In what is by now a standard manner, I have finished a summer knit just in time for the fall.
This started out as a Flores Tee, using the pattern by eri shimuzu, but I made a lot of modifications, and in the end, didn’t bother to consult the pattern past the first few inches. So, I think we could say that I used the pattern as a general recipe and then went off-piste. So, it is a “not quite Flores”.
I fell in love with this design when I saw a project for it on Ravelry (this one), that I loved with the power of many suns. On the same day, I received an email from The Uncommon Thread advertising the same yarn that was used in the project, and I considered that was destiny knocking. I pre-ordered it lickety-split.
The yarn is called Linum, and is a scrumptious blend of 50% Alpaca, 25% silk, and 25% linen. It is truly divine. Doug wants me to knit him a tee in this yarn. It has the best hand, and is wonderfully soft, and gossamer light, and has a beautiful sheen.
As soon as I started to knit, I realised that part of the reason I loved the project was the yarn, but the other part was the fantastic, oversized, fit and modern shape. At which point reality hit me: these lovely, drapey, shapes look beautiful and edgy because they are modeled on slim, lithe bodies who can carry off a garment with 15-20″ of ease, BUT I haven’t been that person for 30 years. So, right away, my project became a standard fit tee shirt and not an architectural piece of garment theatre. Which isn’t to say that it is not a really good tee shirt, which fits well, has beautiful drape and sheen, and is in a glorious colour that truly pops. It is just not the idea which catapulted the purchase in the first place.
The first modification was to knit it with significantly less ease; in fact, I think the finished project has about 2 inches of negative ease. The rib stitch is very stretchy and thus can easily be done with some negative ease without feeling clingy. I also got rid of the twisted stitch in the ribbing. In my experience, twisted rib always ends up torqued, especially in linen. This means that instead of the ribs being lined up straight, they lean significantly to the side. I don’t know if this is a general thing, or if it is just related to my style of knitting, but almost every time I have knitted a twisted rib, I end up pulling it out and re-knitting a normal rib.
I also got rid of the eyelets on the bottom hem and sleeves, and shortened the bottom ribbing. The body of the sweater is knit in a broken 3X1 rib (knit on the odd rows, ribbed on the even rows). At the sleeve and hem edges, instead of switching to a 1×1 ribbing, I continued with a 3×1 ribbing, but now ribbed on every row (and with a size smaller needle). This means that the ribbing on the body sort of melts into the ribbing on the edges, and it gives what I think is a very clean line. The change in ribbing is only actually visible on the reverse side.
This brings me to one of the excellent design features of the original pattern, which is that the garment is reversible, with the reverse side having a more obvious rib, compared to the understated rib of the front side. Many people state that they prefer the reverse side and tend to wear it that way. You only need to be careful with picking up stitches and weaving in ends, and then you can choose to wear it either way. Below I am wearing it with the reverse side out.
I finished this about 3 weeks ago, and have been wearing it very frequently since. The colour bled a lot on washing, so beware if using it for multi-coloured projects (in which case, I would rinse the yarn thoroughly before using). I am a bit worried about how it will hold up, as the yarn is incredibly light and it feels as if it could be one of those projects that ends up getting stretched out of shape. The yarn doesn’t have a lot of memory, as a good wool would. If I were to knit with this again, I might be tempted to go down a needle size and knit at a tighter gauge, just to give it a bit more structure, or to knit in pieces and seam it, as that always lends a bit more structure. It is an absolutely glorious yarn, however, and I will definitely use it again. (Doug, maybe there is a knitted tee in your future.)
Doug and I spent an afternoon trying to photograph this shortly after I finished blocking it. He took the photo of me on the country road, but the rest of them were truly awful! One of the ongoing problems that Doug has had post-Covid has to do with his eyes, and it turns out that he couldn’t see well enough that day to take a photo. We laughed so hard when we saw the photos, and I realised how much this blog relies on Doug’s ability to take a nice photo (and his endless willingness to take them). Hopefully, the vision problem will get sorted. (Before you ask, we have been to see many different medical specialists and the problem seems to be neurological rather than opthamological; covid is nasty stuff).
This week both Doug and I have had birthdays. (Doug had a “big” birthday, one of those that end with a zero). For our birthday present, the girls came home to visit! In addition to all of the obvious reasons this is great, it also means I was able to co-opt Emma into taking blog photos.