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Article: Almost Gnótt

Almost Gnótt

I love Icelandic sweaters.  Love them.  Where I live, I can only wear them on the very coldest of days as outerwear, but I love them anyway.  When I saw the Gnόtt sweater, I knew I had to make it.  It's available as a kit in lovely gray, black and white.  But I don't wear neutral colors, even if the sweater is gorgeous.  So I changed the colors, and was really excited when my package of blue, navy and pink yarn arrived.
 I had never used Plotulopi before.  It's a single-ply unspun yarn wound into large discs, or plates.  Being unspun, it's fragile and tears easily, but splices just as easily if needed. This pattern calls for using it double, and I found it easiest to gently hand-wind two plies together into a ball. 

 After making chart changes to avoid stranding 3 colors, I cast on for the first sleeve.  I was overly gentle on the first try, and my cuff was much too loose.  Second try cuff came out perfect, but now my colorwork gauge was too tight.  Instead of ripping back and possibly shredding the yarn, I used the sleeve as a second gauge swatch, as the bottom of the sleeve would still fit.  Two needle sizes up and success!

Well, close to success.  I got stitch gauge, but now my row gauge was too large.  No problem for the body and sleeves, but my yoke would be too long.  So I had to eliminate enough yoke rounds so it would fit.   A little harder than the body/sleeve chart changes, but doable. 
I finished both sleeves and decided to make the main body plain instead of matching the lice pattern in the sleeves.   Although the pattern did not call for it, I did a few short rows across the back right after joining the body and sleeves,  to raise the back neck a bit for wearing comfort. 

Once the short rows were finished, the yoke progressed rather quickly.   Because of the delicacy of the yarn, I opted not to carry the unused colors and wove those ends in instead.  I used a different yarn to sew the underarms and folded neckband, as I found Plotulopi impossible to sew with, even double-stranded. 

Next decision was to block or not.  I wanted to even out the stitches but was a little afraid of possibly felting my sweater.  I need not have worried.  Putting the sweater through a cold soak-spin cycle evened out the knitting without any felting issues, and I patted the sweater into shape, letting it dry over a few days, flipping it over once or twice.

Finally done!   I'd pick a lighter or brighter blue for my main color if I did it again, but am very happy with it.  It's very light for a bulky knit and airy-soft.  My finished sweater is a bit oversized but nice for outerwear, which is how I will wear it anyway.   Can't wait for a cold day!

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