Modern Icelandic Sweater


Modern Icelandic Sweater

Stay warm in style this winter with the Modern Icelandic Sweater. This Fair Isle pattern features an updated colorwork yoke, based on traditional knitting designs. The colorwork is concentrated mostly in the yoke, meaning that most of this knit sweater pattern will be easy-going for intermediate to experienced knitters. If you've made a sweater before, then this pattern certainly won't present a significant challenge. You'll want to wear this gorgeous sweater all winter long.


Knitting Needle Size6 or 4 mm, 7 or 4.5 mm

Yarn Weight(3) Light/DK (21-24 stitches to 4 inches)

Finished Bust:
S 36" [91.5 cm]
M 39.5" [100.5 cm]
L 43.5" [110.5 cm]
XL 47" [119.5 cm]
Finished Length:
S 29" [73.5 cm]
M 29.5" [75 cm]
L 31" [78.5 cm]
XL 31.5" [80 cm]
Yarn Requirement Chart

  • Size US 6 (4mm) double pointed needles
  • Size US 7 (4.5mm) double pointed needles, or size to obtain gauge
  • Stitch markers
  • Stitch holders or waste yarn Yarn needle
In Stockinette stitch, 19 sts and 24 rows = 4"/10cm, using larger needle.
1. Sweater begins with 3 pieces worked separately, 2 sleeves and body. The pieces are worked from the lower edge upwards.
2. Yoke is worked from top of sleeves and body up to neck edge.
3. Color patterns are worked from charts. Change color as shown in charts. Read all rows of charts from right to left.
4. It is recommended to use the long tail method for cast on.
Pattern Diagram and Yoke Charts
SLEEVE (make 2)
With larger dpns and A, CO 54 (60, 60, 66) sts. Join in a rnd, taking care not to twist sts, distributing sts evenly over dpns as follows:
With yarn in back, sl first st on RH needle to LH needle, bring yarn to front between the needles, sl first 2 sts on LH needle to RH needle, bring yarn to back between needles, sl first st on RH needle to LH needle.; place marker for beg of rnd.
Beg with a knit rnd, work in Garter st for 4 rnds.
Work in St for 2 rnds.
Work Dot Chart for 2 rnds.
Change to A.
Work in St st for 2 rnds.
Next Rnd: Purl.
Work even in St st until piece measures 3"/7.5cm from beg.
Shape Sleeve
Inc rnd: K1, M1, k to last st, M1, k1 - 56 (62, 62, 68) sts.
Work even in St st for 9 (13, 9, 13) rnds.
Repeat inc rnd - 58 (64, 64, 70) sts.
Repeat last 10 (14, 10, 14) rnds once more - 60 (66, 66, 72) sts.
Work even in St st for 7 rnds.
Repeat inc rnd - 62 (68, 68, 74) sts.
Repeat last 8 rnds 1 (0, 1, 0) times - 64 (68, 70, 74) sts.
Work even in St st until piece measures 11.5 (11.5, 12, 12)"/29 (29, 30.5, 30.5)cm from beg.
Sl sts to a holder. Cut yarn.
With circular needle and A, CO 186 (204, 222, 240) sts. Join, taking care not to twist sts; placing marker for beg of rnd.
Work same as for Sleeves until piece measures 3"/7.5cm from beg; placing a marker in center of last rnd - 93 (102, 111, 120) sts on each side of marker for front and back.
Shape Sides
Dec rnd: [K1, k2tog, k to 3 sts before marker, ssk, k1, slip marker (sm)] 2 times - 182 (200, 218, 236) sts.
Work even in St st for 21 rnds.
Repeat dec rnd - 178 (196, 214, 232) sts.
Repeat last 22 rnds once more - 174 (192, 210, 228) sts.
Work even in St st for 29 rnds.
Repeat dec rnd - 170 (188, 206, 224) sts.
Work even in St st until piece measures 19 (19, 19.5, 19.5)"/48.5 (48.5, 49.5, 49.5)cm from beg.
Joining rnd: With A, k4 (4, 5, 5) and sl these sts to a holder, k to 4 (4, 5, 5) sts before next marker, sl these 4 (4, 5, 5) sts to a holder; working across sts of first sleeve, sl first 4 (4, 5, 5) sts to a holder, k56 (60, 60, 64) sts, leave last 4 (4, 5, 5) sts on holder; working across remaining body sts, sl next 4 (4, 5, 5) sts to a holder, k to last 4 (4, 5, 5) sts, sl the last 4 (4, 5, 5) body sts onto holder; working across sts of second sleeve, sl first 4 (4, 5, 5) sts to a holder, k56 (60, 60, 64) sts, leave last 4 (4, 5, 5) sts on holder - 266 (292, 306, 332) sts.
Work in St st for 3 (7, 11, 15) rnds.
Dec Rnd 1: K5 (2, 4, 1), k2tog, *[k5 (3, 5, 3), k2tog] 1 (1, 3, 1) time(s), [k6 (4, 6, 4), k2tog] 1 (6, 1, 6) time(s); repeat from * 16 (6, 9, 7) more times, (for size L only, k5, k2tog once more), k4 (1, 3, 1) - 231 (242, 264, 275) sts.
Next rnd: Purl.
Work Dash Chart for 5 rnds.
Dec Rnd 2: With A, k2 (1, 5, 0), k2tog, *[k10 (9, 9, 8), k2tog] 1 (2, 23, 1) time(s), [k11 (10, 9, 9), k2tog] 1 (1, 0, 1) time(s); repeat from * 8 (6, 0, 12) more times, k2 (1, 4, 0) - 212 (220, 240, 248) sts.
Work Zig Chart for 4 rnds.
Sizes S (M, 1X) only (Dec Rnd 3): K4 (0, 0), *[k2tog, k4 (5, 3)] 1 (1, 4) time(s), [k2tog, k5 (4, 4)] 1 (8, 7) time(s); repeat from * 15 (3, 3) more times - 180 (184, 204) sts.
Size L only (Dec Rnd 3): *K2tog, k4; repeat from * 39 more times - 200 sts.
All Sizes
Work Slip Stitch Chart for 14 rnds. Change to larger dpns when number of sts has been sufficiently reduced.
Size S only (Dec Rnd 4): *K1, k2tog; repeat from * around - 120 sts.
Sizes M (L, 1X) only (Dec Rnd 4): *[K1, k2tog] 14 (4, 3) times, [k2, k2tog] 1 (2, 2) time(s); repeat from * 3 (9, 11) more times - 124 (140, 144) sts.
All Sizes
Work Zig Chart for 4 rnds.
Size S only (Dec Rnd 5): *K1, k2tog, [k2, k2tog] 3 times; repeat from * 7 more times - 88 sts.
Size M only (Dec Rnd 5): *K1, k2tog, [k2, k2tog, k1, k2tog] 4 times; repeat from * 3 more times - 88 sts.
Sizes L (1X) only (Dec Rnd 5): K2tog, *[k1, k2tog] 1 (3) time(s), k2, k2tog; repeat from * 17 (9) more times, [k1,
k2tog] 4 times - 99(99) sts.
All Sizes
Work Dash Chart for 5 rnds.
With A, work even in St st until yoke measures 2"/2.5cm from end of Dash Chart.
Sizes S (M) only (Dec Rnd 6): [K3, k2tog, k4, k2tog] 8 times - 72 (72) sts.
Sizes L (1X) only (Dec Rnd 6): *[K2, k2tog] 2 times, [k3, k2tog] 5 times; repeat from * 2 more times - 78 (78) sts.
All Sizes
Work Dot Chart for 2 rnds.
Change to smaller dpns. (Note: You may prefer to use a 16"/40cm (or shorter) circular needle.)
Beg with a knit rnd, work in Garter st for 5 rnds.
BO loosely purlwise.
Sew underarm seams. Using yarn needle, weave in all ends.

