Strokkur Pullover

Here’s another knitting project I made: an awesome winter sweater with a traditional colourwork yoke!

strokkur icelandic pullover

It is scratchy as ever but I feel like this means it will last forever! When I started knitting this, it felt like knitting with steel wool. (Even the grey colour reminded me of steel wool!) It softened as I worked with the yarn and softened a bit after washing. I’ve already worn this sweater a few times before taking finished garment photos! It is so warm. It’s still scratchy, but not bad with a long sleeve tee shirt underneath.

strokkur icelandic pullover

Here’s a close-up of the yarn – you can see it’s quite hairy!
strokkur icelandic pullover - close up of Lett Lopi Yarn

The yarn is from Iceland, making this literally an Icelandic pullover. It’s Lett Lopi and I bought it online from Iceland. The shipping was as much as the yarn cost but the whole cost was about $40. Not bad for a pure wool Icelandic sweater.

strokkur icelandic pullover

This was one of those projects that as I worked on mine, I was super eager to see everyone else’s finished projects. Ever have a project like that? I kept checking to see other finished Strokkurs posted on Ravelry. (My Ravelry notes are here.)

strokkur icelandic pullover

This is also the most-worn sweater of all the sweaters I’ve knit this season. When I want to be warm, guaranteed, this is the sweater I wear. I’ve worn it hiking, cycling and to work. It fits really well, it’s long enough for pants but still looks good with skirts, and the neutral grey works with jeans, black, charcoal, everything! (Plus a little hint of turquoise, my favourite colour.)

strokkur icelandic pullover yoke detail

Mine ended up a little more snug that Ysolda’s modeled sample. I liked the relaxed fit of hers but I am even happier with the slim fit of mine. I like Ysolda’s logic about knitting a shorter yoke so there aren’t bubbles under the arms, and raising the shaping up above the natural waist. I like that it’s seamless and I like that all the yoke knitting happens at the end, so the whole time you’re looking forward to getting to the FUN part.

strokkur icelandic pullover

I love this sweater so much. Even when I take it off, the sweater itself stays warm. I’d totally make this one again! Maybe in browns and taupes? Forest green? Orange??

strokkur icelandic pullover

Really, there’s not much to say except that I loved this sweater pattern when I saw it, I loved knitting it up and I love the finished result. It’s the trifecta of project success: loving the design, loving the knitting process, and loving the finished result. Got to love those projects that you thoroughly enjoy from start to finish!

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59 Responses to Strokkur Pullover

  1. janet January 22, 2014 at 6:04 am #

    What a lovely sweater, Tasia.

  2. Annette Tirette January 22, 2014 at 6:09 am #

    Lovely! I went to Iceland about a month ago and was lucky enough to see Strokkur (the geyser) in real life, it was pretty awesome! I love how your sweater turned out!

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:45 am #

      Oh neat! Now that is cool. I looked it up to figure out the meaning of the name, how cool that you’ve actually been there! I’d love to visit Iceland.

      • Annette Tirette January 31, 2014 at 7:54 am #

        It was definitely worth it, I want to go back! The people were very friendly and a lot more open than we expected. They also have a great sense of humour!

  3. Rachel January 22, 2014 at 6:09 am #

    That’s look great! and fits perfect!!!!! You could send over to Maine…. Cause brrrrr! Polar Vortex!

  4. Gen January 22, 2014 at 6:11 am #

    Love it – particularly the length – I find most sweaters sit too short on me.

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:43 am #

      Yes, this is a nice length for wearing with pants. Another bonus of making your own sweaters, customizing the length!

  5. Aleksandra @ Liveaboard Takes the Suburbs January 22, 2014 at 6:24 am #

    Love love love! I spent 10 days in Iceland a few years ago and spent some time with commercial fisherman who wore sweaters like these — of course I had to have one! Our fixer’s mother knew someone who made them in her spare time and she sold me one for like $60 US and told me she could whip one out in a week while she watched TV at night.

    Not sure how yours is, but mine repels water. I used to wear it sailing a lot. Definitely needed a turtleneck underneath; like you say, they’re scratchy. But I love this project. It looks great on you and will be wonderful for years to come!

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:42 am #

      I haven’t noticed the water-repellency but am curious to try it out now. It rains here a lot, so when it warms up enough to go coatless, I’ll give it a go!

      • Aleksandra @ Liveaboard Takes the Suburbs January 28, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

        Try it! It won’t repel soaking rain, but on mine, drops just roll right off. Icelandic sheep apparently are all sorts of special. :)

        • Jennifer February 20, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

          Ragga Eiriksdottir (raggaknits on Ravelry) explains in her Craftsy class (The Top-Down Icelandic Sweater) that lopi is both warm and water repellent because strands of both the undercoat and the outer coat of Icelandic sheep are twisted together to make lopi. The insulating under coat strand provides the warmth and the outer coat strand makes it water repellent.

          Love your sweater! I’m getting ready to start one myself! Oh, and Craftsy occasionally has some good discounts on the very same lopi yarn you used.

  6. Suzie January 22, 2014 at 6:25 am #

    This is so beautiful. Another project that makes me wish I had the stamina to learn to knit!

