Plötulopi – pure Icelandic goodness!
Although I’ve yet to pronounce its name correctly, I have fallen in love with a new yarn. Plötulopi Unspun Icelandic Wool Yarn is sort of a mystery at first – the plastic covered plates sit inconspicuously enough on their shelf, confounding curious customers… Is it for spinners? How do you use it? Is it too fragile to knit with? Allow me to answer some of these common questions, as well as introduce an easy project that can help you get acquainted with this versatile, affordable yarn: the Down Home Special - Leg Warmer Pattern
Plötulopi Unspun Icelandic Wool Yarn is in fact an unspun yarn. It knits up to an (approximately) worsted weight gauge on its own, but it’s common to use this yarn held doubled or even tripled for more bulky gauges and interesting color blending effects. No matter what the gauge is, you’ll be amazed at the sturdy fabric this yarn becomes. The long staple length adds to its strength and fuzziness, and the extra loftiness of this pure Icelandic wool makes it incredibly warm without added weight.
Playing with plies is easy with Plötulopi, as each plate can easily be knit from either end. This is especially convenient when wanting to double one color, as you can pull from both the inside and outside of the plate at once. For the Down Home Special - Leg Warmer Pattern, I held the yarn doubled; first two strands of Color A, then one strand of each color, followed by two strands of Color B.
The Down Home Special - Leg Warmer Pattern knits up quickly on size US 10 double-pointed needles. Smaller needles make a more snug ribbing, but there is no other shaping involved. I mentioned earlier that one plate of each color is all you need to make a pair of leg warmers, but I’d like to add that by the time I finished this pair I had only used about half the yarn. I didn’t try it myself, but you might actually be able to make two sets from just two plates of Plötulopi Unspun Icelandic Wool Yarn.
The Down Home Special - Leg Warmer Pattern offers two sizes: S/M and L/XL. Surprisingly stretchy ribbing holds them up nicely, so you can choose to wear them pulled up or scrunched down. These are great layering pieces for fall and winter. They can be worn tucked into your boots, over your boots, over jeans or with a dress. The simple design invites your own creative color ideas and all of the slightly heathered hues look beautiful next to each other. What about leaving out the middle stripe for a more two-toned look? Or using both colors throughout for a rustic heathered fabric? So many options!
As you can imagine, this yarn is prone to breaking. Something that initially made me take a step back, this ended up being no big deal. Yes, the yarn broke while I was working on it – sometimes just from an overly vigorous tug from the center pull! But once I saw how easy it was to splice the ends back together, I didn’t mind at all. Want to know a simple way to do that? Lick the palm of your hand, then place each end in it, overlapping them. Rub your hands together vigorously – this lightly felts the broken yarn back together, and you almost can’t even tell it happened. Sometimes a little twist can help add strength, too – I’ve been told that some folks like to hand-wind the plate into a ball before using, as the winding alone gives it just the right amount of twist to suit their needs.
Plötulopi Unspun Icelandic Wool Yarn may be new to us, but we’ve been carrying the bulky Lopi Alafoss Icelandic Wool Yarn and lighter Lettlopi (Lite Lopi) Icelandic Wool Yarn for years and years. All of these affordable Icelandic favorites stand the test of time. Click here to check out some of our other lovely Lopi stuff!
Related items of interest: