My favorite Yarn : Léttlopi is a ‘worsted weight’ yarn (medium) and garments knitted from it are comfortable to wear indoors or outdoors. During winter I like to wear my sweaters inside or when I am at the office, I love to wear them on hikes and forestwalks throughout the year. Lopi and Léttlopi (light lopi) is made from icelandic sheep wool. Álafosslopi is a bulky yarn type and is best suited for garments meant for colder days and harsher weather.
Lopapeysa (plural lopapeysur) is a compound word, from lopi, denoting the particular kind of unspun yarn traditionally used to make lopapeysur, and peysa means ‘sweater, jumper, pullover’. Thus the word literally means ‘sweater made of lopi’ or ‘wool sweater’ (“lopa”=wool, “peysa”=sweater) or Icelandic sweater.
Without sheep, Iceland would have been uninhabitable. When Viking settlers first arrived in Iceland in AD 874, they brought with them two breeds of domestic livestock, the Iceland Horse and Iceland Sheep.
As a breed, the Iceland sheep is unique – the purity of the strain has been protected by centuries of isolation and a total absence of contact with others. The wool it produces has no counterpart anywhere in the world. Evolving over 1,100 years of exposure to the sub-Arctic climate, Icelandic wool has a distinctive combination of outer and inner fibers. The outer fibers are long, glossy, tough and water resistant, while the inner ones are fine, soft and insulating, the combination resulting in a high resistance to cold and wet weather. The fleece of Icelandic sheep has are its earthy colors, black, grey and brown as well as the usual white. Together, these create the distinctive look of Icelandic knitwear, one of the best-known examples of which is the Lopapeysa.
The Lopapeysa is characterized by a yoke design – that is, a wide decorative circle surrounding the neck opening. The sweater is knitted in a non-varying circle, meaning that there is no difference between the front and the back. The majority of the sweater is knitted using circular needles with shaping of the shoulders happening by gradually decreasing to match the stitch-count of the yoke pattern. The yarn used, “lopi”, is made from the wool of Icelandic sheep. Lopi yarn has 4 variants, one if which is unspun. That variant, called ‘plötulopi’ is more airy than spun yarn and as a consequence it has better insulation properties than other more treated wools. This also makes ‘plötulopi’ more difficult to handle than spun lopi and other spun yarns, especially for those new to the material. Icelandic wool has earned an international reputation for its warmth, lightness and insulation abilities so that even when wet, it keeps you warm.