Friday, May 1, 2015

Linen Sweater

So, on April 19th my mom finally met my boyfriend's mom. We went to see Swan Lake, which was fantastic, but we went to a matinee performance so that my boyfriend's family had time to drive home. A matinee, of course, meant I needed a new outfit because I had nothing in between too formal for day wear and too casual for the ballet. I had already started working on my wrap dress before I got the invitation to the ballet, and I had already purchased the yarn I used in the sweater too, but I had to rush a bit to get the sweater done in time for the ballet. I cast on the sweater on March 22 and the morning of the ballet I was sewing on the buttons.

I ended up running out of time before I finished a purse to go with it, but I think my outfit looks fabulous. 

The yarn is Knit Picks Lindy Chain in the colorway Linen. I've never knit with linen yarn before and I have to say it was awesome. I was sort of expecting something like cotton, soft, with a tendency to stretch. I've got to say that it was nothing like that. Yes, the finished fabric does stretch and you can see that it stays wrinkled (obviously I took these photos after wearing the sweater all day), but the yarn was amazing. Working with it, it had a kind of sensual roughness and it feels surprisingly heavy for a fingering weight yarn. The yarn is not soft, but it doesn't itch like some animal fibers, it just feels good. I'm already trying to think of other projects that will let me use it again. 

I feel like I'm going to have to wash this sweater each time I wear it in order to bounce it back to its original shape, just like a cotton sweater. I haven't washed it yet, so I don't know how much recovery it will actually have. In the future, I might avoid linen for sweaters on that basis, but I'm reserving judgment until I do actually wash it.

And speaking of the shape of the sweater: I used the pattern Peacock Eyes Cardigan. It was very enjoyable to knit. I think it might be the first top-down sweater that I've done and I really liked being able to try it on to get the length right. I have a long torso and my sweaters often end up a little shorter than I mean for them too, but this one was just right. I also liked that the pattern had an option for 3/4 sleeves. Usually, I go for long sleeves and then end up distorting the cuffs because I am forever shoving them up to my elbows. I think in the future I'm going to do more sweaters with 3/4 sleeves. 

All in all, I am very pleased with this sweater. It dressed up nicely with my dress, but I think it will also look great with a t-shirt and jeans and the color is a fantastic light neutral. Before the rush for the ballet I had intended to make this sweater with this yarn for it to function as a good versatile sweater and I think it will manage to be exactly that. 

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