A special newsletter from Berroco and our friends at Ístex Lopi
1/10/17                           #682 
View this email in your browser

Hello Berroco Fan!

In September of 2016, Berroco became partners with James C. Brett Yarns from the United Kingdom, and Ístex Lopi yarns out of Iceland. We're excited to add these two brands to our distribution line-up, which also includes LANGYARNS and Amano. Each yarn brand brings something different and exciting to the yarn world, and we're thrilled to tell you a little more about our newest yarn partner, Ístex Lopi. 

A Long Tradition of Quality Yarn 

When you hear "lopi," you probably imagine the Lopi Sweater, or lopapeysa. The Lopi Sweater is relatively young (more on that in a moment), but in Iceland, the tradition of shearing sheep and spinning the fleece into yarn dates back to the 9th century—more than 1,000 years!

The breed of sheep currently recognized as Icelandic sheep arrived on the small island in the middle of the north Atlantic ocean in 874. Viking settlers brought the sheep with them, and sheep have provided a source of livelihood to the people of Iceland ever since. 
Icelandic sheep roam the highlands freely during the summer months
Iceland's remote location, along with an embargo on bringing livestock to the island, have created a breed of sheep that is unique to Iceland. The dual-coated sheep are given free range of the island during the warmer months, and then a large community of Icelanders come together to herd the sheep to shearing and warm stables for the winter. 

Processing the fleece for yarn has been an major industry in Iceland since the late 1800s, and in 1991, Ístex was formed and became the country's main wool processor. Today Ístex produces five yarn lines. Léttlopi (worsted weight), Álafosslopi (bulky), Bulky Lopi (super bulky), and Einband (lace weight) are all single-spun yarns, available in many different colors. Plötulopi is a fingering weight, unspun roving that creates a light, airy fabric. Many people in Iceland and around the world wear a Lopi sweater as outerwear—the lofty fibers trap warm air so well you don't need a coat!
Free Afmæli Sweater knit in Ístex Léttlopi (100% Icelandic wool)
The Lopi Sweaters that are nearly ubiquitous and incredibly popular didn't start showing up until the mid-twentieth century. They were incredibly popular in the 1960s and 1970s—hunting down vintage Lopi patterns from that era is a particularly specific pastime of mine. These iconic patterns have experienced a resurgence lately with top designers, such as Védis Jónsdóttir, Ysolda Teague, Mary Jane Mucklestone, Kate Davies, Ragga Eiríksdóttir, and more, embracing the trend for modern takes on the seamless sweater designs.
Watch an overview of the lifecycle of Ístex Lopi yarns
Over the years, many Lopi sweater knitting patterns have been published, and there's an extensive library of free sweater patterns available on Ístex's website. Their Ravelry pattern collection includes both free and paid patterns.
Free Hela Cardigan knit in Ístex Álafoss Lopi (100% Icelandic wool)
We're celebrating this new partnership with "Lopi Week," now through January 16. We'll be posting tips and tricks for knitting and caring for Lopi yarns on our blog, sharing blog posts and pattern information from other knitters and designers via Facebook and Twitter, and providing inspirational photos on our Instagram (warning: you may want to book a trip to Iceland once you see how beautiful it is). Ready to dive into the wonderful world of Lopi? Use our Store Locator to find the LYS nearest you that carries Léttlopi, Álafosslopi, or Bulky Lopi. To be the first to know Ístex Lopi news, be sure to follow Lopi Knitting on Facebook
Find Lopi Yarn Near You
We'll even have a few giveaways throughout the week, so be sure to follow us on social media to win free Lopi pattern books and more!

Happy knitting,

Copyright © 2017 Berroco Yarn, All rights reserved.
 You are receiving this email because you opted in via our website, Facebook page, or through a Berroco promotion (such as Berroco Bingo). We appreciate you being here!

Our mailing address is:
Berroco Yarn
1 Tupperware Drive
Ste 4
North Smithfield, RI 02896

Add us to your address book

Too many emails? Change your preferences to receive Berroco KnitBits Monthly:
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list