A Sunny Day In Reykjavík

Léttlopi wool colours


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Finished object and new projects

I wanted to share another sweater I designed and knitted myself (sorry I don’t have a better picture):

Lopapeysa with purple flowers

I made it for Ellie because I wanted to do something similar to the pink and white sweater I made for Mimi but didn’t feel like knitting the exact same pattern twice. It’s nice enough but didn’t turn out quite as I’d hoped. I don’t know. Ellie looks very sweet in it but I don’t think it’s something I want to publish.

Continuing with my lopapeysa designing frenzy, I’ve come up with yet another design, also for Ellie (2 to 3 year size). The image below shows the same pattern in two different colour configurations:

Lopapeysa design

I haven’t even knitted it yet and I’m already kind of obsessed with it. After designing three rather unorthodox lopapeysas, I wanted to make something more traditional. It was an interesting challenge to come up with something that hadn’t been done before but which still looked very classic. I can’t wait to see how it turns out! If it all works out I’ll make the pattern available here, hopefully in a range of sizes.

I can’t decide which colour configuration I like better. Thoughts? Left or right? I think I’ll probably knit one for both girls so I can see it both ways.

It’ll have to wait a little while though because I currently have another project on the go. It’s a scarf, also self-designed. I can’t say more than that because it’s going to be a birthday present and I don’t want to give too much away, but I’ll post pics once it’s done. I will, however, show you guys the colours I’m using (it’s Léttlopi wool):

Léttlopi wool colours I hope I finish it in time!


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Name changes

Just a quick note – I’ve decided to drop the pseudonyms for my daughters and use some different nicknames. When I started this blog, I made the decision to use pseudonyms so that my kids wouldn’t be Google-able. One of them has a very uncommon name, so if anyone were to Google it this site would have come right up. The problem is, I’ve always felt a bit daft using “Raven” and “Luna”. I just can’t take myself seriously. So from now on, “Raven” will be “Mimi” and “Luna” will be “Ellie”. Not their real names, but nicknames they occasionally go by in real life, and hopefully common enough that search engines won’t be a problem.

I hope the change isn’t too confusing!


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Another free lopapeysa pattern! “Rosa” (size 6 years)

First off, I just want to say a quick thanks to everyone for the wonderful response the free knitting pattern I posted earlier this month. Wow! It’s been queued a bunch of times and as over 120 “favourites” (and counting) on Ravelry. I wasn’t sure anyone would take notice at all so I’m thrilled. Extra big thanks to Christine of trÍScote for translating the pattern notes into French.

I promised in my previous entry that I’d post the pattern for this sweater, “Rósa” (Rosa):

Flower lopapeysa

So here it is. It’s available in size 6 years in English, Icelandic and French.

Rosa (English)

Rosa (islenska)

Rosa (francais)

(Some other languages available upon request.)

Queue on Ravelry

Pin it on Pinterest

Rosa lopapeysa

I wanted to make a lopapeysa that was floral but also fairly traditional in style. I’m really happy with how it came out. Raven LOVES it.

I spent a long time faffing about trying to get it to work in smaller sizes but unfortunately it just doesn’t quite translate. The floral pattern is so dense that it isn’t possible to take out rows without changing it so much that it becomes a different pattern. So I’m just going to post the 6 year size for now, then perhaps design something very similar in smaller sizes when I get the time.

Rosa lopapeysa

Super exciting technical notes:

- The pattern has some very slight differences from the sweater pictured here. The one in the pictures was a prototype; I made a couple of slight improvements in the final version.

- I knitted the collar and ribbing a little differently to what it says in the pattern. The pattern tells you to knit 3 cm of ribbing; I did four rows of seed stitch instead. You can do it however you prefer.

- If this is your first time knitting a lopapeysa or doing colour-work, it’s worth mentioning that you need to keep the tension of the multicoloured parts a little looser than the rest of the sweater, otherwise it gets a bit taut. Some people do this by switching to slightly larger needles for the multicoloured parts. So in this case, you’d go up to 5.0 mm (US 8) needles. I’ve never done it that way though, I just knit a little looser with my 4.5 mm (US 7).

- Rosa was designed to be knit with Léttlopi wool but it should work with any Aran/Worsted Weight yarn.

- This pattern is available strictly for non-commercial use only, unless you have express written permission from me, the author.


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Free knitting pattern! “Fimma” Icelandic sweater (kids’ sizes 4, 6 & 8 years)

Long time, no blog! I should really post a general update, and I will, but today I want to share my latest project:

Fimma lopapeysa Icelandic lopi sweater

It’s an Icelandic lopi wool sweater, also known as a lopapeysa. Lopapeysas are extremely popular here in Iceland. Most Icelanders have at least one. They’re cosy, durable and water-resistant, perfect for the Icelandic climate. My kids wear them every day in the colder months.

Fimma lopapeysa Icelandic lopi sweaterFimma lopapeysa Icelandic lopi sweater

I designed this pattern myself using a wonderful website called knittingpatterns.is. I’m making it available free of charge. You can queue it on Ravelry and pin it on Pinterest.

It’s currently available in English and Icelandic (update: now in French too!) and I may add some other languages later. If you have any language requests, let me know!

So without further ado…

FREE PATTERNS!

In English:

Fimma (4 years, English)

Fimma (6 years, English)

Fimma (8 years, English)

Á íslensku:

Fimma (4 ara, islenska)

Fimma (6 ara, islenska)

Fimma (8 ara, islenska)

En français:

Fimma (4 ans, francais)

Fimma (6 ans, francais)

Fimma (8 ans, francais)

Fimma lopapeysa close-up

“Fimma” means “fiver” in Icelandic. I chose the name because it’s knitted with five colours – most lopapeysas use between two and four, usually monochromatic. Léttlopi wool comes in so many beautiful colours, it seemed a shame to stop at just three.

Don’t be intimidated though – the knitting method is essentially the same as with any other lopapeysa. I designed it so that you’re almost never knitting with more than two colours at once. In the few rows that use three colours, just be sure to keep the strands at the back extra loose to prevent bunching. For what it’s worth, I’m a pretty clumsy knitter and I had no trouble with it.

It’s a lot of fun to make! I loved seeing each row of pattern forming as I went.

Fimma lopapeysa close-up

In different colours:

Fimma lopapeysa Icelandic lopi sweater blue

A few technical notes:

- I knitted the collar and ribbing a little differently to what it says in the pattern. The size 6 pattern tells you to knit 3 cm of ribbing; I did four rows of seed stitch instead. You can do it however you prefer.

- With the exception of the main colour, the pattern requires less than half a ball of each shade, so it’s a good pattern to knit if you have a bunch of half-used balls that you want to use up.

- If this is your first time knitting a lopapeysa or doing colour-work, it’s worth mentioning that you need to keep the tension of the multicoloured parts a little looser than the rest of the sweater, otherwise it gets a bit taut. Some people do this by switching to slightly larger needles for the multicoloured parts. So in this case, you’d go up to 5.0 mm (US 8) needles. I’ve never done it that way though, I just knit a little looser with my 4.5 mm (US 7).

- Fimma was designed to be knit with Léttlopi wool but it should work with any Aran/Worsted Weight yarn.

- The pattern is unisex. If you don’t want the flowery motif to look like a flower, knit it in green and BAM! It’s a 4-leaf clover.

- This pattern is available strictly for non-commercial use only, unless you have express written permission from me, the author.

Thanks for taking the time to look! If you need any knitting help or have any other questions, ask in the comments. This is my first time releasing a pattern so if there’s anything important I’ve left out, please let me know!

Finally, here’s a sneak peak at the pattern I’m working on now. I’ll release it here as soon as it’s done, so don’t forget to check back!

Flower lopapeysa


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Snow birds for the new year

I’m alive! I don’t feel like writing much (too tired!) but I wanted to post some pictures I’ve taken over the last few days. I got a Canon Rebel for my birthday so I’ve been shooting lots, trying to figure out how to shoot manually.

