The Keflavik sweater

October 8, 2017

Aaah Keflavik… The pretty name of this sweater unfortunately doesn’t come from the pattern or from the yarn, neither of which are Icelandic, but from where it’s been knitted. This is the project that was with me that time I ended up stranded in Keflavik aiport, trying to fly home from France, and I had to wait five long hours while the entire airport got evacuated and everybody had to go through security again. All of this because a plane landed at the wrong terminal… Typically the type of situations where I’m happy to have a knitting project with me!

I’ve had this yarn for a while and I didn’t really know what to do with it: an electric blue 75% wool 25% polyamide blend, bought a long time ago at a factory store in the French countryside. I had started this Phildar pattern but I wasn’t really into it, so I ended up frogging the whole thing thinking I might find another pattern that would speak to me more.

In the meantime, I discovered Isabell Kraemer, and after finishing my Il Grande Favorito I immediately wanted to knit another one of her patterns. The way the Il Grande Favorito sweater is constructed is a lot of fun, and I was curious to see how her other patterns were put together.

The pattern that was the closest match for my swatch with this yarn was this one, the On the beach sweater. And it’s a free pattern!

Just like with the Il Grande Favorito, knitting this sweater is a breeze, the instructions are crystal clear and the construction is smart. While Il Grande Favorito has raglan sleeves, this one has “set-in” sleeves knitted in the continuity of the body using the “contiguous” method: the result is amazing! I grew up knitting Phildar patterns in the flat, so I find it incredible to get such a flawless result with seamless patterns.

I love the association of the positive ease on the body with the slimmer sleeves, which seems to be the typical silhouette of this creator’s patterns. With wider sleeves, it could easily look shapeless, but here I think that the effect is casual and relaxed without being sloppy.

The only detail that bothers me is the wide neckline: the sweater tends to fall off my shoulders, and I struggle to find tees that work under it. The pattern gives the option to pick up the neckline stitches at the end and cast them off right away, which might tighten the neckline a little. I didn’t do it because I was lazy, but I might get to it eventually.

For the next sweater I’m going to knit, I’ll try to pick a pattern with a crew-neck instead. For now I’m thinking of making the Bedford (pattern by Michelle Wang for Brooklyn Tweed). I’m also looking for cardigan patterns that I could wear open over a dress or a tee and jeans. I’d need a pattern that:

* is long enough (I already have many short cardigans in the style of Andi Satterlund‘s patterns and I can’t wear them with everything)
* looks pretty when worn open (the Miette for instance looks weird open, I think due to the bust “darts” and the neckline shape)
* is knitted seamlessly if possible
* has a fun texture or lace stitch

I saw some pretty ones by Nadia Crétin-Léchenne but I’m thinking that the Pretty (me) would have the same issues as Miette when worn open, and the Cosy (me) reminds me of this Phildar cardigan I knitted years ago and I find this style to be pretty dated now, with the big buttons closing the cardigan only at the bottom… So if you have any patterns to recommend, I’m all ears! Don’t hesitate to let me know in the comments what your favorite cardigan pattern is 🙂

Keflavik Sweater
On the beach – Isabell Kraemer
Size M
75% wool 25% polyamide blend
Ravelry Link


  1. Hannah

    - October 9, 2017

    How about Featherweight? It’s plain stocking stitch as written, but you could easily drop a fun stitch pattern in there 🙂

    • Camille

      - October 9, 2017

      Oh that’s a good idea! The shape is really lovely

  2. Sue

    - October 9, 2017

    You could always take the speedy route and sew up a long Blackwood Cardigan in the meantime! 😀

    • Camille

      - October 9, 2017

      That’s a good point, I didn’t even think about sewing one! I might actually go for the Grainline Driftless rather than the Blackwood cardigan, but first I should check in my giant Burda magazine collection ^^’

  3. francesca

    - October 9, 2017

    This is lovely – that colour sings. And it suits you. I’ve been stuck in airports so many times, and knitting saved me…. you could do a line of single crochet (maille basse?) around the neck, easier than picking up stitches. God I hate picking up stitches….

    I like the Pretty cardi. Thanks for the link:). I flicked through some of the makes and saw a few worn open that looked fine. One maker said she removed the shaping to make it look better hanging open… Problem is, most of the time it’s the low or v-necked cardis that look better open. And then you get a cold chest:(.

    Have a look at Gudrun Johnston. She does really nice patterns and mostly they’re no-sew…. it’s strange, I love sewing, but hate sewing sweaters together. I made her Audrey in Unst, and loved making it. Don’t forget you can always remove shaping:D

    I like the wavy hair look!

    • Camille

      - October 9, 2017

      Wow, thanks for the recommendation, I’m in love! I love love love her sweater patterns, especially the Snarravoe, Mireille and my favorite the Northdale (I want to start this one right now hehe).

      Glad you like the hair too! I’ve been trying to let my hair air-dry lately as it’s naturally curly but I’m struggling with crazy amount of frizz with the humid Boston air ^^

  4. francesca

    - October 16, 2017

    I know, isn’t she brilliant? Northdale is in my (extremely long) queue lol!

    Ah, humidity! well, as an island dweller, I can tell you, the less you dry your hair with heat, the less it gets damaged and the less frizz you have. Also, I used to swear by John Frieda’s Frizzease, but went cold turkey on it and so many other products after reading how cyclopentaxilone (or similar name;;;;) ie silicone actually makes matter worse in the long run as it sucks out moisture from hair, skin, whatever. So I don’t buy anything that has that or dimethicone etc in the first 3 ingredients. Anyhow, according to a dermatologist in the article in Allure where I read all this stuff, jojoba is the closest to our natural oils, so she recommends using a couple of drops mixed with a bit of water like a serum. I filled an old serum bottle with a mix of the oil and water, and shake and use. Love it. It will never come as perfect as with the silicone stuff, but do we really want to put plastic on ourselves?

    • Camille

      - November 5, 2017

      So happy to have someone to talk to about this hehe! I stopped using any kind of silicones a few months ago (as well as sulfates in shampoo), and it’s been hard finding a good oil to replace them. So far coconut oil has made my hair much worse (too much protein I suppose), and sunflower oil hasn’t made much difference. Olive oil seems to have the best results so far but the smell stays for day and makes me hungry!! I’ll definitely try jojoba oil 😀

  5. Mari

    - November 2, 2017

    Your sweater is beautiful, I love the colour! I have a couple of cardigans I still really really want to knit:



    I am a big fan of Pom Pom Quarterly, they have a couple of other cardigans (and sweaters and hats and scarves and socks :)) I really like to knit as well.

    • Camille

      - November 5, 2017

      Oh wow the Portage cardigan is so beautiful! I love the stitch pattern in the back and the pocket design!

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