Autumnal Handknit Sweater

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Rust, Ivory, Black and Air Blue Hand Knit Icelandic Style Cardigan!  Inspired by the East Coast in the fall – where blazing eastern forest meets sky and water ❤

Hello and how are you!

I am well, wrapped in blankets with a hot cup of tea, candles lit and one of my favourite Irish bands playing, the Bothy Band.  It’s Sunday and rain is gently falling.  We have been having fires every day, even if it’s just to keep the damp out on a mild, wet morning.

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indoor world


We have been so busy as well!  I started a new job in the library system, working as a call in.  I had best get use to driving at night and in all weather since the job requires me to go quite far to some rural branches.  I am excited to be back in the library, I already have a long queue of books on hold (just finished The Moomins Vol 1) and will share with you later more of what I’ll be reading this winter (I’m going to work through my long list of “To-Read” on Goodreads).  Apart from work… there is STILL wood to stack, wood to bring in, vegetables to take care of (I’m down to the last of the tomatoes) and cats that are beginning to explore the outside world.  There is an etsy shop, art work and a very, very active dog.  Jamie is also giving me guitar lessons again so I’m hoping to pick it up again and encourage him to make more music as well!

Before I launch into knitting… our little 1.25 acre is also constantly on my mind.  I have been transplanting saplings that have come up on the outskirts of the farmer’s field, buried many chestnuts, planted lupin seeds that I collected in July from the wayside and transplanted some of our rose plants and lavender.  My ultimate goal is to have every inch of land planted with trees, bushes, flowers… anything!  And then buy more land :D.  Anywho…. this is all a side because I came here to share with you my latest cardigan handnit.

H A N D K N I T  C A R D I G A N

Just the buttons left! 

I cast this sweater on in the blazing sun of glorious July!  Yes… it has taken me quite a while.  It was the first cardigan, knit in the round that I have ever made which is why it took me so long.  I believe I actually finished the bulk of the work in August or early September but waited until a visit with my Mom before I actually steeked the body (Steeking is the word applied to the actually cutting up the middle of the body to open up your cardigan sweater).  Thank goodness my Mom has absolutely no qualms about trying anything in the fibre art world.  When we finally were together in the latter part of October, she actually did the crochet stitch up my purled stitches and then I (palms sweating and heart beating!  Clearly a life or death situation) cut the sweater! It was so satisfying 😀

The inspiration for the design comes from the fall here in the Canadian East Coast, where miles of forest stretch along the ocean shore, spotted with wooden white houses.  I have started to really simplify my designs, favouring simple blocks of colour.   I really love the rust Léttlopi!  I find it both striking and subtle (if that makes any sense…).

I started the sweater with the full intention of finishing in October.  It’s nearly a month after when I thought I would be writing this post.  At the end of October, my sister, Mom and I travelled to Ontario to see our family and friends, thus putting a halt to all of my work (It was a very nice visit and I hope to be back again soon!).  And just other life things have continued to pop up, derailing my physical artistic world.

So below I have shared a couple pictures of the fall here, my sketch book and the sweater!  I have not taken anywhere near as many pictures this fall but alas, here are a couple!

Home in October, the leaves are all gone now but these hundred year old sugar maples are beauties!
Little messy paintings for inspiration
Cape breton house by the sea – Colour source for the sweater – Red mountains filled with sugar maples, birch and spruce, the blue/grey water and sky and a cute white house. 
The colours of our backyard, briefly in October ❤
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Right after I finished sewing on the buttons, one quick picture!  Buttons successfully fit in the button holes, phew! 
The rain let up so we went to the back behind our property to get a couple of photos!  I love the contrast against the grey sky and golden grasses.
Out after the rain – a  little close up
wooden buttons and abandoned farm land 


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And it’s raining again


It’s raining much harder now.    It is also my sister Meaghan’s birthday today! We are separated by the strait, but I am wishing her all the best in Nova Scotia today!  Send her loving vibes this day ❤

I hope you enjoyed this post!  I am settling in to actually put up the listing of this sweater on Etsy and respond finally to my comments and messages on both wordpress and instagram.  I have generally been steering away from Social Media and have finally developed a pretty solid system to keep me from being distracted.  Perhaps I’ll share this with you in another post!

