This is a fun and fairly simple knit, but heads up: the unicorn section is a bit finicky – watch your gauge and make sure you catch the long floats. The time that takes is offset by the easy-peasy rainbow section on the home stretch. It’s great fun seeing it all come together. There’s something so satisfying about knitting rainbows!
Some technical stuff: Unicorn is a unisex children’s Icelandic sweater knit with Léttlopi or another Aran or worsted weight yarn. The pattern is available in both English and Icelandic. It’s knit in the round from the bottom up on 4.5 mm (US 7) needles and is seamless except for the underarms, which are grafted using kitchener stitch. Unicorn comes in sizes 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 and 10 years and was created using knittingpatterns.is. Note that I knit the neck a bit loose on the sweater pictured (my daughter’s picky about that!) but the pattern creates a typical Icelandic sweater fit.
After typing up my last pattern, Blossi, beautifully by hand, I took the decision to use the autogenerated patterns for this one. This has its pros and cons. On the upside, it makes it much easier to release in numerous sizes, and each Pdf is for one size only, which makes the pattern super simple to read. The downside, however, is that I can’t edit the pattern text, so make sure you check my notes on its Ravelry page.
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 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.
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.
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!
I wanted to share another sweater I designed and knitted myself (sorry I don’t have a better picture):
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:
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):
Long time, no blog! I should really post a general update, and I will, but today I want to share my latest project:
It’s an Icelandic lopi wool sweater, also known as alopapeysa. 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.
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!
“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.
In different colours:
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.
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:
Mimi is so happy to finally have some snow. The weather’s been really mild so far this year.
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.
Happy New Year all! I’m sure I’ll be back soon with more pictures, and possibly even some words. ;)
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 Ellie 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.
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.
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?
Mimi 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.
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.