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!

On Floors and Fugl

Greetings, Gentle Readers;

It's been a while since I posted, and to those of you who noticed and sent me good wishes, I offer my heartfelt gratitude. Having sensed a disturbance in the Force, you correctly guessed that something was amiss with me.

Truth is, I got sick. Go-to-the-hospital-for-a-month sick.

But the good news is I survived, and I'm better now. Much, much better, in fact. And the improvement continues, so I expect to be back up to my usual high jinx before long. 

While I have been on the mend, we took the opportunity to revisit The Flooring Situation:

You may remember that many moons ago, I hatched the Cunning Plan to recover the ground floor of my house with paper mache. That worked out better than I could have expected; actually holding up for years longer than it had any right to. Until the heavy traffic areas started to peel. And were badly patched. And then got held together with duct tape:

Hello Kitty duct tape, to be precise. We are not savages, after all.

But having duct tape on a floor whose surface was already a "short-term" stopgap was really keeping me up at night, surprising nobody.

So at long last, we finally hired some delightful fellas, who in only two days installed what we call "Grownup Floors" for us:

Bailey, like the rest of us, approves. We like to run in our (handknit) socks on it just because it's hard to stop. Lindsay thinks we should put socks on the dogs and make them race. But then someone would have to knit 8 small socks. Not necessarily a dealbreaker.

And then I felt (nearly) recuperated enough to hang some big, sexy baseboards. I got a nail gun (Phillip expressed misgivings about my being so armed) and made the family help. We all now share a deep appreciation for the finish carpenters of the world. Crawling around on ones hands and knees to install, patch and paint 200 linear feet of sexy baseboards will do that for you. Funny thing about baseboards: They are totally unnoticeable unless they are absent. They really blend into the landscape when you have them, but if you don't, it's like a mouthful of missing teeth. Yep. We have worked our butts (knees?) off for something we will now ignore. Thanks, home-ownership!

In better news, Lookit what came in the mail today! I found an incredible bargain on limited colors HERE.  

I've been infected by a Lopi-Virus, which malady I am enjoying immensely. Care to contract the bug? 

Here is a gorgeous pattern called "Fugl", by Vedis Jonsdotter (Istex Lopi #25, 2006), now sadly out of print. The original was designed for the bulky-weight Alafloss Lopi, and includes a zipper, as you can see.

I'm going to rework it for the worsted-weight Lett Lopi, add optional short rows at the back of the neck, and change to a button placket. And of course, mine will be in the zany Disco colors you see above, rather than the totally-sane neutrals pictured. Since I feel it's a loss to knitting that it's no longer in print, I plan to publish the pattern when I'm done. Thoughts?

Thanks again to those who missed me. Stay tuned for more on Fugl Redux!