Knitting a Colorwork Sweater in Plotulopi

Lopi sweater sleeve cuff and yoke pattern

For a while now I’ve been a bit lost as to what to knit next. I began the thrummed mittens and lost interest (because I never wear mittens in Florida) and finished up my Meadow Moon sweater, and now… what?

Colorwork / Fair Isle is my love, and I have all these plates of Plotulopi so lets use them! I’m still trying to use up stash yarn, and combine the yarn with a good pattern.

Plotulopi Frost Grass green plates of yarn
Frost Grass plotulopi plates

I dug out the Lopi 40 book because I have some Lopi yarn to use up. After knitting the Farfuglar pullover, and Clacks mittens, I have light blue and a tiny bit of white. I had ordered some rust orange (Apricot) Lettlopi as well as a brown color.

After skimming through the Lopi 40 book, which has many lovely projects, I decided on a vest. It is shown on children, but has sizes for adults. I figure I can do colorwork around the bottom, to the underarms, as the pattern does, and then finish with solid plotulopi. (It is a bottom up vest.) But I want to choose my own charts and colors.

Yarn Being Used

Because I have a lot of Plotulopi in “Frost Grass” green, that is my main color. The main contrast color is Apricot Lettlopi with a bit of Acorn brown and Air Blue Lettlopi in the center of the flower motif.

The “frost grass” color is really lovely, and I think a perfect name for this green yarn.

The Plotulopi is unspun and breaks easily. I must unwind it before pulling to knit. It does spit splice together well, which I’ve done when it unexpectedly breaks. I was worried about doing the colorwork and having to carry this yarn, but so far, it’s been okay. I am very careful not to tug on it.

The Lettlopi does not have this problem. I’m unsure how easy colorwork knitting would be with only Plotulopi yarn. Seems like it would be difficult. Unknitting, or tinking, can be tricky.

Alice Starmore’s charts for knitting book

Finally, I settled on a pattern, which was taken from Alice Starmore’s “Charts for Color Knitting” book (This is an affiliate link to Amazon). I will knit the floral pattern for the length of the body and the top will be solid green.

The Knitting

I cast on for the body ribbing (knitting bottom up) with green, using a size 4US needle – 195 stitches. My ribbing choice is not typical 2×2 and needed to be divisible by 5. The ribbing is from my Gansey knitting book and is more of a 2×3 rib. It goes like this:

Row 1: K2, *[P2,K3] repeat * until last 3 stitches, P2, K1

Row 2: P1, K1 *[P2, K1, P1, K1] repeat * to last 3, P2, K1

This wasn’t a good idea for this yarn. A normal 1×1 or 2×2 would have been fine.

Staka vest in Plotulopi

Then, after switching to the main needle size 7US, I reduced the stitches from 195 to 192 and began the divider row of little squares in orange (Apricot). The floral pattern is in 32 stitch repeats, which also fits into 192 stitches – I should have gone up a needle size here because this area of the sweater pulls in a bit.

The flower center three rows are brown with orange, brown with blue, and brown with orange. Then I go back to using green as the MC.

After finishing all the colorwork, I am still at 192 stitches, for size large, and will continue following the pattern from the book.

The Vest Becomes a Sweater

Unfortunately I have swapped out my vest for a bottom up sweater. I cannot understand the vest knitting directions. But I do know how to knit a bottom up sweater. Farfuglar was knit with similar yarn and in a similar size, so I intend to follow those directions and include some colorwork along the way. This sweater will end up being a total experiment! The Farfuglar sweater does not include short rows for the back, and I will definitely be including short rows.

I know that colorwork can make for a tighter fabric so I’ll have to be careful there. I really would have loved to have a vest, but I need a pattern with better directions for my first try.

Now I have continued on with a new chart motif to make the body longer.

Vest becoming a sweater

Attaching the Body and Sleeves

I wanted to use more orange, but was running out with only one skein left. The sleeves became solid green after the cuff area colorwork.

The neck is a simple k1tbl, p – around for about an inch. Then, I was finally able to try it on. The sweater is tight around the body due to all that colorwork. I have the underarm grafting to do and some ends to weave in. Once it’s washed and blocked, I will see how it fits.

Wearing the Sweater

Finally in January 2023 I got some photos of myself wearing the Lopi Sweater. It is very comfortable. The flower colorwork area is a smidge tighter than I would like. If only my belly would shrink a little. Anyone else wish this?

If you are wondering about the comfort of this wool against the skin, I find it to be fine. Yes, I suppose it is a bit scratchy but I don’t mind it at all. Wool is a bit too hot – okay, a lot too hot – for Florida, but occasionally we have some cooler days.


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3 thoughts on “Knitting a Colorwork Sweater in Plotulopi

  1. Pingback: Knitting I’ve Done in 2022 – New England's Narrow Road

  2. Pingback: The Chunky Turtleneck Sweater in Alafosslopi – New England's Narrow Road

  3. Pingback: How to Spit Splice Yarn and Make Knitting Simpler – New England's Narrow Road

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