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:42 am #

      Knitting does take more stamina than sewing, but then again, there’s no real way to speed up knitting a sweater, so it forces me to just keep going, one stitch at a time, and enjoy it. Before you know it there’s half a sweater on your lap! If you love the idea of knitting, try it, I’ve only been knitting for three years now and truly love it. Both the actual knitting and the finished projects!

  7. Samina January 22, 2014 at 6:27 am #

    Ooh, that looks cozy. I’ve got a ton of Jo Sharp that would be perfect for that. I just added the pattern to my shopping cart, thank you very much.

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:40 am #

      Any time! Happy to share patterns I liked that had a good result. :)

  8. Ashley January 22, 2014 at 6:29 am #

    Soooo pretty! and your stitches are so even and perfect throughout all that colorwork! You’re really making me want to tackle some colorwork projects this year :)

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:40 am #

      Colourwork is so fun! Especially on a design like this, where you’re eagerly anticipating getting to the colour part.

  9. Vairë Gwîr January 22, 2014 at 6:39 am #

    It looks gorgeous, the fit is impeccable and the yoke design is quite nice, but I hate hate HATE scratchy wool. I am sooo sensitive my neck would be all red within 30 seconds of wearing it =(

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:39 am #

      Oh yes, this is not the yarn for you then. I’m pretty immune to most scratchy wool but this one gets me a little at the neck and sometimes in the bends of my elbows, where the yarn hairs poke through my undershirt!

  10. linda January 22, 2014 at 6:44 am #

    I have knitted dozens of Lopi and Lopi lite sweaters.. They are definitely meant to be worn over something… They are warm, water repellant, and beautiful and scratchy…. a great outdoor sweater. I love the fitted nature of yours rather than the oversizing of most original Lopi patterns… the smallest bust sizes are generally finished at 40 in or more… you and Ysolda got it right!!

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:37 am #

      Water-repellant – that’s fantastic! I haven’t noticed that feature but then again I am usually wearing a coat too. Yes, I have a go-to grey longsleeve shirt that goes under this sweater, and even then it’s a V-neck, so the front of my neck can get itchy! I loved this feminine, slim take on a traditional sweater.

  11. Kelly January 22, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    I love it! The fit is fabulous and I really like how the colorwork looks in that fuzzy yarn. It sounds like a real workhorse of a sweater!

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:36 am #

      I think it will be!

  12. Malina January 22, 2014 at 7:06 am #

    Wow, I can imagine how you love that sweater because it looks truly great on you!
    I’d love to make a similar sweater for myself but am still terrified on fitting knit projects. But maybe one day :)

  13. Rebekah January 22, 2014 at 7:09 am #

    You are an amazingly fast knitter! Another beautiful sweater done in no time at all. I love Ysolda’s designs and have been following her endeavors since she came out with Liesl–which has been some time when I stop and think!

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:33 am #

      I did make this a while ago, but yes, I am getting a little bit faster! I love Ysolda’s work, all of the patterns I’ve made have been easy to follow, creatively designed and appealing.

  14. Islandspindler January 22, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    Use hair conditioner in the soaking water, softens up the yarn and takes away most of the itch! Learned this from Icelandic knitting teacher.

    • linda January 22, 2014 at 8:52 am #

      Wow… thanks for that tip!

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:29 am #

      Thanks for the tip! I used Eucalan and Soak, thinking that would be good enough, but I will try hair conditioner and see if that makes a difference!

  15. autumn January 22, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    browns WITH oranges would be great, aha!! what a great sweater! this is one i have faved. yours looks super nice and fits really well :)

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:32 am #

      Oh yes! Brown with cream and orange colourwork. That would be lovely for fall! I recommend this pattern, it’s well-written, easy to follow, with plenty of simple knitting for tv-watching and travel.

  16. Chantal January 22, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    I love this sweater! The style and the colours are so flattering on you. I’ve been wondering when this would show up on the blog since you were wearing it at Knit City. I may have to copy you and make one for myself in a less scratchy yarn :)

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:30 am #

      I know eh? Took me a while to get it photographed and posted. :) You can totally copy me, I don’t mind! It would work just as well in a less scratchy yarn I’m sure, just wouldn’t be exactly the same look.

  17. Loretta January 22, 2014 at 8:34 am #

    That is one gorgeous sweater, Tasia! It’s very striking.
    I wish I could knit properly.

  18. Miss Crayola Creepy January 22, 2014 at 9:10 am #

    It’s so beautiful!

  19. Rochelle New January 22, 2014 at 9:18 am #

    I love those colors together! I’m definitely not a prolific knitter by any means, and I haven’t tested this tip myself yet, but someone told me if you soak a sweater in water loaded with hair conditioner it will soften the yarn just like it does for hair! Might be worth a try? Such a pretty sweater shouldn’t be so itchy ;)

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:31 am #

      Thanks for the idea! I will give it a try, it can’t hurt right?

  20. maddie January 22, 2014 at 9:37 am #

    Great sweater Tasia, and I second Rochelle’s tip. I’ve heard of it too! I would love to hear if it actually works as I’ve never tried it before.

