sweaters? Mostly because the Berroco Design Team is kind of obsessed with these sweaters, and for a very good reason! If you’ve never knit a sweater before, this is a nice, easy way to start. There’s minimal sewing—just a little bit at the underarms; everything is knit in the round (cardigans can be knit flat, we’ll have another post about that); there’s not a ton of fancy stitches involved; there are so many gorgeous designs to choose from; and they’re great outerwear pieces!

Which yarn are we using? Ideally, you’ll fall in love with a pattern written for either Ístex Léttlopi or Ístex Álafosslopi (or Ístex Plötulopi, but there are fewer sweater patterns that are easily found for that yarn right now). If you can’t easily find any of the Lopi  yarns near you (our Store Locator can help you find stores in North America), or if you would rather use a Berroco yarn, you could also use Berroco Ultra Alpaca, Berroco Vintage, or Berroco Ultra Wool in place of Léttlopi. (You can use Ultra Alpaca Chunky or Vintage Chunky in place of Álafosslopi.)

When do we start? And how long does it last? We’re casting on February 1, and we’re wrapping up March 15. As with all of our knit-alongs, we encourage you to swatch your yarns before the cast-on date, so you can ensure you’re getting the right gauge to achieve proper fit.

How do I sign up? There’s no official sign up. We suggest you join our Berroco Lovers group on Ravelry (you will need a free Ravelry account to join the group) so you can follow along with all of our progress and share photos of your sweater as you work on it. You can also sign up for our optional knit-along newsletter; we’ll have a total of 8 emails to help you succeed in making your sweater! You can also use the hashtag #LopiKAL on social media (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) to share your photos and let everyone see how awesome your project is. Finally, be sure to ask your local yarn store if they’re holding a knit night or doing anything special to participate in the knit-along!

Okay but really, what pattern are we doing? It really really really is up to you. Our philosophy is that if you truly want to have a sweater in your life, it will help you stay motivated through any pitfalls you may encounter (not that we expect you to encounter any trouble, but knit happens). But since there are so many patterns out there, we’ve rounded up a few for you to choose from. 

Amy P (that’s me) will be knitting Weatherman. It’s the pattern in the photo at the top of the page. It’s a $6 pattern, and is available in three sizes—35.5 (39, 42.5)”. (There will be a post about upsizing patterns, look for that next week). Here’s another example from Emma Welford.

Emma Welford’s Weatherman sweater, her first Lopi sweater

Amy P is also sort of knitting Sólkatla ($6.50; sizes 33–47.25″) from Lopi pattern book #36. I really want to work on this sweater, but I also really want a Weatherman, and it’s been freakishly cold in Rhode Island, so whatever, two sweaters.

Solkatla from Lopi Book 36

There are some other great sweaters in Lopi Book 36 to check out, including Oraefi and Hreindyr. I especially love Allyson Dykhuizen’s cheerful version of Oraefi!

Allyson Dykhuizen’s brightly colored Oraefi sweater

Alison and Donna in the Berroco Design Team are going to knit Rydraud (free; sizes 31.5–45″) in Plötulopi.

Rydraud free knitting pattern in ístex Plötulopi

Amy C is trying to decide on her sweater—we’ll have a post about that in a couple of days—but one of her thoughts is to reknit her own Glaswegian Cardigan (free; sizes 34.5–60.25″) in different colors of Plötulopi.

Glaswegian free cardigan knitting pattern in Ístex Plötulopi

Afmaeli is another great choice! It’s a free sweater knitting pattern for Léttlopi, and you can use a lot of colors or just two. Alison has knit this one in the multi-colored version (brown body) and it’s so gorgeous.

Afmaeli free sweater knitting pattern

Caroline, who had never knit a Lopi sweater before last year and is now on her fifth(!) is knitting a variation on the men’s version of Audna ($6.50; size 37–43.75″) for her daughter’s boyfriend. You can see Caroline’s first Lopi sweater (along with a few others) in this blog post.

Audna sweater knitting pattern

Since this is getting kind of long but we still have some great sweater patterns to mention, I’m going to cut the chatter and just share the pretty pictures.

