Icelandic “Puffin Pony” Sweater

Grainline Studio | Icelandic Sweater | Photo by Julia Stotz

I can’t believe it, but my Icelandic sweater is finally done and has been worn multiple times already! I took it for a work day with my friend Julia who took these photos. The pinecone came from her hometown of Pacific Grove, CA, can you believe how huge it is? We definitely don’t get pinecones like that around here. Or maybe we do and it’s a secret I don’t know about.

Grainline Studio | Icelandic Sweater | Photo by Julia Stotz

I had quite the saga with this sweater, if you’ve been following along with this blog for the past two years you know all about it and if not, here’s the synopsis. I bought the yarn in Reykjavik, Iceland from the Handknitting Association of Iceland when I realized that a handknit Icelandic sweater cost $200-300 and the yarn to make one cost $35 (and that’s with 5 hanks of yarn leftover). Upon returning home to the states, I knit the sweater up, found out it wasn’t as loose as I wanted – Icelandic people layer these and mine was not as loose as I wanted – so I took the entire sweater out. That sweater was done except for the neck ribbing cast off and the whole thing got torn out. After a brief mourning period (okay it was way longer than brief) I slowly knit it up and finished it last week. It’s warm, it’s the perfect size for layering, I love it!

Grainline Studio | Icelandic Sweater | Photo by Julia Stotz

The Details
Pattern : Héla Short Cardigan with Zip by Védís Jónsdóttir
Yarn : Ístex Álafoss Lopi purchased at the Icelandic Handknitting Association in Reykjavik
Mods : Knit as a pullover, lengthened body and sleeves
Check my Ravelry for more info on colors, mods, etc.

I thought I’d share a few photos of my trip since they were the inspiration for this sweater. In my humble opinion everyone should visit out Iceland, it’s such an amazing country with so much to see and super friendly people. Oh, and so so so so so so so much amazing yogurt. I had no idea and was so overwhelmed. I definitely would love to go back any time…Icelandic trip anyone?

Grainline Studio | Iceland | Icelandic Horses
Icelandic Horses

Grainline Studio | Iceland | Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon

Grainline Studio | Iceland | Gullfoss
Gullfoss Waterfall

Grainline Studio | Iceland | Kerið Crater Lake
Kerið Crater Lake

 Grainline Studio | Iceland | Þingvellir
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge at Þingvellir

Grainline Studio | Iceland | Reykjavik
Reykjavik

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74 Responses to Icelandic “Puffin Pony” Sweater

  1. nettie says:

    It’s amazing, Jen!! I love the colors you chose and the fit it awesome! I’ve had a sweater like this in my mental queue forever. Good job making yours a reality, especially after that first try didn’t work out. Lesser knitters (raises hand) would have quit right there!

  2. Jenny says:

    Wow!!!!! That is quite something- I’m amazed. If that was my handiwork I would never want to take it off!

    Oh, and even though I’ve only been back from holidays for 2 days, yes please to an Iceland trip! What beautiful photos- I especially love the one of the crater lake. Stunning

  3. Cool sweater, stunning pictures! That crater lake is breathtaking

  4. sew2pro says:

    Oh my, just the jumper I want (and need, since we now have snow in the uk). Here we started calling these the Lund sweater after the Danish detective.

    Any estimate for how long it would take a non-knitter to pick up and eventually make something of this standard?

    Lovely pics of Iceland. I’d forgotten about their comical-sounding placenames.

    • I haven’t heard of this Danish detective, I’ll have to do a bit of Googling. Hard to say how long it would take to learn to knit a sweater like this, I suppose it would depend how quickly you take to knitting. Sorry I’m not much help in that department

  5. Natalie says:

    Wow this is amazing, I bet your so pleased its finally finished. I love the colours you’ ve used and the pictures of Iceland too, it does look like a stunning place to visit :)

  6. Oh holy WOW – the sweater and the country. SO impressed with the sweater, I’m desperate to knit something similar but been getting bogged down with so many patterns to choose from! What a beautiful job you’ve done. And count me IN for that Iceland trip!

