Before we left for Faroe, I decided I wanted to make a new sweater to wear while hiking on the islands - welcome my Navia Faroe Hiking Sweater!
I choose this yoked Icelandic pullover to knit in Navia for my hiking sweater. I wanted some colorwork and while this isn't the traditional Faroese all-over colorwork style, I love this pattern. I have previously made 2 other yoked colorwork hiking sweaters out of Lettlopi and they are getting very worn (I felted one on a 24-mile hike in the rain in Yorkshire).
What is a hiking sweater?? I love wearing hardy wool sweaters when I hike and backpack for warmth as opposed to a synthetic or down outer layer. I need these sweaters to be warm, weatherproof and hardy. Wearing a pack while walking and sweating for miles can destroy a fine (read, soft) wool very quickly. So far, Léttlopi Icelandic wool has been my go-to yarn for hiking sweaters, it is lightweight and lofty while packing considerable warmth and sturdiness. I knew the Faroese wool would be a good option so I was so excited to try out Navia.
Whenever hiking, layers are the way to go. Changing weather and elevation means I'm always adjusting for comfort. With this in mind, a coarser wool sweater is a fine option as I normally will have a long-sleeve baselayer as well as a mid-layer in between my skin and my outer sweater. For me a hiking sweater is all about function - and a great way to show off your knitting prowess on the trails!
Navia has a much tighter twist than Léttlopi, making it a denser yarn, which I anticipated would make it even warmer. Like Icelandic wool, the Faroese wool consists of two layers - a coarser, weatherproof, longer outer layer and a softer, downy inner layer. The two types of wool are combined and carded together for Navia Traiditon yarn.
Navia can change and bloom quite a bit with blocking so it is very important to block your swatch when testing for gauge. I knit this on a size 6 needle to get gauge - this is a smaller-than recommended needle for Navia. The results of this are a fairly dense pullover, great for warmth in wind and snow. Knit at its recommended, looser gauge, Navia can produce a lighter, softer fabric that is lovely as well.
Sadly, I did not finish this sweater in time to wear it on my hikes on Faroe (I have to go back!) but I did finish it on the long plane rides back home. I just took it out on a blustery snowshoe at Rocky Mountain National Park to test it out and it was great! It kept me warm on a very windy, snow-blowin' day at 10,000 ft. I love the look of the green shades in nature.
Stay tuned for a knitalong coming up at the end of summer for a traditionally-styled Faroese sweater using Navia. You too, can one day knit the hiking sweater of your dreams!