My Knitting Projects!  A Grey Icelandic Cardigan!  I’m hooked on making the cardigans despite being a bit more work!  Oh and those one ply mittens… maybe next year i can share them with you 😉

**A note on this sweater, it is made from I C E L A N D I C W O O L!  The specific name of the wool is called Léttlopi  which essentially means light Icelandic Wool (Létt = Light / lopi = Icelandic Wool).  This  wool is made using the sheared fleece of Icelandic Sheep.  Icelandic Sheep are very different than other sheep around the world, they are descendants of Norse Sheep from 1000 years ago!  Their unique fleece is composed of 2 layers, one which is water repellent and the other is an insulating coat.  This unique fleece keeps our friends dry and warm in the rather unpredictable Northern Atlantic Icelandic climate.  If you have any allergy or discomfort with wool, this wool is most likely not for you.  It is a hardy and durable wool which can withstand weather.  I live on an Island in Atlantic Canada and find this type of wool ideal for working outdoors in the fall/winter and “spring”  (our springs sometimes feel non-existent). **

Be well!!!!!!  Slán a’charaid!

35 thoughts on “Autumnal Handknit Sweater

  1. Hi Julia!

    So happy to “see” you again. I’ve noticed you’ve been “off” SM a while, and I was thinking about sending you a PM with the snow, but I wasn’t sure if you’d see it or not.

    Anyway, the cardigan is so beautiful! I wish I had time to knit a bit more, but my studies take so much time, I kind of makes me sad. It’s not how I want my life to look like, but I feel a need to finish something. BUT I do enjoy these photos a lot! Your house is so beautiful and the surroundings as well, I can imagine you enjoy your life 🙂 Hope Jamie and all your pets are well, too.

    Love, Camilla

    P.s: thanks for the music recommendation 😉


    1. Hi Camilla!

      I am SO jealous that you have snow! We have such mild temperatures right now, it’s around 13 C and the night is here! I have a fire on but only to keep the damp out. I would love to see the snow in Norway! I “returned” to SM today and it seemed like everyone was experiencing snow 😦 Slightly jealous… since I love snow so much but where we live, it won’t be long I am sure!

      You can always send me a PM although how I keep away from instagram is I literally just don’t open it.. so when I return the order of pictures in my feed is really crazy. I also have all notifications turned off so I don’t get an alert on my phone for DMs. I feel a bit weird in how I use it since other people don’t seem to discuss the anxiety and alienation etc. associated with SM but anywho… I am a bit strange so!

      Hope your school is going well. You must almost be out for the semester and then you can have lots of home time ❤ ❤

      If you're interested in the Bothy Band, can I suggest some tunes? "The Butterfly" is a classic and I really love "16 come next Sunday" and "Farewell to Erin" but I actually just love them.. everything about them!


      1. Hello again Julia!

        I hope you are doing good. So exciting to read about your job, by the way. It would be nice to hear more 🙂 Oh, and you can just relax. All the snow rained away today… 😦 (heh) School is ok. I’m done December 13th, then I’ll just enjoy myself preparing for Christmas. Thank you for the songs, I’ll check them out 🙂


      2. Hi again Camilla 🙂

        The snow will be back, don’t worry! Your pictures were very beautiful. I love those first snows so much. In Canada, the most common topic around this type of year is “I’m not ready for the snow or cold” and people bemoaning how much they hate winter…I always feel a little bit like a misfit because in my head I’m saying “I love winter… it can’t come soon enough!” It does get tiresome in March though. Anywho, I am rambling! Good luck on your end of term emams!


  2. Hi Julia, so nice to see you back here! I too have been off SM (IG) for awhile. I found it was becoming more of a creative distraction instead on an inspiration, thus keeping me from my own creative work. So it was nice to see the email in my inbox with the new post. Love the cardigan. I too love the rust lett lopi. I have one skein of it that will go into a sweater for myself this winter as a contrast color (I hope). Be well!


    1. Hi Bonnie!

      Ooh! What is your contrasting colour? I am sure you will make a beautiful sweater!

      And, yes I feel the same way about SM! I think I always kind of bring it up because I want to have discussions about its impact on us. I had to shut my phone off shortly after posting a picture because otherwise I would be glued to my phone ignoring the real world around me!


  3. I love your photos so much ; so real ,down to earth. Your sweater is just lovely! I too stay away from SM and prefere to live in the real world in each moment. I am happy to see your emails and great surroundings. Thank you for posting!


    1. Hi Charlene,

      Thank you so much!

      I’m always happy to see other people feel similar about SM. For instance, today I am refraining from it just so I have very little distractions.

