More linen knitting

So, my gauge swatch ended up being 39” in circumference and 5” tall, unblocked. I gave it a soak and laid it out with just a little bit of encouragement to maintain its size, and it pretty much did.

The stockinette swatches I made previously got a little smaller when I blocked them, but this slightly lacy pattern seems like it can be coaxed to maintain its size. That’s good, because I don’t want this to be any smaller than 39 inches.

We shall see! I popped this back on the needles and continued going in circles.

Note that the stitch holders are cables from my HiyaHiya stainless circulars, with their cute panda stoppers on the ends. I’m doing the actual knitting on my Lantern Moon ebony circulars, because that’s what I swatched with.

As I continued knitting, I had a little worry. Will I have the perseverance to actually finish a top in fingering weight yarn? There are no idle hands here, but an idle mind led me down this path…

What if I knit it with Quince and Co. Kestrel instead of their Sparrow? Heavy worsted/aran weight linen for a quicker knit? The yarn is actually a narrow knit i-cord ribbon. Playing with this idea also lets me try knitting it flat, so I can have side seams for stability AND a split hem at the sides. I like how bold the stitch pattern looks in this weight, too.

It all feels a bit crunchy right now, but the linen will soften when I wash it. This is one 50g hank, knit up. It measures 20” wide by 6” tall. I’m going to wash and block it now, but I like it so much, I’ll just cast on for the other side while I’m waiting for this to dry.

I don’t know what the actual outcome of this linen experiment will be yet, but it’s summer and the knitting is easy. The actual knitting, anyway. The planning is a little more work.

Just a reminder, my summer knitting pattern sale ends on Friday. See the previous post for details. Happy knitting!

13 responses to “More linen knitting

  1. Jacqueline Lydston

    Keep going. I have faith in you!

  2. That is so pretty. I just love classic white lace!

  3. Debbie Gudger

    Hi! I’ve been swatching/blocking all week with Kestrel for Mira-an open work oversized summer top. I’m liking the crunchiness of the linen. At 20″ positive ease, the gauge isn’t too critical so I was experimenting with my swatch’s response to hand washing/air dry, machine washing and machine drying…(a first for any of my knitting…).
    Machine washing softened it a little, but drying reduced my 8×8 swatch by ½” on all sides. I pulled on it a bit then hung the swatch from a hanger overnight and it’s returned to it’s original size…I’m still not sure I’ll really toss my finished sweater in the washer and dryer when it’s done, but I’m proud of myself for doing all the research! ;D
    What’s the stitch pattern you’re using? I’m searching for something similar for a cardi.

    • 20” positive ease? Wow! But I looked at the pictures on Ravelry, and it looks great. Swingy and breezy.

      Stitch pattern is a bit of old shale lace at the bottom, along with something above it that I found in a Japanese stitch dictionary. If it has a name, I don’t know it!


  4. I love that lace pattern! Worsted weight lace is the best – you get finished so fast. It is looking so lovely 🙂 Very much enjoying watching your experiment developing!

  5. Lori Ann Brass

    This is beautiful. I’d like to knit this as a cowl with a skene of qivuit I just purchased. Is this your pattern and can I purchase this from you?

  6. Lori Ann Brass

    I would like to knit this beautiful pattern as a cowl. Could I buy the basic pattern from you?

  7. Debbie Gudger

    I enjoyed knitting with Kestral-the first linen yarn I’ve used…finished Mira-an oversized lacy top- last week. I did a huge swatch then experimented with blocking-hand washing, machine drying, machine washing and drying-it barely shrank at all. As I wore it the first day it went from moderately oversized to oversized, but it’s what I was going for, so I’d say it’s a perfect pairing of pattern and yarn.

    • I’m enjoying Kestrel on this second (blue) go-round. I’m knitting it at a snugger gauge, and I like the fabric better.

      Did your Mira have side seams, or was it knit in the round? I definitely wanted side seams on my top, because I didn’t want it to grow to my knees. I’d love to see a picture of your FO!