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So cute! Definitely a unique take on a yoke sweater and very practical for when we no longer have winter due to global climate change

Could someone give me directions for the stitches put on stitch holders Thanks Ruth

This is a very pretty sweater. I noticed some comments saying they didn't know what kind of yarn, but right under the title it says "Kristen Tendyke for Caron" so I assume it's Caron yarn. I have a question about the pattern across the arms though. If anyone has made this, does the pattern match up easily when you join the arms to the body?

Not a fan of double-pointed needles--could circular needle be used in place of dpns??

Look on YouTube for Magic Loop knitting. I don't like DPNs either and have had much success with Magic Loop.

Did anyone have trouble figuring out what to do with the stitches that are placed on holders as you start the yoke? I can't see where I pick them up again.

Those stitches are your underarm. You wil note that when you start joining the sleeve to the yoke you will drop some stitches. They will be grafted to the underarm laterv- see "finishing"

Okay so the stitches on holders are for the underarm Does anyone know what to do with them Sure could use some help on that as there are absolutely nothing about them in the instructions

If you click on the designer under the title of sweater it takes you to her page and it looks like the yarn is caron. If you click on yarn requirement chart it gives the #'s for color. I'm pretty sure this is the yarn and it also tells how many skeins

Once again, I question your copywriter's/editor's knowledge of the English language. A "yolk" is the yellow part of an egg. The part of a garment that crosses or surrounds the shoulders is a YOKE. Think of the harness worn by a pair of oxen.

This is a really smart sweater not sure if I would change the sleeves or not. I am forever pushing up sleeves, think of the time and work this saves. The Nordic pattern is attractive and appealing -- I am going to have to quit work just to have time to knit, but then would have to get a job to pay for the yarn.. it is a vicious circle LOL

Yolks are in eggs! Yokes are on clothing!

Hey people: if you zoom in on the page and then go to the pic, you'll see that the colorwork does follow through the shoulder part of the sleeve. It is a nice carry-over pattern, and helps most of us gals to have a visually smaller upper body. I used DK yarn.

Beautiful design - I'd probably make the sleeves a bit longer. Colours used are great too, but what yarn was used?

What kind of yarn was used? Need to know yardage to make sure I have enough yarn.

I love this and want to make it with longer sleeves, but there are a few issues with information. In the "Sleeve" instructions it says to distribute the stitches as follows: there is no distribution ... it also states to change to color A ... The sleeve starts with color A ??? I'm confused. No where, I could find, does it ever say to change to the other colors?? Is there someone, including the designer, who could proof read this pattern or test knit it so the mistakes can be fixed?

there is no colour change in the sleeve, I suspect you are mis reading the pattern-A is the main colour and it is the colour of the sleeves in the photo.

Beautiful! I plan to make this slightly fuller and longer, to wear as a tunic over leggings or skinny jeans. I particularly enjoy doing colorwork, but tend to get bogged down if the whole sweater is in Fair Isle. Doing just the YOKE (not yolk, please!) in Fair Isle is just right for me.


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