Loopy for Lopi

Thank you so much, Gentle Readers, for your kind words of love and welcome back. It's so nice to have been missed!

Would you believe I'm already two whole skeins into my Fugl? Of course you would.

I'm thinking I might need to get one of these, just to slow me down a bit.

Notice that luxuriously wide steek? It's 7 sts! The pattern only calls for 2 (two!) sts in the steek, both of which are purled. I have no idea why this is. Do you? It's just not enough acreage for me, especially at the worsted or bulky gauge, to allow for different securing techniques. Most of the Lopi instructions I've seen assume a zipper will be installed, which makes things more difficult (or at least they would be for me), even with a machine-secured steek. Because I'm planning a crocheted steek (doesn't need to be covered on the WS, so it's less bulky) and a knitted placket, I'm going big on the steek width. I might consider 6 or even 4 sts if I planned to machine-sew and cover it, but when the wool is this sticky and forgiving, it just begs for a crochet one. 

My Fugl-Mania started last February, when my BFF brought this to Madrona. We secured and cut the steek in the hotel mezzanine, as one does:

The hapless bystanders were shocked and amazed. The undaunted Mrs. E took it all in stride though. Aren't her colors gorgeous? I have been haunted by this cardigan ever since.

I didn't want to brazenly copy my BFF's sweater, but I couldn't get it out of my head. I took myself shopping on Ravelry for an alternative project, landing on this little number, which I banged out in the hospital last month:

It's called Waves, by Sigridur Birna Gunnarsdottir. That's right: I actually gave myself permisssion to knit somebody else's design! It's super easy and SO much fun.  Find it HERE . I couldn't believe there were no other Ravelry projects yet when I found it.

Here you can see the finished crochet steek edge, turned to the inside like a seam allowance. Now you can tell why that extra width in the steek is so important: There has to be something to turn under! And no, it isn't stitched down or anything; the knitted placket adjacent makes it fold under, and the sticky yarn welds itself to the WS with time. Good job, Sheep.

Back here I made 4 short rows, between the lighter green band of lice and the final course of waves. It only added about 1/2" to the height of the back neck, but what a world of difference it makes to wear.

 Yes, I found buttons with waves on them to match. These are the things that allow me to sleep at night. Oh, and I may have broken e-bay. Sorry.

Yes, I found buttons with waves on them to match. These are the things that allow me to sleep at night. Oh, and I may have broken e-bay. Sorry.

So repeating the cute rolled edges from the hem, cuffs and neckline on the placket was pretty sassy, but I was left with little open notches at the corners, where the horizontal and vertical knitting met. It made my teeth itch, so I inserted extra pieces of "roll" to close the gaps. Fiddly? Yeah. I (may) have a problem.

My Waves cardigan taught me some great things about Lopi yarn, and the dreamy yoke sweaters you can make with it. But my Fugl itch still hadn't been properly scratched. When I finally succumbed and set out to buy the pattern, you can imagine my shock and dismay to learn it was out of print. What a crime! Lost to knitting before I could ever get my grubby hands on it.

That's when I decided it would be my crusade to release it back to the wild. Having reverse-engineered the chart from Mrs. E's example, I have recalculated the gauge for lighter-weight LettLopi yarn (the original was designed for bulky-weight Alafloss). Other changes will include adding the wider steek, Japanese short rows at the back neck, and a button placket. I'm also adding an extra stitch at either side of the steek, to keep any of the yoke decreases from ending up right in the column where I need to pick up the placket stitches (Thanks for the tip, Mrs. E!).

Knitting with Lopi is seriously transformative. You gotta try this!