I call this The Grampa Sweater. The Christmas before my grandfather died he sent me one hundred dollars in a card. I had just returned from Iceland, was on hard times and figured the best use for a hundred dollars was to invest in making a lopapeysa. The Lopapeysa is the traditional sweater design of Iceland that dates back to only about the 1950’s. Knit with lopi, a yarn made from the hearty Icelandic sheep, it is the ultimate “I’ve been to Iceland” souvenir.
The Grampa Sweater pattern is originally named Vetur, Icelandic for winter, and is the first of several Icelandic sweaters I've knit. 2013 was a tough winter being underemployed, cold, and living in an attic, knitting this sweater gave me focus and an opportunity to meditate. Optimistically green, the color belies the anxious energy it is knit of. That being said, I feel the heavy energy of the winter was actively transformed into something positive and creative and is still inherent in the the thousands of knit stitches it’s constructed of.
In the spring of 2014, five minutes after weaving in the last dangling threads, I put it on and bought a ticket back to Iceland. It is a prideful achievement in my knitting career and the sweater seemed to invite conversations with everyone it met. Most memorable was chatting with the all of the flight attendants on Icelandair in the back of the plane about the people that taught us to knit, how to use lopi, our favorite projects and sharing photos on our cellphones of them.