Monday, July 07, 2008

Summer Swing Jacket--and Pattern!

Yarn: Henry's Attic Normandy Linen in natural gray, less than 1 cone (800 yds. per cone)
Needles: Addi Turbo US 8, 32"
Pattern: Summer Swing Jacket by me. **Download here.**
Ravelry link
***EDITED TO ADD*** The pattern is now available above as a free Ravelry download. It's only sized for me, so you'll have to make adjustments if you're not the same size, but several people had asked about it, so I thought putting up what I had was better than nothing. Hope you enjoy! :)

I've always been inspired by all things Japanese, and especially by the designs and yarns at Habu. I find their aesthetic so simple and soothing and beautiful. But I wanted, specifically, a short-sleeved linen summer top, a little something to throw over my tank top on a cool evening, something a little Japanese, a little sweet, and very minimal. So I wrote the simplest pattern I could come up with--no side shaping, all one piece, kimono sleeves, no edgings--dutifully made and washed my gauge swatch, and went to work.
You wouldn't believe how many times I almost ripped the whole thing out. Not being able to try on as you knit, combined with having to trust in the fairly substantial shrinkage I figured in thanks to my swatch, made for a slightly more nervous knitter than I had planned to be. Even once it was put together, it wasn't until I washed and blocked it that I finally breathed a sigh of relief: it was exactly as I'd imagined it.
The linen washes like a dream, transforming from something stiff and strawlike into rows of drapey, even knitting. It hangs so nicely, in a way that I hoped it would, but wasn't sure about till the end, and now I can say that it was well-worth the experience of knitting it, which was... well, let's just say, linen is just not wool. More like a light twine scraping over the fingers for about 700 yards....
Wanna see more photos? They're here.
Relaxing on a bench in Tel Aviv:
Hooray for successful summer knits! They are not always easy to come by.
We took a break from eating (well, I was eating--Vitalay is not back on solids yet, having had a not-so-fun time getting his wisdom teeth out, WIDE AWAKE!) and picture-taking to grab an iced coffee (again, for me) and pop into a fabric store (oops, that was for me too).
Fabric shopping here is, well, it's no Purl Patchwork or Brooklyn General. But if you're up for the challenge, you can find some treasures--like this pretty printed linen, for less than $3 a meter! I nearly choked on my iced coffee.
OK, off to work on that languishing Indigo Ripples Skirt. If I just knit 10 rows a day on it, then I'll be done in, like, 4 days. Only 4 more days of indigo-stained hands....