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