  7. Fabulous! Just the most amazing sweater. And such exquisite knitting. Sorry you had to do it twice, but it’s certainly worth the effort.

  8. Kirsty says:

    Wow Jen, that is an amazing jumper – even more so because you knitted it twice. Those photos of Iceland are pretty brilliant and definitely make me want to visit.That crater lake is unbelievable

  9. What a wonderful sweater, congrats on finishing that thing after knitting it twice.

  10. Susan says:

    Wow… Beautiful sweater and unbelievably gorgeous photos. That is seriously impressive that you ripped a whole sweater to rework into the fit you wanted. I would have done some crazy “logic” calisthenics to convince myself it was fine as it was — you are inspirational! The next time I’m debating whether to rip a sewn seam (or few rows of knitting, etc.), I will remember this!! :-)

  11. Stephanie says:

    It’s gorgeous!! I love the colors and fit. I hate frogging, but not as much as I hate ill-fitting, half-finished hot messes laying around where I can see them. It was totally worth the effort. And how is the yarn so cheap?!?!

    I’m sending this post to my husband. Iceland is number one on my list of places to go.

    • Dude, seriously I do not understand how the yarn is so cheap there, it was crazy! It was hard to stop myself from buying a ton of it but really, how many Icelandic sweaters does one need. Well maybe a few, who knows. You should definitely head over to Iceland, if you go let me know, I’ll let you know some of my fav things we did!

  12. Melissa says:

    Big congratulations! You must feel so awesome having this sweater finally finished – and exactly as you want it! I think it’s beautiful and your pictures from Iceland make me want to get there asap :)

  13. sarah says:

    oh wow. nothing beats a fair isle yoke! especially one as gorgeous as that. enjoy being toasty warm. rather redo the entire thing and wear it than leave it and never wear it :)

  14. Another wow from me. Amazing jumper, beautiful pictures. Would love to visit Iceland. A very inspiring post x

  15. sewbussted says:

    The final product was worth the extra effort. A beautiful sweater that you will have the rest of your life!

  16. sallie says:

    Congratulations!! The sweater is beautiful! You should be so proud. It takes a lot of serious commitment and dedication to admit defeat that close to the end, and still have enough left for a re-do.
    The Iceland pictures are breathtaking. I’ve always wanted to go – but I’m a serious baby about the cold!

    • Ha, yeah, I’m pretty good at admitting defeat and rolling with it somehow. You shouldn’t worry about the cold too much in Iceland, it’s warmer there in the winter than it is here in Chicago!

  17. Caitlin says:

    I want to go to Iceland so bad! I see awesome deals all the time but alas it hasn’t yet happened. Your sweater looks so good, and I really like the colors you chose! I hear you on ripping things out at the final moment… but you remade it and it’s awesome! (I just had some chai so now I am exclaiming all over the place!)

    • Thanks! For a while I thought it was never going to be done but PHEW!! Also definitely get one of those deals to Iceland and take me with, we can knit, yarn shop, sight see and chai drink till the cows come home. Or till the puffins come home. Oh, and the yogurt there is WOAHHHHHHH

  18. gingermakes says:

    This sweater is so gorgeous! It’s totally worth all the time you took re-doing it. So beautiful!

    And the photos are stunning! What a mind-blowingly amazing country! I’ve never been there, but I’d really like to visit.

  19. Julie D. says:

    Gorgeous! Makes me want to get off my bum and start some knitting projects!!

  20. Jane says:

    Your jumper (we don’t call them sweaters here) is lovely. It almost makes me wistful for winter. As for those photos, wow! I have always wanted to visit Iceland and your images are just beautiful.

    • I like the differences in garment names between here and the UK (and wherever else they’re called different things). Jumper. So nice. Anyway, thanks and definitely go to Iceland if you get the chance!

  21. Andrea B says:

    Gahhhhh the sweater is perfect and the photos of Iceland are incredibly stunning. I would make a jigsaw puzzle out of any one of those photos. That’s a huge compliment. Well done and congrats on finishing your sweater!