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 9:45 am #

      I’ll have to give it a try and report back!

  21. elle January 22, 2014 at 10:19 am #

    This is gorgeous! I’ve eyed some of her patterns before, but I think this might definitely be the one that finally tempts me to give knitting a jumper a go.

  22. French Toast Tasha January 22, 2014 at 10:39 am #

    Lovely job, and it fits and flatters you, it looks great!

    I have been thinking a LOT about sweaters that last vs. wool that is soft lately. Have you seen the Shepard and the Shearer project? That really got me thinking about the yarn we use and how it lasts. I got to touch a sweater that one of my knitting students bought 30 years ago, which is not pilly or felted even a little bit, but not exactly soft . . . I’m doing some investigating, and hoping to come up with some more concrete things to say about this very soon!

    • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      Interesting! I think about that too.. harder-wearing sweaters that last vs. soft but fragile. This is in the hard-wearing but not soft camp for sure! Thanks for the link. If I’d felt this yarn and not bought it online, I may not have chosen it, just like the stories in that article about people *saying* they want hard wearing yarn but not actually buying it. When you invest a lot of time making something, or when I do, anyways, I’d prefer it last. This is why I tend to buy the best quality yarns rather than inexpensive yarns in hopes that they will be long lasting. But this yarn is the opposite – about $20 for the entire sweater! And yet, it’s strong and durable and super super warm.
      Food for thought. I’d love to hear what yarns you discover that are built to last!

      • French Toast Tasha January 22, 2014 at 11:03 am #

        I totally agree, if I’m going to knit something by hand for heaven’s sake, I want it to last 20 years at least! I’ll definitely keep you posted on what I find out.

        • Tasia January 22, 2014 at 11:05 am #

          Awesome! That would be great. I’ll post on the durability of the sweaters I make, too, maybe after they’re been worn and washed. It’s useful to hear how yarn and materials hold up over time!

  23. CosIadoru January 22, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    Good job!!!It’s lovely:)

  24. Erin B January 22, 2014 at 11:10 am #

    Oh this is beautiful! I was just looking for the perfect first colorwork sweater for myself on ravelry yesterday. I think you’ve hit a winner! I will definently be working up this one in the near future.

  25. Breana January 22, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    im 17 have been sewing for 3 years, love it but knitting is not my best thing lol. i only make scarves i wish i could make more

  26. Nane January 22, 2014 at 11:46 am #

    Waw, I absolutely love it. Big fan of iceland I bought myself a handmade one on my first trip there. I love it even though it is scratchy and I believe will stay scratchy. To me it feels like walking around with a piece of Iceland on my shoulders :-) It really is a traditional style but the magic of it is that the tradition is living and current. It feels like every girl there knows how to knit those. I love that idea. People do really where those in all weather. Great stuff.
    You’ve made a great choice by knitting this and you made such a lovely one!

  27. Virginia January 22, 2014 at 3:43 pm #

    It looks really good. :-)

  28. Elise January 22, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    I love what you’ve done! I’m always cold, and would love to have something along the same lines. Maybe I missed an earlier post, but where can I find the pattern?

    • Erin B January 22, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

      If you follow Tasia’s link where it says “my ravelry notes are here” that will take you to her ravelry page where the pattern is listed. You can then click through to pattern name to the page with all the pattern info. Its available for ravelry download purchase for £5

  29. Sarai January 22, 2014 at 6:22 pm #

    Iceland is one of my favorite places in the world! Your sweater is gorgeous, Tasia! I love how well it fits you.

  30. indigorchid January 23, 2014 at 12:56 am #

    The fit is super! Love the colors, and love the stray hairs of the yarn too actually. So great to finish a project and be absolutely in love with it!

  31. Catherine January 23, 2014 at 4:33 am #

    This is a gorgeous sweater Tasia, well done. That pop of turquoise is a magic touch. It really suits you.

  32. Gulltop January 26, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    You made a really lovely sweater. And in such beautiful colours.

    The conditioner trick really works. Iceland wool is pretty similar to our Norwegian wool, and I usually rinse my knitted wool sweaters with conditioner after washing them. Wool is after all very similar to our own hair. I belive this sweater will keep you warm in 30 years if you don’t shrink it by washing too hard. I have a similar knitted cardigan I inherited from my mothers aunt. It was knitted in the 70’s and it still not worn out.

  33. Abi Casey February 2, 2014 at 10:58 pm #

    I love seeing your knitting projects, they really inspire me to try knitting myself. I’ve made a couple of infinity scarves/cowls (great for cycling late at night in the middle of winter!) but I’m a little terrified of taking the next step to make a cardigan. I love cute, cropped, colourful cardigans, but they’re so hard to find in shops, so it’s my goal to make them myself. Maybe this year I’ll get there!

  34. Meg the Grand February 11, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    It turned out beautifully! I love the colorwork on the yoke, and the fit is spot on. Well done!

  35. Meg February 11, 2014 at 9:09 am #

    It turned out beautifully! I love the colorwork in the yoke, and wool sweaters (though scratchy) are so SO warm! The fit looks great. Well done!