Sunday, October 23, 2011

Yoked

For knitters, one of the staggering things about the streets of Reykjavik is that they are so full of people wearing handknits that you almost stop noticing. The lopapeysa is everywhere. What's more, it's on everyone. The hip and the dowdy, the young and the old, the ample and the spindly all hike about with the signature patterned yoke around their shoulders.

On day one, spotting them was sport enough. "Over there," Stephen would hiss in my ear, "by the coffee shop." Mike would snap a surreptitious picture with his iPad, if a photo taken by waving a large, flashy piece of electronic equipment in the air can be said to be surreptitious.

By the end of the trip, we had moved along from mere sighting to identifying according to which Lopi book they'd been published in. "Number 26," I'd say, casually nodding my head in the direction of a passing specimen. "That's four this morning," Stephen would note. Stephen is good at counting things. Mike would snap a surreptitious picture with his iPad, if a photo taken by waving a large, flashy piece of electronic equipment in the air can be said to be surreptitious.

You can attribute the universal popularity of the lopapeysa to many things. It's warm. It's handsome. It's durable. You can buy the yarn for it at the grocery store for thirty bucks.

But that's not the whole story. It also turns out the damned things are addictive to knit. I started my Vetur three days ago with a swatch to test the colors. I have already finished the yoke,

Front Yoke

and I'm having trouble setting it aside so that I can eat, sleep, bathe, engage in human contact.

Yoke Back

I had to force myself to put it down so I could photograph it and write this. In fact, I'm tempted to stop writing immed

70 comments:

Yvonne said...

Knit on, Franklin! I wouldn't be able to put it down, either. My fingers are twitching. . .

Pat Salvatini said...

I'm loving your color choices.

Slip, Knit... Meditate said...

That looks absolutely Fabulous..Love the colour combo...Mine will be on the needles soon...

Jeremy said...

Oh my, I want your resources and knitting skills. Those colors are gorgeous together. Absolutely amazing. Sad cowboy.

Isis said...

Could we please have an Icelandic knitting festival and call it lopapeysapalooza?

sandi said...

Gorgeous color combination, Franklin!

Anonymous said...

Be glad you live in Chicago, where a sweater as warm as a lopapeysa can actually be worn frequently. Not so for me in California! The only yarn I bought in the Alafoss factory shop was sock yarn. (I did buy a beautiful Alafoss blanket, though. Do they still have those?)
-- Gretchen

Karen said...

mmmmm, pretty

Susan Hamson said...

You are inspiring!

Emily said...

Oh, those colors!!!

Kristín Hrund said...

I just LOVE those colours... a very unusual but a really beautiful combination!

Cheryl S. said...

Fabulous colors!

Anonymous said...

The colors are wonderful. Hurry up I want to see it finished.

Eileen said...

That's gorgeous. And you make me want to run upstairs and start putting together a colorwork project RIGHT NOW and to hell with getting the house ready for the appraiser.

Anonymous said...

How clever of you to have found a dress form that fits in your suitcase. I wish I had one.

Penny said...

Great colors. You are inspiring. All of a sudden, I want to chuck my current project and find an icelandic sweater to knit from the top down!

Lord knows I got the yarn!

Sally M said...

my goodness, that is so lovely! And the colors are really delicious.

kshotz said...

Love it! It looks great Franklin....I wouldn't be surprised if we don't hear from you again until it is completed. The question is, will the next one already be cast on?

Jennifer D said...

The colors are fabulous! Keep knitting - can't wait to see the final photos :)

Peppermint Mocha Mama said...

You have super human willpower - Then again, I probably would have been on a bender with Dolores by now because color working gives me fits... lol.

Anonymous said...

That is one. luscious. yoke.

twinsetellen said...

About 3 decades ago I knit 3 in about 6 months. Now you have me itching to knit another...yours is fabulous.

Knitspingirl said...

Beautiful. Loving the way your colours are positively "singing" together.
BTW my word verification for this comment is "moestria" which I'm seeing as "maestro". Lol!

Linda L. in WI (met you in the back room of the Sow's Ear) said...

I told you that you'd love Iceland. :D

LindaV said...

Is it possible to kinnear someone with an iPad? Discuss. (I'm assuming you can knit and talk at the same time.)

Gorgeous colors btw!

Mel said...

$60?! Um, sweetie, I paid about $26 for my yarn at the Álafoss store. And that's not counting the kilo plus of plötulopi that's still waiting for me to suss out exactly how I want to knit it up. Or the lovely buttons I got.

Franklin said...

You're right, Mel. Not 60, but 30. I misread my receipt when I was putting my post together and added in a bunch of Einband that I bought at the same time. You know more about Iceland than I can ever possibly hope to. Mea culpa.

JoAnn said...

I can't stand it. $30 for wool for a man's sweater? Really, in Connecticut you could hardly make a child's sweater for that. Much knashing of teeth.

Lynn in Tucson said...

The colors are perfection indeed. Love them!

Sally M said...

So why are we all not living in Iceland with those kind of wool prices? Well, there is that sort of cold thing....