Skogafjall by Dianna Walla ($7; sizes 31–51″)
Stopover by Mary Jane Mucklestone ($7; sizes 32-64″)
Strokkur by Ysolda Teague (£6; sizes 30.25–59.5″)
Second Grace sweater knitting pattern by Bristol Ivy ($7; sizes 31.25–59″)
Aftur by Vedis Jonsdottir free knitting pattern (free; sizes 35.75–42.5″)
Ellen by Amy Christoffers free top-down cardigan knitting pattern (free; sizes 32–48″)
Idunn by Ragga Eiriksdottir free cardigan knitting pattern (free; sizes 34–50″)
Antipodal by Lars Rains free sweater knitting pattern (free; sizes 33–66″)
Hela by Vedis Jonsdottir free knitting pattern (free; sizes 34–42″)

There are so many, many more patterns out there to consider, this is just the “short” list that we wanted to share with you! So now the big question is, are you in?!


97 thoughts on “Knit a Lopi Sweater with Us!

  1. I’m very interested. I was just going to start one today and saw this email. Excited to know the details

      1. Hi Jean! You can use a Reynolds Lopi pattern (and the yarn is the same; Lopi was distributed by Reynolds in the 1970s and 1980s before it moved to another company for distribution).

    1. Wow!
      So many of these are in my queue, but I found a few new favorites too!

      I wish I had found the KAL sooner, I would have ordered more yarn.
      Next time!

  2. I am thinking about Glaswegian. I enjoyed reading the story of her trip with her knitting. It calls for plotulopi but I have lettlopi. I think the gauge is close enough. I’m so happy this worked out this way. Was casting on today for sure to check gauge. I love being part of a KAL so I’m so pleased that I will be doing this with all of you.

    1. Double-stranded Plötulopi is about the same gauge as Léttlopi. Triple-stranded Plötulopi is about the same gauge as Álafosslopi. Keeping this in mind might help you when making yarn substitutions from the original Icelandic sweater books.

  3. I’m in. Because our the mild weather here in Oregon, I think I’ll use a Berroco yarn. Not sure of yarn or pattern yet. Looking forward to knitting with this wonderful group. Teri aka Teriyaki

  4. I am so excited about the timing of this! My son and daughter-in-law went to Iceland on their honeymoon in August (they got married last January14, but waited for the right time of year and her school break to go). They brought me back a pattern, which they gave me upon their return. Then for Christmas they surprised me with the Plutolopi to make a sweater. I was debating which pattern to make, because the one they brought is a pullover and I think that I want to make a cardigan because I tend to run warm. I am thinking Glaswegian or Rydraud.

  5. Which one of these sweaters is a top down one? I absolutely love the top downs as I’m almost done when I finish the sleeves. No patience for sewing all the pieces together!

    1. Hi Helen! Most of these are bottom up, since we think they’re a little bit more manageable for newer knitters, but the Ellen cardigan is knit top down. Both bottom up and top down construction have very minimal seaming (just the part where the arms and body join). I did a sort in Ravelry to try to find some top-down, colorwork sweater patterns—if this link will work, maybe one of these patterns will strike your fancy?

  6. Am I in? Sure! Yokes sweaters are said to be ‘in’, this year. How can I pass?

    What to knit? Maybe Strokku, I’ve been eyeing this pattern for a while. Or maybe a cardigan like Ellen? But, I already have an Ellen, so maybe Glaswegian, a two-colour beauty like Rydraud? Or, dare to be bold and try my hand at steeking with the Trefoil cardigan, from Gudrun Johnston?
    Decisions, decisions, decisions… always my problem at the start of a KAL.

  7. We don’t have mild weather in Alaska and I love Lopi and have several vintage Icelandic sweater books, just never made, I teach a neck down sweater class. I need a challenge and a gentle prod to try something new.

    1. Hi CJ! Lopi sweaters would be perfect for Alaska—many people in Iceland wear their sweaters as outerwear, instead of jackets (or in addition to, when it’s really cold). If you are familiar with top-down sweaters, switching over to bottom up should not be a problem. But you could use a top-down pattern if you choose!

