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 what I have on hand, 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 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.

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.

More about knitting


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2 thoughts on “Knitting a Colorwork Sweater in Plotulopi

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

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

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