Heidi said...

Icelandic sweaters are indeed very very addictive! I love the colour combo too - I used the same purple in a version of Riddari and remember there were so many beautiful colours in that one skein, you could stare at it for hours. I can't wait to see your finished sweater - gorgeous! :)

RavID: Purlfisher

shannonstoney said...

I love knitting the yoke part of these sweaters, but the plain part at the bottom sort of bores me.

Roxie said...

Having finished the yoke, you are now at the part of the sweater where you can knit in the movies. The Three Musketeers is good.

Stephen said...

I feel like the characters in the TV show Lost. "We have to go back to the island!"

I fear for the first person I encounter on the street wearing a sweater. I could jump them, pin their shoulders down with my knees and yell, "LOPAPEYSA!" while shedding tears of recognition.

Bonnita said...

Beautiful! I love the color choices you changed.

Seanna Lea said...

This looks amazing and I wouldn't be able to stop either. I already have plans that my next steeked sweater (because I prefer cardigans) will use a non-superwash wool, so I can have it even easier by not needing to machine sew it together.

Claudia said...

Wow. 'nuf said.

abigailgoben@gmail.com said...

Oh that's pretty! I can see how that could be addictive.

mbcrui knitting olympics said...

I do 4 to 7 yoked sweaters a year (depending on who I get for Christmas). People (well, my mother and my children) start requesting them for next Christmas the previous Jan. This year my mother said "I'd like a tan cardigan" and my 11 year old said "I want one for the ski race in Jan so everyone can see me!" My husband says "Nothing too bright"... They are addictive.

Patti said...

I can see how it would be addictive. What beautiful colors..just keep knitting, we can't wait to see it finished!

Lucky Lindey said...

I never imagined I'd want to move to iceland, but that grocery store picture makes it tempting...

WonderMike said...

Now that I have an iPhone, I will be *slightly* less obvious with the photo taking. Slightly.

Your lopapeysa yoke? STUNNING!!! I can't wait to start mine.

I looked for the wool section at the Berkeley Bowl last night and I couldn't find it. Packing for Iceland toot sweet.

Anonymous said...

Hence the old saying, "...one more row!"

Caroline said...

I used to knit Lopi sweaters on commission in the early 80s. Most of my customers were young Navy officers who would get shipped off to Adak, Alaska every 18 months or so for a 6-month tour. They all claimed that the sweaters were warmer than their Navy-issued parkas.

I could churn a custom-fitted one out in two weeks. I thought I was a fast knitter until my best friend reminded me that I was using "big yarn on big needles." She really took the wind out of my sails with that!

Sara said...

You're just so darned cute...Can I adopt you as my 3rd son? Then you can knit for me, too!

Anonymous, too said...

Tom, Harry &/or Dolores: You may have to hold a Victorian knitting pattern in front of Franklin to bring him back to consciousness.

Franklin: I hate to tell you this, but your Adorable Niece (TM) Abigail is going to "permanently borrow" that sweater someday. She won't be able to resist those colors. I know my nieces couldn't!

leFiligree said...

love what youve done with the yoke. cant you have someone else do all the other things for you? at least until youve published the pattern for this one here?

=Tamar said...

Purple bunnies!

Kaatja said...

this and previous post will make me want to move to Iceland :)
you made me laugh. Please, eat!

Kaatja said...

this and previous post will make me want to move to Iceland :)
you made me laugh. Please, eat!

Bonnie said...

I daresay you aren't going to read this comment since you'll be too busy with charts to look at a computer screen (and I can't blame you), but the colors you chose are really, really lovely.

knit happens said...

When you first posted the picture of the black and white Vetur from Lopi 28 I thought "What? Really?" But now I see: purple and more. Ooh.

Anonymous said...

One year I made all the fathers in the family Lopis, and all of their children Lopis for a total of 12 sweaters, I was knitting in the round walking around town. It was wild on Christmas morning.

Shelda said...

Wow, those colors are stunning!

Small Town Knit Guy, Rusty Boyd said...

I just learned "Two hands, two colors" this weekend with Sally Melville and am dying to try my first project. I have the yarn set aside at home to begin this evening. I am scared I will be addicted also.

Gecika said...

Your posts have made me start craving yoke sweaters.. I've never knit one before and I'm searching for a decent top-down pattern. Thanks for launching a new obsession!

Anne O'Nymous said...

Remarkable work, Mr. Habit! Pretty Aryan Boy in the previous post won't stand a chance when you are photographed in all your wooly splendor.

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous! I love the colors you picked, too. Can't wait to see the final product!

yarnyMarni said...

Love, love, love the color choices... I want one!!!

sivilce nasıl geçer said...

i like this

Denise said...

Ooooo, Franklin it's so absolutely beautiful! I'm sure you will look fabulous in it!

Another Yvonne said...

Grrr. You have made me want to knit a Lopi sweater for myself, and I just KNOW that it make me look matronly.

Yvonne said...

Okay, Franklin. How many of those things have you knit by now? Are you ready to come up for air yet? We miss you. . .

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