I recently returned from Iceland, where I was unbelievably inspired by gorgeous Icelandic sweater patterns, or Lopapeysa. The Lopapeysas are charactaerized by beautifully patterned yokes done in a charming mixture of colors. The wool the Icelandic use, lopi, is made from Icelandic sheep and contains both wind hairs and fleece. Lopi is remarkable in that it is not spun, so contains more air, giving it better insulation properties.
I was tempted to buy one of the Lopapeysa for myself for the chilly winter that is sure to come. How I want to be lounging in the ski lodge after a long day in one of these beauties! I had to forgo this dream for now due to the price tag. As a result, I came home determined to find some lovely Icelandic Sweater patterns to make one for myself (or maybe for a kiddo), and so begins my hunt. I’ve collected twelve fabulous looking Icelandic sweater patterns here. WARNING: I have included a FEW patterns in this collection that do not come in English! So sad, but here they are for inspiration’s sake! Enjoy!
Twelve Icelandic Sweater Patterns
Loki 2.0 by Ragga Eiríksdóttir (English!)
Both the top photo of the blue and orange sweater, and this neutral version, are Loki 2. This is a simpler color pattern than you see in typical Icelandic Sweater patterns, but, as you know, I love simplicity. Both colorways, the blue/orange above and the neutral are gorgeous. Ragga uses the top-down method to knit this sweater, which is not typical for Icelandic knitters when making their Lopapeysas. Also, this is a great sweater to try steeking for the first time!
Birta by Bára Þórarinsdóttir (English!)
This bottom up cardigan sweater is very typical of what you see in Iceland. In addition, I love the cream base and mixture of gray and taupe neutrals. Beautiful!
Meltwater Pullover by Kate Gagnon Osborn (English!)
Not completely traditional, this Icelandic sweater reinterpretation by Kate is done in Fibre & Co Savannah, a wool blend with cotton, linen, and soya fibers. Worked bottom-up with a circular yoke, the range of blues is gorgeous.
Frost by Unnur Eva Arnarsdóttir (English!)
I almost keeled over from cuteness when I saw this sweater by Unnur. The gray and pink is adorable, but the sweet pink detail at the bottom ribbing truly pushes it over the edge! Best of all, this sweater ranges from size 1 up to size 12 for kiddos. So, pick your favorite niece or nephew and start knitting!
Brodir minn Ljonshjarta by Eva Mjöll (Icelandic only)
Sadly, this pattern comes only in Icelandic. But I do love it so! I am inspired by the mixture of gray and mustard and cream! Plus, the styling is to die for!
Fugl by Védís Jónsdóttir (English!)
Fugl is bird in Icelandic. While I don’t see birds suggested in this pattern, I find the sweater charming. This sweater is very typical of what I saw while traveling. Knit it from the bottom up, in the round, and steek it for a cardigan. Finally, this sweater also comes in women’s sizes.
Blossi Icelandic lopi sweater/lopapeysa by Sarah Dearne (English!)
Yes! All the cuteness right here. I can’t take that smile. The cream base allows the yoke to shine, while the mixture of raspberry yarns is so pleasing to the eye. Knit this pattern in the round for kids ages 2 to 8.
Islandsgenser by Vilde Sofie (Norwegian only!)
This sweater really got to me. Most of all, I love the detail at the sleeves and ribbing. Just lovely! Unfortunately, this pattern comes in only Norweigan. On the positive side, it’s a free pattern, so if you know Norweigian or want to give it ye ole college try with Google Translator, let me know how it goes. Again, I love the mixture of mustard and cream coupled with the gorgeous gray! Adding yellow to these traditional sweaters brings a ray of sunshine to them, and as a result makes a very happy me!
Særós by G. Dagbjört Guðmundsdóttir
This sweater has finer detail in the pattern than I typically saw in Iceland, lending a delicacy to the overall feel. Særós is a nearly-seamless yoke sweater, knit in the round from the bottom up. Some stitches under the arm are joined with the kitchener stitch.
Atlas by Jared Flood (English)
I remember this sweater pattern when it came out a couple years ago–absolutely adorable. Knit Atlas from the bottom up, in the round. Steeking instructions available if you want to make a cardigan of it. To which I say, yes!!
Grettir by Jared Flood (English!)
