First off, Happy Worldwide Knit in Public Day! Today, June 13, is the day when you’re supposed to go out and knit in public, causing random strangers to ask, “Uh, is that knitting? My grandmother knits.” Resist the urge to poke them in the eye with your needles and just say, “Yes.” I’m super-excited the Worldwide Knit in Public Day website has this Africa-centric logo as an option. 🙂
This would be a perfect opportunity to work on you Graduate Your Stash KAL project, where you knit with the oldest thing in your stash. I’m working on the Green River Shawl in some Davidson Domy Heather in the Columbine color that I bought in 2005. Read this recent post for the full details on how you can join and win prizes.
Now, on to our regularly scheduled program. If you know anything about me as a knitter, you know I’m a process knitter. If you know anything about me as a person, you also know I had a baby a few months ago. This means I’m in that lovely stage where my maternity clothes are way too big, but my regular clothes are still uncomfortably (and unattractively) tight. Most of my dresses would fit, but it’s hard to nurse in public wearing a dress. I’m just in the mood for lightweight, layering shells. And linen. I’ve never knit with linen. (There’s the process knitter coming out, I guess.)
Enter Knit Picks.
I saw a sleeveless top in the most recent Interweave Knits magazine (the Western Slope Tee) that I instantly wanted to wear. For once, the knitting didn’t come into it so much, just the wearing. The sample was made out of Knit Picks Lindy Chain yarn, which is a linen/cotton blend that is chain-plied. This means that when you look at the yarn close-up, you see that it’s actually a long daisy or crochet chain of individual plies. Linen tends to be a little stiff when you knit with it, but it gets softer and drapier every time you knit with it – just the thing I want in my tops.
Upon closer inspection, I decided I *didn’t* want to knit the Western Slope Tee. I had been lured in by the yarn and the idea of a simple top, but it wasn’t necessarily that I was in love with this particular design. It appears that other people are, though, since that particular color of Lindy Chain is sold out until almost October. 🙂 So I did some searching in Ravelry and came up with these: the Gizeh Top by Tetiana Oruta and the Brandilyn Top by Quenna Lee. Both patterns are available from the Knit Picks Independent Design Partnership, which gives 100% of the sales price to the designer. (Ask me how I know.) I purchased both, as well as Lindy Chain yarn in Navy for Gizeh and Chocolate for Brandilyn. (I’m a little confused how a very fitted sleeveless top and a very loose short-sleeved top call for the same amount of yarn, but I’ll burn that bridge when I come to it.) As a bonus, I got a free skein of Chroma Fingering in Lake Front as part of a Knit Picks promotion.
As I said, linen has a nice drape, so I’m concerned this yarn might grow, lengthwise, as it hangs. I’m usually a terrible swatcher. I do it, but I tend to make tiny swatches and rarely wash them like you’re supposed to. This time, I’m going to do a decent swatch, wash it, dry it, and then hang it vertically for a few days. Then I’ll do my measuring. If I’m gonna go all product knitter, then I’d better make sure these things fit. I think I’ll start with the Brandilyn, since it calls for lots of positive ease, and, as a nursing mother, my bust size changes every few hours.
I’ll update you as I make progress. The irony of all this, of course, is that Kenya is hitting its cold season, and I’m wearing wool socks and wool sweaters for once. But I guess its hard to shake three decades of northern hemisphere mental conditioning telling me to think June means summer…