  8. First time for me to think about a knit along. I have many Lopi books and would love to start a new one. Love to knit, esp. Stranded or faire isle. Is there a difference? Will keep up on Ravelry and decide. Thanks!

    1. Hi Linda! I hope you’ll decide to join us! Technically there is a difference between stranded colorwork and Fair Isle knitting, though they’re both done the same way. Fair Isle knitting is technically made up of small patterns that originated on the Fair Isles, whereas stranded colorwork is a more broad term that can incorporate any regional variations, such as Turkish colorwork styles, or Bohus knitting, or jacquard patterns, etc.

  9. Hi, I’m in. Would like to knit in Berocco Vintage or Vintage DK , as we hardly have cold weather in Houston. Can’t decide though whether it’ll be Afmaeli or Audna. Looking forward to it. My first KAL, even though I’be been knitting for the last 40 years!

    1. Hi Amy, I’ve decided on the Audna, however on closer look it seems they’ve used double strands of yarn. Wouldn’t that make the sweater too bulky, especially for Houston weather? Would you suggest another yarn that on using double strands can still be knitted with 4.5 to 5.0 mm needles? Thanks

      1. Hi Nandita! You’re right, the original pattern does call for two strands of Plötulopi. Two strands of Plötulopi is roughly the same gauge as Léttlopi, but that’s probably too warm for Houston, so what you might try doing is swatching Berroco Vintage to check your gauge. Vintage is a blend of wool and nylon, so it would not be as warm as Lettlopi.

  10. hi
    i would like to join in if that is ok, I live in the UK so do not suffer from Baltic weather, however, we do get cold spells and I love the look of the Weatherman sweater

    1. Absolutely! We welcome participants from around the world. If you’re looking to use Lettlopi for your Weatherman, there are some shops in the UK that carry the yarn (Deramores, Wool Warehouse, and others). If you’re looking to use a Berroco yarn, check out LoveKnitting.

  11. I’m IN! I’ll be knitting Afmaeli and then steeling the front to make it a cardigan. A friend is heading to Iceland mid February and is picking up the kit for me.

    1. Yay! Yarn direct from the source (…I mean without traveling to our warehouse, and then to a yarn shop… you know what I mean). Yarn is definitely one of the best souvenirs from Iceland. 😀

    1. Hello! It looks like that isn’t actually a pattern, just the charts to knit that pretty sled dog image. If you feel comfortable making that into a pattern, go for it!

    2. SO GLAD you pointed out that this was just the charting! I had forgotten! I’m planning to do the Skjogafjall by Dianna Walla, so I am IN!

  12. I’m excited to join in this fun with you all and this will be my first knit along; love these sweaters! I’m in California so will look for a Berocco yarn but so many beautiful patterns to choose from!

  13. I’m wicked excited about this KAL because I have been eyeing Istex’s Overdur patterns and am thinking one of the sheep pullovers would be perfect. My plan is to use my Vintage Worsted that has been patiently waiting for me to use. Thanks for creating this fun (and motivating) KAL!

  14. Just ordered a Hela kit from WEBS…do you offer tutorials on installing a zipper in Lopi sweaters?

  15. looking for a pattern that’s a 2-3x size. love some i’m seeing but they won’t fit. suggestions plz ?

    1. Hi Laura! I feel you—I have a 48″ish bust and some of these patterns stop at 42″ or something! I have a blog post in the works about upsizing patterns to fit us, but I’m also happy to search out some alternate pattern suggestions. Do you know which yarn you’re hoping to use, or if you’re looking for a worsted/aran or bulky weight yarn?

  16. Thanks Amy! I ordered the 3 color indigo kit. The video about installing zippers is VERY helpful…it looks very time consuming, but I’ve avoided zippers for so long I figure this is the right time!

    1. I was thinking about it yesterday and yes, installing a zipper looks like it would be time consuming, but it’s probably faster than knitting on a button band… I have no idea! I don’t knit many cardigans so I avoid this problem, hah!

  17. Want to knit Afameli in Berroco Ultra Alpaca..My favorite yarn…what is the yardage for the Lopi yarn???

    Knit a Vogue pattern in this yarn 2 yrs ago and really love the alpaca…light weight , but very warm..