      I’m so happy you feel those emotions from looking at the photographs but really it is just the natural world shining right through!


    1. Thank you for your kind words regarding my latest hand knit!

      And yes… it has been a many year struggle for me. I understand all too well that feeling of being upset with yourself for being so immersed in it. Sometimes I think that some people probably don’t think anything of spending a lot of time on it and that I find a little worrisome. I’ll do my best to make a post on it! A major part of it is will power and rewarding yourself in some small way when you don’t go on a lot. I use to feel a lot of negative emotions with it a lot like anxiety and depression so that was my main push to change how I use it!


      1. I think you’re right. Everyone is different and we need to listen to ourselves. Sometimes social media leaves me feeling inspired and uplifted, other times depressed and insecure. I LOVE the idea of small rewards for listening to the inner voice that’s telling us that our one could be better spent.


  4. Hi Julia
    Your latest Lopi knit is stunning – your love of your home landscape shines through your designs and shade choices and the outdoor shots are just so beautiful. Well done with the steeking, cardigans are so useful and I really enjoy the sewing on of ribbon or lace to hide the edges. I am always drawn to the heather shades, greys, blacks and browns but the Lopi I have on my needles is 9418 (stone blue heather) no idea about the yoke yet though, but I do have a ball or two of that rust 🙂
    The weather here in Derbyshire has been cold lately with overnight frosts and chilly winds during theday seeing off the last of the leaves from the trees. The dying grasses and bracken still retain some of their autumnal colour though and we do have a few roses still defying the elements.
    Keep warm and well – oh and drive safely on those roads. I can’t wait to see how the grey sweater in your knitting basket turns out
    Jane x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jane,

      Oh! I never even thought of sewing in ribbon or lace to hide those edges! Great idea though, I will definitely try it for my next sweater. I love the stone blue heather and can only imagine that the rust would go lovely with it. Blue and Orange are complimentary colours 😀

      Winter is here as well. We have such a cold wind blowing in off the coast today despite crystal clear blue skies! Tomorrow we are supposed to get plus 10 C so we will be cutting up the tree that fell yesterday and stack the last bit of wood. This week has been SO strange, on Wednesday, I wasn’t even wearing a jacket, working outdoors for hours transplanting, mulching, stacking etc. and yesterday we had a wind/snow storm. Ah such is life! Unpredictable and not always pleasant, but we make the best of it!

      Happy end of November to you!


  5. I enjoy reading about your knitting & your amazing life. I’ve been knitting for many years but haven’t ever made an Icelandic sweater until now. You have inspired me! Although I live in an urban (historic district) area, I, too love the forest & try to immerse myself whenever possible. I’m a Montessori teacher & have been taking my students into the woods to learn to identify trees, breath fresh air, & appreciate the beauty of nature. Now, they bring me fallen leaves & rocks as gifts & see them for the treasures they are. Thank you for your wonderful blog-I really enjoy it!


    1. Hi Karen,

      Thank you so much 🙂 Sometimes I need reminders of why I’m sharing bits and pieces of my life and receiving a message like this really solidifies it for me! So thank you : )

      That is so sweet about your walks in the woods with your students! I remember walking in the woods with a guide when I was young and loving it so much. I love the Montessori system as well… I’m really interested in it for when I have children one day.

      Thank you for igniting that curiosity and wonder in the natural world for others!


  6. Hello, I stumbled into this blog via Pinterest. That is a beautiful sweater! Oh I love the colours!
    I always wonder how people do when making their own design. I have a basic pattern for a round yoke sweater but don’t know how I can add the patterns. I hope one day someone can show me how to do that.
    Keep on knitting! Love from Belgium xxx


  7. Your cardigan is beautiful! I recently discovered Icelandic, Nordic and Shetland wools and have fallen in love with its wooly qualities. I get most of my wooly wools now from The Wooly Thistle, an online store based out of in New Hampshire. The proprietor is originally from Scotland and she basically only provides these quality wools. Love all the Lopi and Jaimison & Smith yarns they carry.


    1. Hey Aida! Thanks for stopping by!

      My etsy shop is called Ways of Wood Folk. If you search that on Etsy it should come up. Alternatively, you can click on the “shop” link at the top of this page (my blog). Hope this helps!


    1. Hey Denise,

      This is one of my own designs that I make up on a whim in my head and don’t normally write down. I haven’t knit this sweater in years but you can find other patterns on my etsy site Waysofwoodfolk.

      Thanks for stopping by!


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