When In Doubt, Flip It! -- Palm Cove in Rowan Pure Linen
I received two sample balls from Rowan and really loved the silver color Arizona in particular.
And what do you know, the accompanying booklet The Pure Linen Collection, had a great top that would be a quick but interesting to make. The book highlights that this yarn can be used at a lot of different gauges. Palm Cove by Lisa Richardson is designed for a loose gauge and only needed 4 balls for a long-sleeve top, woohoo! Also, the open-back detail is big in fashion these days.
|Can you believe how perfect the dress was for this top?!|
Well, as you can tell, the open back didn't work out! Two big issues emerged. First the bottom was sloppy and wavy, a fact that I believe is hidden by the model's arm.
|Try to pick up less stitches in the straight hem.|
Now, this could have been me. The way the top is made, you create the backs and front and then pick up along the edges and knit downwards for the ribbing. If you pick up too many stitches, it could be wavy. But if you pick up too few, it gathers the fabric (which I like less). Also, how tight you bind-off makes a huge difference. I really think I did the best I could... but still, not a high impact piece at all. Just, meh.
The other problem was the neckline. You see, you have two overlapping backs compared to a single layer lacy front. Unexpectedly, the weight of the backs pulled up on the collar in a seriously choke-y way. Uncomfortable.
I was disillusioned, but then I thought... what if I turned this sucker around?! Whoah, it fit perfect! The wavy hem was ok in the back, especially since it was lessened by my tush. :) And without the unequal weight in the back, the neckline was very comfortable.
Whatever way you like to wear it, I do suggest you secure the opening with a running stitch right near the bind-off. Otherwise, the parts will shift and you will find yourself adjusting the fronts instead of catwalking and showing off, naturally.
Ok, so are you ready for my thoughts on the yarn? This is the easiest review ever, because I LOVED IT. It is my favorite yarn from the whole Rowan year, maybe the last 2 years! It may feel firm when it's in the ball in the store, but it is so soft when you knit it you will not recognize it as linen. Since making this top, I have been making a bag with Quince & Co.'s 100% linen Sparrow yarn. After a few hours, I simply must put the knitting down, because my fingers feel raw, even though the fabric is lovely. I would have to knit a lifetime before I felt that with Pure Linen, seriously. Also, I must say, the shine is impressive -- like a flaxen-haired maiden from a fairy tale.
The yarn is loosely spun and quite thick and voluminous, and so it can handle many gauges beautifully. With the softness comes some delicacy however. I don't mean this stuff will break... once I was left without scissors and my teeth could not rescue me, it is definitely strong! But, because of the softness and spin, fibers will come off easily and small hairs will wisp away. I found that blocking tamed a lot of these fibers. In fact, this was the most satisfying blocking experience I've ever had... when I lifted the pieces they were like pristine sheets of cardboard, go linen!
So Rowan fans... do you know that July 15 is already the release of the Fall/Winter season and Rowan Mag 56?! Oh dear, I am in trouble. I've seen everything and I can't wait to show you my favorites. And I have REAL NEWS, I am traveling to the Rowan mothership in Holmfirth, UK at the end of of the month and will be able to see some of these pieces in person. So, double info for you all! If you'd like to stay in tune with the Rowan spoilers, check out my Facebook Page Dayana Knits.
See my Linen Cove on Ravelry