What a fabulous yoke by Jared Flood. This sweater is also pictured on the gentleman up at the top of this blog post. This sweater is knit from the bottom up in the round, and comes in both women’s and men’s sizes. You’ll also find an adorable turtleneck version. Amber from Fancy Tiger knit this version above, and she did a beautiful job!
Pullover by Álafoss (Icelandic only)
Finally, this one got me with that beautiful blue base color. I think this sweater would be stunning on certain blue eyed girl I know around here. And, I really like how the pattern comes together around the yoke. Unfortunately, this is another one that is only in Icelandic. But, I say take the color inspiration and find a pattern you love to make this blue beauty come to life!
Now, the only thing left is to find myself a bunch of extra time and another vacation to knit one of these babies! Have you knit any traditional Icelandic sweaters? Any tips, tricks, suggestions or feedback? We’d love to hear them below!
I had to laugh when I saw this — I just finished making (except for button choice) a Reynolds Lopi hooded Icelandic sweater for a 4th grader at my house! While it was certainly quick to knit at such a large gauge, my favorite Icelandic style sweater I’ve ever made (bottom up, only seamed at underarm) is an old Green Mountain Spinnery pattern (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/the-icelandic). I knit it on a Spring break trip with girlfriends to Belgium and London over a decade ago in shades of blue, gray and cream.
Thanks so much for sharing this! So funny that you just finished one!xo
Caroline R. says
I just found this website, 2 years (almost) after you posted this, but I am searching everywhere for an Icelandic sweater for my 4th grade grandson. Would you be kind enough to share the pattern? (Assuming, of course, that it is in the public domain)
Kay and Ann had a knit along: http://www.masondixonknitting.com/creative-odysseys/sweaters/bang-out-a-sweater-the-circle-of-life/
Thanks so much for sharing – what an incredible collection!! beautiful. . .
Lovely choices! Love them all…but the last yellow grey one is the one I love. Never knitted any fairisle sweater… I think I’ll start with the stasis pullover which is not Icelandic but a color work I could wear easier… Have a great day. Just discovering your blog, I already know you via instagram…
I seem to love all the yellow gray ones, lol! I think I know where my mind is. Good luck and have fun!
I want/need/covet the pattern for the last blue and cream sweater – I think I need to find a translator – NOW!
Ha! Agreed!! good luck translating!! xo
What beautiful sweaters!I would love one for the winter. Thank you for inspiring me with your gorgeous blog!
Thanks so much for your kind words, Jane! I’m so glad you like the collection!
igne oyasi says
thanks they are wonderful 🙂
I had the same experience in Iceland and was so inspired to make my own! So thank you for finding these patterns! I wonder, did you also come across any Icelandic mitten patterns? I’ve been searching high and low and have had little success.
ooh! Icelandic mittens would be fabulous! Will keep my eyes peeled!
I was reminded of my quest when I saw your post, so I looked a little more and found this!: http://icelandicknitter.com/en/types/accessories/
Julie, what a fabulous link! Thanks so much for sharing!
Helene Magnusson has written a couple other Icelandic mitten patterns as well 🙂
Check out Helene Magnusson too! She’s an Icelandic knitter and historian who’s designed some amazing traditional Icelandic patterns. Available in Icelandic, French and English 🙂
Thanks for sharing Helene’s work Jennie -beautiful work!
Marie Johnson says
This site suggests the saeros design is available in English – although I have not tried to order it myself
Thanks so much for sharing Marie!! Yay!
yelek modelleri says
I wait you my blog. I like your post.
Marie McConnell says
Do you have the pattern for the orange and blue child’s Icelandic sweater that you show first on the page? Or do you know where I can get it?
HI Marie – I feature the pattern for the orange and blue sweater later on. It’s brown in the second image. The link is there right underneath it. Here it is for your convenience: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/loki-20
Barrett Shaffer says
Hi. I am in LOVE with the Birta sweater. Although it looks like several others, there is something unique/special. I love the neckline and yoke pattern. Hoping you may know how I can get the pattern. I tried the link on your site/Ravelry and it does not appear to be available. I looked at many, but can’t find one to substitute.
You can get it here on Ravelry: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/birta-6
I’m knitting an Icelandic jumper but I’m stuck. I need a pattern of 14 stitches for the joke, as the one in the pattern it too difficult. I’m struggling. It’s 1 Oroi. I just can’t make it work. Can you help
Hi Pam, I’m so sorry you’re struggling. That’s not my pattern. I recommend reaching out to the designer.