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© Quince & Co.

Knitting with linen is always tricky.  Swatching isn't as exact, because your fabric with ease up significantly with repeat washings and lengthen if the garment has any weight at all to it.  And, because I have a very loose gauge from the get go, swatching is even riskier business for me on linen.


My first swatch for Aster was on size 8 needles.  The pattern recommends 9.  And it was huge.  Very pretty but huge.  I would have knit a monster size garment.


I went down to size 6 needles and after washing, blocking and stretching the swatch (to imitate normal wear), I had gauge.  Or at least, I had stitch gauge.  My row gauge is off for the garter stitch piece. Interestingly, the pattern suggests going down a size when you hit the garter stitch block at the top, and that gives me row gauge.  But not stitch gauge.  So I'll do some math-fu on that part.


After swatching, I was distracted by two sweet little stray kittens who came to live with us this week. Aren't they cute?  They ADORE knitting.  This is not a good thing.


This pattern calls for negative ease, and I'm knitting it for my daughter, so I chose the 31.5" size.  The next size up, at 34" would have been far too large.  The start is stockinette stitch, and you can see that it rolls.  The roll up at the bottom concerned me, but looking at the pattern photos I saw a slight roll. I'm hopeful that as the garment grows in size, its weight will work on that.

A littlemore

I'm not sure that hope is going to work out, because I'm past the first set of decreases, but I still have a roll of linen.  And on the gauge front, as I thought might happen, even with my best efforts to knit tightly, I'm still getting enough fewer stitches over time that I'm please with the choice of the 31.5" size. It's too early to tell if that will hold up, but as of right now, even with the stretching that is inevitable as the garment grows, I think I should get a good fit.

Finally, a word about the yarn.  This is Quince and Co's linen tape yarn, Kestrel.  I love their sport weight linen, Sparrow, which is a typically spun yarn, and which I used for Lida last summer.

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The verdict is still out on Kestrel.  I had a knot in the first skein after knitting three rows, which did not get us off to a friendly start together.  But this is a good project to test it out on and see how it performs.


New Knitting

I'm violating the rule of "one project off the needles means one new one on" this week.  My Frostline is finished, but I've started two more projects.

First, a Zissou Hat.  It's for the Judge for Father's Day.  Ssssh.  Don't tell him (I'm pretty sure he doesn't read my blog).  I've got some lovely red Plucky Knitter Bello Worsted yarn and I've played with the math-fu to convert a pattern meant for a much finer weight cotton yarn.  This probably means d-i-s-a-s-t-e-r, but I'm game.  When finished, it will (hopefully) look something like this.

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© Lalla Pohjanpalo

Reminder:  If you haven't seen Wes Anderson's movie The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, DO!  Just drop whatever you are doing right now (take along your knitting) and get it on Netflix or Amazon.

Second new project, and still in the swatching stage, is a (hopefully) quick tank top I want to knit for the ballerina before she goes off to her summer program.

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© Quince & Co.

The yarn is a fascinating Linen tape yarn from Quince, one of my favorite yarn makers and definitely my favorite for all things linen.  This will require me to sew pieces together with mattress stitch, which will likely take more time than all of the knitting combined.  I'm already trotting out my mantra: I love finishing up my knitting projects.  Because really, like most knitters, I'm a bit adverse to finishing.  But, having managed to weave in untold ends on my Frostline, I think it was something like 24 ends, this should be cake.  




Clapotis: An Old Knitting Favorite


In 2009 I knit a Clapotis out of linen.  To be precise, that is Elliebelly Chemise in the Nassau Colorway.

Every year, around this time I take my summer clothes out of storage, and fall in love Clapotis all over again.  Kate Gilbert's brilliant pattern stands the test of time.  And, in linen, Clapotis is decorative, protective from the sun, a little bit of extra warmth – all as needed.

It's interesting how some knits remain favorites for ever.  This Clapotis, my second one, knit up much more quickly than the first.  It's much smaller and I understood the pattern going into it.  It's very simple.  And yet, I reach for it constantly. 

What knits have stood the test of time for you?  What patterns do you see out there that you think could achieve that status in your knitting?  My other knit in this category is Lida, which I finished just last year, and which I wear constantly.


I was unable to resist Sparrow

Quince and Co.'s lightweight linen yarn Sparrow has been calling my name all spring. I finally gave in and cast on for this pretty little shawl, Lida by Bristol Ivy. More details later, but this one is so pretty and I can't wait to see the yarn soften into linen's beautiful drape once this is finished and washed.

I was unable to resist Sparrow


Erosion Bundles: In Place

It's cold; cold for Alabama, at least.  By the time I was done, I could barely wrap the gardener's wire I was using to put my bundles in place.

All three

I've wired all three bundles to some chain link fencing (a little rust from rain run off?) near the bottom of our yard.  Our dogs and cats observed the process with great interest and I'm watching to see if the squirrels and birds will get involved.

I've named each of the bundles to make it easier to follow their progress:

  • Art


  • Phoenix


  • And Canvas


Now it's just a waiting game to see what happens.  Cold is in our forecast — perhaps a rare Alabama snow later in the week.  I've placed them where they are sure to have tree blossom, nuts, and leaves rain down on them, hopefully leaving some dye marks on the outer wrappings, at least.  And some rust would be nice.  But there is no telling what the result will be.


Clapotis, Clapotis

It's been done for a week now, and I've had the best intentions of getting good pictures for you.  Instead I got this, at 3:45 in the morning with no one around to help.


It's a new art form–bad flash mirror pictures or something.

The Clapotis is wonderful, though.  The yarn is a silk/linen blend and it ripples like water in this colorway.  Here.


 Clapotis in bloom 

Some people in our house think this pattern is actually a catpotis, but I feel quite sure it is going to be worn, a lot, by me.