My Icelandic Sweater

The pattern for My Icelandic Sweater was first published in my book, Icelandic Color Knitting. It is now available as a single pattern, with much more sizes, a closer fit, an optional waist shaping and a new variation on the yoke design. Instructions are for a sweater or a cardigan with various finishing options. 

Yarn used: Álafoss lopi or equivalent chuncky weight yarn


My Icelandic Sweater Pattern

6 €


My Icelandic Sweater KIT (wool without pattern)

from 40 € to 60 €




The pattern story

Hélène tells us more about the pattern

My Icelandic Sweater first appeared in my book “Icelandic Color Knitting: using Rose patterns” about Old shoe inserts worn in soft shoes made of fish and sheep skin in the past centuries in Iceland. The inserts were knitted using Icelandic intarsia in garter stitch, a tradition unique to Iceland.  This Icelandic sweater* however is one of the rare patterns in the book where I didn’t use Icelandic intarsia but stranded knitting with a very colourful floral motif as seen in the inserts.

The inserts that inspired the sweater are preserved at the Skógar Museum in South Iceland and represent a flowerpot motif with 8 colors, 6 being used simultaneously in the same row. Not a good idea in stranded knitting, as it would result in an absurdly thick and rigid fabric! So, instead, I knitted stranded knitting with three colors and embroidered more colors afterwards with Swiss darning (duplicate st).

This updated version offers much more sizes than in the original pattern, ranging from XS to 3X, and a more modern fit with an optional waist shaping for women. I also propose a new variation of the motif (option B) with no embroidery, two less colors, and with the insertion of little motifs in between the big motifs, thus avoiding very long floats. It makes it easier to work and less likely to lack elasticity around the shoulders as it is often when working with three colors.

Instructions are both for a sweater or a cardigan with different finishing options (rib neckline or not, zipper, buttonholes).

The designer

Hélène Magnússon is a leading knit designer in Iceland, the author of many books about traditional Icelandic knitting and the editor of The Icelandic Knitter. She likes to put a new spin on Icelandic traditions. She began her professional life as a lawyer in Paris before she made a complete life change and moved to Iceland, where she studied textile and fashion at Iceland Academy of the Arts and worked as a hired girl in a sheep farm and a mountain guide. The varied skills she learned in those early years richly inform the amazing hiking and knitting tours she passionately guides in collaboration with tour operator Icelandic Mountain Guides / Iceland Rovers. 


Wool, sizes  & info

The pattern

Sizes: XS(S,M,L) XL,2X,3X

Sweater or cardigan (steeked) with optional darted waist for women. A size M woman would be a size S man. Recommended ease: 0-5 cm/ 0-2”.

Finished measurements
Bust: 71(80,89,98)114,123,132 cm/ 28.5(32,35.5,39)45.5,49,53”
Hips: 74(83,92,101)117,126,135 cm/ 29.5(33,37,40.5)47,50.5,54”
Waist: 61(71,80,89)104,114,123 cm/ 24.5(28.5,32,35.5)41.5,45.5,49”
Body length: 36(38,40,43)46,49,52 cm/ 14.5(15,16,17)18.5,19.5,21”
Sleeve length: 46(47,48,49)50,51,52 cm/ 18.5(19,19.25,19.5)20,20.5,21”
Wrist: 23(23,25,25)26,26,28 cm / 9(9,10,10)10.5,10.5,11”
Upper arm: 29(31,32,34)35,37,38 cm/ 11.5(12.5,13,13.5)14,15,15.25”

Gauge: 10 cm/4” = 13 sts and 18 rows on needle 6 mm/US 10

Wool: Álafoss lopi from Ístex, 100% new wool, 100g/skein = 100 m/114 yds

MC: #0051 (white sweater) or #0052 (dark cardigan): 5(6,6,7)7,8,8 skeins


Motif B: #0052 (or #9973 cardigan), #1233, #1238 (or #0047 cardigan), #9965, #9966, 1 skein each

Motif A: like B plus #9964 and #1238, 1 skein each.

Material: for the cardigan, zipper or buttons

Needles: circular needle 6 mm/US 10 (and 4,5 mm/US 7 for the rib collar option). Magic loop is used for smaller diameters but of course you can use DPN’s.

Crochet hook 5 mm/ US H/8 (cardigan border)

Notions: darning needle, markers, 4 stitch holders, optional zipper or buttons

Techniques: The sweater is worked in the round. Body and sleeves are worked in the round then combined at the underarms and the yoke is knitted in the round in stranded knitting. The cardigan is steeked (cut open).

Knitting in the round, stranded knitting (2 or 3 colors) duplicate st, increases, decreases, kitchener st, steek.

Pattern: once you've made your paiement, you will receive an email with a link to download the pattern PDF. We don't send patterns by snailmail.

Kit: includes the wool. Kit doesn’t include the needles and notions, nor other material. Shipping costs are not included in the price. Pattern is not included in the kit and should be purchased separately. 

Errata: no mistake was found in this pattern