A Sunny Day In Reykjavík


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Mist “waterfall” in Reykjavík

I saw this on my walk last night, thought it was pretty neat.

mist waterfall reykjavík


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Summer solstice – the midnight sun in Iceland

I took these pictures just before midnight. It never gets dark at this time of year.

Sunset in Reykjavík Iceland

I love summer in Iceland. Growing up in Australia, I never liked the sun. I had a kind of reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder, always much happier on the rare days of gloominess. But living in Iceland has taught me to appreciate it. It’s pretty hard not to when you live in darkness for most of the year. No one appreciates the sun as much as Icelanders do.

Even in summer, the days are quite cool by most standards (the average temperature in July is 10–13 °C/50–55 °F), and whole weeks can pass without a hint of sunshine. So when you do get a sunny day, everyone flocks out to soak it up. It’s not uncommon for bosses to let employees take the day off when it’s nice. Sunshine is a precious commodity, and missing out could mean a long wait until it comes around again.

Midnight sun Iceland

Living here also changes your perception of temperature. 13 °C is perfect for sunbathing, 17 °C and the beaches are crowded, 22 °C and people are complaining it’s “too hot”.

I have to admit, the passing of the summer solstice leaves me with a tiny pang of dread. It feels like summer just barely got started, how can it be all downhill from here? Thankfully, the warmest months, July and August, are still ahead of us. I can’t wait to see what they bring.


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New pattern! “Blossi” – Icelandic lopi sweater for children 2-8 years

I’m very excited to introduce my latest lopapeysa pattern, Blossi, available in both English and Icelandic. I’ve been tinkering with it for what feels like forever, and I am SO happy it’s finally ready to share.
Blossi lopapeysa Icelandic lopi sweater pattern
Blossi is a unisex children’s sweater knit with Léttlopi (worsted weight lopi wool). It’s knit in the round from the bottom up on 4.5 mm (US 7) needles. The sweater is seamless except for the underarms which are grafted using Kitchener stitch. Blossi is for sizes 2-8 years and is currently available in English and Icelandic, though I hope to get it translated into more languages. The pattern PDF can be purchased for $5 on Ravelry. If you’re not on Ravelry, you can also purchase Blossi directly through PayPal.
Blossi lopapeysa Icelandic lopi sweater pattern
After creating several rather colourful lopapeysa designs, I wanted to experiment with a monochromatic palette to see where that would lead me. I had a lot of fun playing around with gradation, and I’m really pleased with the effect it created. There’s something extremely satisfying about seeing the colours flow in and out as you knit.
Although the pattern uses 4 shades, newcomers to stranded/coloured knitting need not be intimidated–with the exception of just a couple of lines, you only have 1 or 2 colours on the needles at any given time, making it very comfortable to knit.
Blossi lopapeysa Icelandic lopi sweater pattern
By far the most rewarding part of publishing patterns is seeing everyone’s projects, and I can’t wait to see what people do with Blossi. I really look forward to seeing how it looks in different palettes. I hope you guys will have as much fun with it as I have!
Blossi lopapeysa Icelandic lopi sweater pattern
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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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. Mimi 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

Mimi 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 Ellie kitty high-fives (she was gentle! ;)). Ellie 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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