Knitting with lettlopi yarn is a completely different experience! I know I was nervous before ordering my first batch of the traditional Icelandic wool, so as I work on my second lopi sweater, I thought I’d write up a quick review.*
Lopi is made from Icelandic sheep wool. At this point, you’re probably rolling your eyes at me and thinking “Big deal, I knit with wool all the time!”
But lopi really is a little different from other yarns.
In order to survive the harsh Icelandic winters, Iceland’s sheep are a little different to your regular sheep. Their fleece has two layers, the outercoat (or tog), which is long and “hairy” looking. The thel, or undercoat, is short and soft. Basically, the sheep are dressed for winter like the rest of us: a tough outercoat to repel the weather, and a soft, warm layer underneath!
So that’s lopi. We then have the modifiers:
Álafoss Lopi. Álafoss looks like a place I would seriously love to visit!. It also refers to a bulky weight of yarn, which is great for outdoor garments.
I’ve only worked with Lettlopi (so far…), so that’s all I can speak to.
What’s Lettlopi Like to Knit With?
It’s great! It’s a little “hairy”, but really soft. It can be a bit splitty, so blunt needles are better than sharp.
Here’s what it looks like knit up at13 stitches per 4 inches (on the left) and 20 stitches per 4 inches (on the right).
You can see even at the looser gauge, the lettlopi has expanded to fill in the gaps, making for a more solid(ish) fabric than we could expect from a smoother yarn at a similar gauge.
What’s Lettlopi Like to Wear?
It’s warm. Seriously warm. Remember that long outercoat? It repels water, and fills in any gaps in your stitches. The undercoat traps heat, keeping you cozy.
Because it’s kind of hairy, you do want to wear a layer under it. I’m not sensitive to wool or itchiness, so I’m happy wearing my stopover over a short-sleeved shirt, but a garment at a tighter gauge (i.e., more outercoat hairs per square inch) would probably be less comfortable.
It does soften with use and washing though (gentle handwashing of course! Lopi felts.).
How Durable is Knitting with Lettlopi Yarn?
Very! I’ve worn my Stopover pretty much non-stop for a year, with no noticeable pilling or damage. A garment knit to a tighter gauge would be pretty much indestructible – as far as handknit garments go.
Give me Lettlopi’s Details.
Lettlopi is pure Icelandic Wool.
Each 50g ball contains – 100 metres/109 yards
Recommended needle size is 4-5mm
Oh and it comes in just about every colour you could wish for.
Where Can I Buy Lettlopi Online?
Luckily, it’s pretty readily available! It’s even worth checking with your local yarn shop, as they might carry it. I’m not associated with any of these stores, but you can buy lopi:
Wool Warehouse. I haven’t bought lopi from here, but I have bought a lot of other yarn, and they’ve always been great. (Worldwide shipping. Free shipping in the UK when you spend more than £25)
Icelandic Wool Store.This is where I bought my most recent lopi stash. (Free shipping to UK/Europe. Worldwide shipping)
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