Notes on choosing your Lopi
Lopi, the Icelandic wool, comes in a few different types of yarn. When knitting with Lopi it’s good to have a few things in mind that can help you choose the right type for your knitting project. Below you will find information on the types available and some advice from Ragga on what to choose:
Lopi is the brand from Ístex,the only industrial spinning mill in Iceland. The following types are on the market:
Un spun Lopi wheels (plötulopi):
100% new wool. Un spun wool, sold by weight as a one-ply, flat round roll, called a “plate” or a “wheel”. Bundle approx. 2 kg (4.4 lb), plate approx.110g (3.85 oz.). 100 g(3.5 oz) approx. 300 m (328yd).
Gauge depends on how many strands you knit together and the size of needles you choose.
Lopi Light (Létt-Lopi):
100% new wool. 50 g(1.7 oz) approx.100 m (109 yd).
Gauge: 18 sts = 10 cm(4″) on 4½ – 5 mm (Old UK 7 – 6) (US 7 – 8 ) in stockinette stitch.
Color card for Lopi Light
100% new wool. 100 g balls. 100 g (3.5 oz.) approx. 100 m. (109 yd.).
Gauge: 13 sts = 10 cm(4″) on 6-6½ mm (Old UK 4 -3) (US 10 -10) in stockinette stitch.
Color card for Álafoss Lopi
100% new wool. 100 g(3.5 oz) approx. 60 m (66 yd).
Gauge: 10 sts = 10 cm(4″) on 8 – 9 mm(Old UK 0-00) (US 11-13) in stockinette stitch.
Color card for Bulky Lopi
NOTES ON YOUR CHOICES
1 strand of un spun: very light sweaters, shawls, scarves. Needles (for example) 4-5mm/US 6-8. When knitting cardigans it’s a good idea to strengthen the edges by crocheting around them with one strand of plötulopi and one of einband or kid mohair or some other fine yarn from your stash. For a stronger garment, try knitting the whole garment with one strand of plötulopi and one strand of Einband, kid mohair or another type of fine yarn held together. Freyja is an example of a sweater knit with one strand of un spun.
2 strands of un spun or Lopi Light: I like to experiment with needle sizes and I’ve knitted garments with Lopi Light in garter stitch with needles up to 7mm/US10.5, here is a free pattern where I use large needles. If given space the yarn opens up and uses the space. So using large needles gives a very soft and fluffy garment. Normally sweaters for indoor and outdoor use are knit with 4.5mm/US 7 needles. Also very nice for knitting hats, gloves and other smaller accessories.
3-4 strands or Álafoss Lopi: Gives a bulkier result but yet light and breathable outdoor garments. This choice will give you a warm, strong and long lasting sweater. Also excellent for winter hats and thick mittens. Sweaters are traditionally knit on 6mm/US10 needles. But as I mentioned before it’s a good idea to experiment with needle sizes. Check out the free pattern Óðinn.
5-6 strands of Bulky Lopi: An even bulkier results, like the name suggests. The good part is of course that knitting with Bulky Lopi is really quick. So give it a try for hats, cowls or really thick winter garments.
Plötulopi can in fact be used in any way imaginable. Try knitting something really bulky with 20 strands or experiment with colour gradiations using a couple of strands and changing one at a time. The Results results pattern is a good example of a chunky fabric in Tunisian crochet with 6 strands of un spun Lopi held together.
THE RIGHT MOOD
Don’t be hard on the Lopi… especially the un spun since it breaks easily. So knit in a relaxed and gentle way. If however it happens, don’t panic, just pull out the ends and lay them gently together or rub them a little bit between your palms. Knit on! With the plied versions the same is possible, just make the strands to different lengths and rub them together.