  18. Hi, I’m planning to knit the Afmaeli pattern but am going to use Berroco’s Ultra Alpaca. I do live in an area that has very cold winters but I figure I’ll get more use out of the yarn I chose. I’m also planning to do the multi shade version but with my colour choices, yarn has been ordered:-). Maybe quite ambitious but I figure go big or stay home haha. I have knit a couple of Lopi sweaters in a previous life so not entirely new to it.

  19. Hi, I’m living in France and I want to knit with you.
    I choose perhaps afmaeli as pattern.
    see you soon

  20. I love the Lopi yarn! But I have 20 skeins of Lopi from years ago; it is the bulky yarn. I cannot find any patterns for this older style yarn. Any help with that? Otherwise, enjoy you KAL!

    1. Hi Barbara, Is it Bulky Lopi (67 yards to 100 g) or Alafoss lopi (109 yds to 100 g)? It’s really confusing wording—Alafoss Lopi knits up at a bulky gauge, while Bulky Lopi is a super bulky gauge. Either way, let me know and I can help you come up with some pattern options!

  21. I knitted the pattern RYDRAUD recently the pattern is not correct. Read my notes at Ravelry where I’m know as elizabethmartine.
    When there are problems you can mail me.

  22. I’ve tried to find the Skjogafjall on Ravelry but every time I put the pattern name in the search it says, “Sorry nothing matched your search”, so I’m wondering where I can find the pattern.

  23. This will be my first seamless sweater and I need to order dpns. What length will work best? Is using 9″ circular an option? The nearest yarn shop is an hour away, so any advice is welcomed.

    1. Hi!

      With DPN length I like a needle in the range of 5-8″. Most of mine are 5 or 6″- which is a bit short once all the sleeve increases have been worked but not so bad that I can’t make it work. My personal experience with the 9″ circulars is that the tips are just a bit too short to be comfortable to use. I am a huge fan of the 12″ circs though and I almost always use them.

      Two other options for you are to knit with 2 circular needles- they have to be the same size but not the same length. Its a bit like working with DPN. And you can Magic Loop with 1 very long circular needle. So many of my knitting friends swear by this method but I don’t think I’ve practiced it enough to offer any advice.

  24. I immediately am drawn to Öræfi – the design and the cowl neck really make it unique. LOVE! And I love Lopi yarn! This will be my first time working with Lettlelopi, in the past I’ve only knit with the bulky weight.

  25. I’ve tried 2 color socks and the came out to narrow, I would love to learn how to do this.

    1. Hi Dolores! It’s tricky with socks, as the colorwork does tend to pull in quite a bit. I’ve had similar experiences myself! You may just need to go up a needle size to get a slightly looser gauge. Another tip some people have mentioned is to knit them wrong-side out (so you’re purling everything instead of knitting it) and keeping the floats on the outside of the work so that they stay nice and loose.

  26. I have JUST started Einir from Lopi Book 34 for my nephew who loves my knitting, he is 18 and very tall so I started with a provisional cast on just in case. Am using Berroco Vintage Chunky in black, dark grey and beige, this will be great motivation to work on it as I have too many WIPs on the go. Will be my second Lopi sweater.

    1. Hi Marianne! Did you join the Ravelry group or the Knit-along email? If you joined the group, you wouldn’t necessarily hear anything unless you posted in the discussion thread. If you signed up for the email, you’re not showing up in my system, so you may want to try again.

  27. I signed up in this email group, and am a member in the Ravelry group. HVe put my email in again.

  28. I’d like to knit Sing Winter by Alicia Plummer, for a man. Do you honk that would work if I skip the waistline shaping?

  29. Thank you Amy C for the advice on circular v. dpn needles. After reading all the descriptions and reviews on my favorite on line store site, I purchased Crystal Palace Short and Long 12″ circulars and think they will be perfect. I’m knitting the Antipodal in autumn leaf colors and all the advice from Berroco staff and seasoned knitters is so helpful. You all are fantastic.

  30. Hi I started my fair isles on 02/01/2018 and this is the first post I’ve seen wonder how everyone is doing and how far along everyone has gotten. I am slow because I had broken both of my wrist in the past 5 years but am interested in how everyone is doing?

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