I took this one in my garden yesterday. It wasn’t until I uploaded it on the computer that I realised that the sun looks like an egg. It would have been cooler if it was under the “chicken” instead of on top, but what are are you gonna do?

Note that it was around 1 or 2pm when I took it, pretty much the lightest time of day. The days are very, very short in Iceland at this time of year. We get maybe a couple of hours that could pass for daylight, otherwise it’s dark. The good news is that we’ve passed winter solstice, so it’s only going to get better from here!

And another ice bird…

My beautiful girls:

0snow1

Raven is so happy to finally have some snow. The weather’s been really mild so far this year.

0snow2

Our downstairs neighbours have an indoor cat. Whenever we go outside she’s there, glued to the window, wanting attention. She kept sticking her paw out and giving Luna kitty high-fives (she was gentle! ;)). Luna thought it was hilarious.

Window cat

Happy New Year all! I’m sure I’ll be back soon with more pictures, and possibly even some words. ;)


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Gullfoss waterfall + Geysir

Luna + me at Gullfoss.

We got home from the summer cabin this afternoon. We didn’t make all the stops on the way home that we’d wanted to as we were tired and Luna was getting fed up with being in the car. Oh well. We did however stop by Gullfoss (the “golden waterfalls”) and Geysir yesterday. They’re not my favourite places simply because they’re as touristy as places get in this country. Spectacular & well worth visiting, yes, but hidden treasures they are not.

I of course took eleventy bajillion pictures:

Gullfoss

Gullfoss

Gullfoss

Gullfoss

Wildflowers, Gullfoss

Tourist by Gullfoss

Gullfoss

Strokkur, Geysir

Strokkur (in the Geysir area).

Strokkur, Geysir

Hot!

Blue geothermal pool, Iceland

Geothermal pool – too hot for swimming!

Geothermal pool, Iceland

On a completely different subject, I forgot to update that Raven does not need glasses. Yay! She was a little disappointed so she got a pair of purple sparkly sunglasses as a consolation prize.

In other Raven news, she’s officially on school holiday for the next month. I have no idea how we’re going to keep her occupied! She’s already bouncing off the walls and talking about wanting to go back to preschool to see her friends. I guess we’ll need to line up some play-dates. She’s such an intense, energetic kid that keeping her busy is no small task. There’s usually a lot going on downtown during the summer (festivals, free concerts, etc.), so we should find something.


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Caves near Laugavatn

Traffic jam.

We’ve been at a cabin in the countryside this week. I say cabin, but this place is huge! Way bigger than our little apartment. Just wonderful. We’re by a lake called Apavatn. It’s quite close to Reykjavík, about an hour and half’s drive.

We’ve been super lazy here, relaxing as much as is possible with two small kids (i.e. not very much). I feel slightly guilty about how little we’ve done, but at the same time it’s been nice to have a break without feeling like we have to cram everything into our schedule.

Yesterday we took a little drive to some caves in the area.

The view from the bottom.

On the way up.

Caves!

What’s interesting about the caves is that 100 years ago, people lived in them:

Painting of the cave house as it was 100 years ago.

From 1910-11 they were inhabited by a young couple, Guðrún Kolbeinsdóttir and Indriði Guðmundsson, then just 17 and 22 years old. They sold food to travelers passing by. Within a year they had earned enough to move to Reykjavík, and left the caves.

A few years later, from 1918-21, another young couple moved in. During their time there Jón Þorvarðarson and Vigdís Helgadóttir had three children, two of which were born in the cave. Can you imagine? One of the children, Magnus Jónsson, is still alive today. He calls himself The Caveman. Of course.

Looks cozy, no?

Raven was insistent that she was going to find some baby trolls in the cave.

Nowadays the house is gone. The caves are covered in moss, and graffiti carved into the soft sandstone.

I found Luna!

The view from inside the cave:

Remember the horses that were on the road?

The view standing on top of the caves.

I think today we’re going to visit the Golden Circle: Geysir (the original geyser), Þingvellir (Thingvellir National Park) and the Gullfoss waterfalls, so I’m sure I’ll be posting more pictures soon.

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