  22. That crater lake is absolutely beautiful. Words fail me.
    Your sweater is great too! Well done for finishing it at last. I wish I could knit better. This is the sort of thing I’d love to make.

    • Not going to lie, Kerið was beyond magical. Our guide, Svenni, packed a thermos of tea and traditional Icelandic flatbread sandwiches for us to eat there which made it even more awesome. He told us that Bjork once performed a concert from inside the crater. Dreamyyyyyy

  23. meghan says:

    This is so beautiful! I really like the colors you selected for the sweater, it looks really comfy. I really want to make a lopi sweater now – I can’t believe it was only $35!! And that pinecone is GIANT. I have never seen one that big before. I imagine it coming off a giant pine tree in Washington state or something. Also, those HORSES! So beautiful. Everything in Iceland is so beautiful. I hope to go there someday.

    • Thanks, it is pretty comfy and really really warm. I’m still baffled that it was so cheap, if I didn’t have the receipt to prove it I wouldn’t even believe myself it was that cheap! The horses were so great, every so many miles (or I suppose kilometers there) there were little boxes of special bread to feed the horses from the side of the road. So cute!

  24. What a beautiful sweater!! The fact you ripped it all out and started all over..amazing!! I would of totally never finished it. So worth it in the end huh?!

  25. What a cosy, beautiful sweater! Totally worth ripping it out and starting again, you’ll get so much wear out of it now. Iceland is high up on my list of places I want to visit and those photos make me want to go even more.

  26. Vanessa de MTL says:

    Wow! Gorgeous colours and what a great story behind the yarn and sweater. It’s great that you toughed it out and made the sweater you wanted. :)

  27. Dalila says:

    I’m obsessed with the Kerið Crater Lake since the first time you posted that picture. I must see it some day!

  28. IngeMaakt says:

    Beautifull colours! I can imagine you had to do a fair bit of mourning having to take it apart the first time. It paid of though, it’s gorgeous. And you made me remember the Skyr, and now I want some. Hmmm.

  29. Thoat photos are beautiful, as is the sweater. My 20 hours spent in Iceland simply weren’t enough and I can’t wait to go back someday!

  30. dixiediy says:

    i don’t know what’s more stunning – those photos or that sweater! iceland looks breathtaking! and your sweater looks stylish and cozy!! great color choices.

  31. That’s persistence right there. You must feel mighty proud of yourself. Looks perfectly ice-landic too.

  32. Elise says:

    Ah beautiful… Amazing job you did and kudos for taking on the project. Iceland is a very special place to me too. I didn’t have the guts to take on a sweater though – mine came from Farmer’s Market Iceland…they have gorgeous designs

  33. Anke says:

    That sweater is absolutely stunning! Well done! I also love your Iceland pictures – they make me want to hop on a plane right now!

  34. Gorgeous sweater! And the photos are just stunning. I’m envious of my FIL and MIL who are going to Iceland to look at the Northern Lights later this year.

    • Thanks! I’m envious of them as well, it was too cloudy to see any while we were there. I’ve seen some pretty great Northern Lights in my time but nothing like the photos I’ve seen of the lights there

  35. Alex says:

    Great sweater (known as ‘jumper’ from where I’m from!). Yes, I am so with you on the Iceland trip (and the yummy skyr!). Spent two amazing weeks there last June. Travelled the ring road around the country and have to say its the most incredible place I have travelled to. Your pics bring back memories. If you are interested you can check out mine at http://www.helloscandi.wordpress.com/

  36. Zoe says:

    AMAZING jumper!!!! It’s funny to see your Iceland photos. I went there a couple of weeks ago and it was entirely white with snow! xx

  37. Amy says:

    I came upon this post accidentally when I was searching ‘Nordic sweater’. I love the color and the pattern of this sweater. Just want to know, when you say it was not as loose as you wanted it, have you gone one size larger than the pattern suggested? For I want to make one for myself.
    Thank you for responding.

    Amy

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