Linen Dread

You may have noticed I joined the Linen Drape Along. Its official start date was May 1st. Like a good little knit-alonger I started working on my pattern Saturday morning before leaving for MSW. I charted out the beginning of the sweater, and did a schematic of the whole thing so I knew what I was working toward. Yay! One step down. I reviewed what I had drawn out, measured it against a few favorite sweaters, and felt pretty good that it was going to fit as I had wished.
Then, Sunday, I decided to cast on. I’ve really been looking forward to this one. I love the color – a nice, claret red. And the design – the first one of my own – was shaping up to be really special. I spent hours perusing online about pattern drafting, styles, and fit. I went through my own wardrobe and identified what I liked and didn’t like about the sweaters I owned. And then I added in a few touches to make it really special.
So, armed with all those good feelings, I cast on my stitches and got to work. And here’s where the problems began. As I knit each additional row I was surprised with how inelastic the fabric was. It felt kinda stiff – not drapey and flowy as I had imagined. And knitting it, well, it has a tendency to split. It feels more like knitting embroidery floss than knitting yarn. Seriously, this is the most finicky non-novelty yarn I’ve knit with.
Now, a couple months back I would have just plowed through it. Dealt with the splits by going slower, being more methodical. Telling myself to keep a good attitude and in the end it will be beautiful. But after the past few problems I’ve had with sweaters (the pink calmer top down, the domino ribbon) I decided to put it down and think about it some more.
And I’m glad I did.
After inspecting the fabric and looking closely at the design, I’m afraid the two are a bad match. I need something with more flow. More elasticity. Maybe even something more like a Cascade Fixation with some elastic in it.
So I put down my needles and cast on for one of my socks from the new yarn I got this weekend.
What will I do with the Linen Drape? I’m not sure. I think it needs simple, clean lines. No fussy decreases. No intricate lace. Ribbing? Only as a decorative accent.
Am I frustrated? Amazingly, no. I feel happy that I was able to realize the problem early on and correct it. Maybe even a little proud that I’ve really grown. I have far too little knitting time as it is. To spend any of that time on a garment that’s sure to be frogged – now that’s truly frustrating.

9 thoughts on “Linen Dread

  1. Bummer – well, at least you DO have that pattern planned & you could just use the LD with a Rowan pattern, assuming they match up well! I haven’t started yet since I have a side project that needs to be done in a week & a half, so it’s pushed everything else aside for the moment!
    I found the beads I’m going to use (I actually had three kinds that would have worked…oh, the stash horror…) :-)

  2. Good for you Jody. Washing the swatch might be a good idea though. Hmm…these knitting decisions. Did you place an order with Tess yet?

  3. Like you said, better to know now that you are not happy with the yarn than to have it almost done and frog it.

  4. I also add my voice to the wash your swatch chorus…sometimes that makes for an amazing change. I’m in the Linen Drape along as well, but am actually (gasp) using a pattern that CALLS for that particular fiber. I swatched a few knitting stitch patterns in the Linen Drape and thought ewwwwwwww, until I tried the stitch pattern in Vintage Knits….oh, MUCH better. After washing? I love it enough to invest the time.
    Having said all of that, YES, it shows great growth to put the knitting down and step back and re-evaluate. YAY!
    It was SO great to meet you in person at MSWF! I’m just LOVING what I got from Tess…howzabout you?

  5. Thanks for sharing all your thoughts on Linen Drape! Really helpful. Best of luck with your design. Hope you find the right yarn for it.

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