Lila Top Down

June 08, 2017

I finished Lila Top Down and I couldn't be more happy with it--so much so that I've cast on for another the minute this one was finished.  It's a very well written pattern from Carrie Bostwick Hoge's beautiful book, Madder Anthology 2.  I highly recommend this book--I've made a few patterns from it and plan to make a few more. I did knit Lila once before in pink but ended up gifting it to my 16 year old granddaughter because she loved it and it looked darling on her.  This time I made the smallest size as I wanted no positive ease and I love the way it turned out.  As it's a summer sweater, I shortened the sleeves a bit.  It's a very flattering sweater to wear and the shaped hem is so cute.  I should warn you this is a super quick knit.  I took this as my travel knit and finished it in 3 days! That did include an airplane ride and an at-sea day, but still, I was surprised how quickly it was finished. Luckily I had two more projects with me!

The yarn is the great Rowan Creative Linen, a 50/50 blend of linen/cotton.  If you are willing to experiment just a little, you'll be delighted to add linen fiber into your knitting experience.  Knitted linen fabric will have drape and more of an open weave (wool stitches tend to hug each other while linen stitches tend to keep a respectable distance) with the texture of an oatmeal cookie. For these reasons, linen is best used for a relaxed summer top.  Unlike many linen yarns, Creative Linen is very easy on the hands when knitting and a very easy care yarn.  It's goes in and out of the washing machine with ease. I rarely put this yarn in the dryer and prefer to pat into shape and dry flat in the shade. However, I have put my Creative Linen sweaters in the dryer and they handled it well with no noticeable shrinkage. It's important to give your Creative Linen garment a good soak before wearing. Once you wash or soak it, the fibers will soften significantly.

My summer sweaters look a little shabby this year and I'm determined to make three summer sweaters in the next two months.  One down.  Next will be another Lila, this time in Rowan Handknit Cotton in pale blue.  I also have a sweaters worth of Handknit Cotton in white I'm planning on making a Brooklyn Tweed pattern.  I love white for summer!

The pants are the Martie Pants from J. Crew.  I positively love these pants and started collecting them last year.  They are super comfy with a great fit and are easy care. I have them in white, black, orange, pale gray and these navy check, which are my favorites.  I bought these checkered pants last year and they don't have them on their website this summer, but they have a beautiful emerald green and a red that sure look tempting.

What are you knitting for summer?

My Ravelry project page

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  1. Beautiful summery sweater. I love linen too. Loved your comment about its stitches "keeping a respectable distance." Perfect description! Chloe

    1. Thanks! I only fell in love with knitting with linen when I realized the stitches just won't lie flat and that's ok.

  2. That's a great, neutral piece. I haven't tried a cotton/linen mix yet. There is this loose tank I want to knit to have more coverage over my ribbed tanks when it heats up around here. I like the neckline of this piece.

    1. This yarn is great for a loose tank. I think Kim Hargreaves has used Creative Linen for tanks.

  3. Terrific Kristen. You look fab; and I can understand why you love those pants!


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