Crocheting, Designing, Knitting, NYC

on a linen bender…

I’m in love this summer….with linen yarn. When the temperature rises, along with the relative humidity, it’s so much easier to work with a yarn that slides off the needle and doesn’t make your hands sweat (Wow – there’s a picture. ungh.)

Anyway, the lovefest started a little while back, maybe several weeks ago, when I first saw this adorable “Dejeuner” market bag knitting kit being offered by Quince and Co., an awesome new knitting venture out of Maine with Pam Allen and Carrie Bostick Hoge at the helm. It’s made with Quince and Co’s own fingering-weight linen yarn called Sparrow that is spun from organic linen and is undyed.

Copyright - Quince and Co.

I always try to do my big grocery shopping trips with reusable shopping bags, but they’re big and bulky and not portable for smaller, spur-of-the-moment trips. This lighterweight bag, however, will be perfect for slipping into my purse and having at hand when I need to make an unexpected shopping stop. (How very European of me to make daily shopping trips for “just what I need” haha!) Even more fun – the bag is made with two strands of the linen yarn held together and worked into a lacy pattern with a US 10 needle, which is pretty big for fingering weight yarn. I’m looking forward to casting on for it soon – it’ll definitely be one of the projects I take along on my vacation next week!

So one project in linen probably doesn’t qualify as falling in love. But wait! There’s more! Quince and Co. also just released another knitting design this week featuring the Sparrow linen yarn, a seamless top called the Nyanen tee designed by Cecily Glowik Macdonald, one of my favorite sweater designers.

Copyright - Quince and Co.

As soon as I saw it, I was done for. I loooove the zigzagging lace combined with the clean shape and lack of seams – perfect for easy summer knitting and summer wearing. So now I have two linen projects to take with me on vacation! Luckily, the linen yarn is very light and these projects will travel very well in one or two of my innumerable project bags. I’m hoping to clear my mind a bit and take a brief vacation from designing in early July, so that I can immerse myself in following someone else’s instructions for a change 🙂

So, how about a third linen project? I know, it’s becoming an obsession. Last weekend, Purl Soho, the famous knitting/crocheting/sewing store downtown in NYC, sent out their newsletter featuring….Granny-circle crocheted placemats!

Copyright - Purl Soho

Now, crocheted placemats are not something I would ever have thought of making. But when I saw the picture, I made the infamous sound of cuteness: “Squeeeee!” (I can vouch for this reaction – my next door neighbor, a partner-in-knitting-crime, felt the same way.) And what yarn did I think I should use? Why, more Sparrow linen yarn, of course! The placemats above were crocheted in Cascade’s Ultra Pima cotton yarn (which is an utterly gorgeous yarn by the way – great palette of colors), but I felt sure that I’d have enough leftovers from the two projects above to also squeeze out one placemat. Waste not, want not! I’ve never crocheted “in the round,” as it were, so I foresee at least one phone call to my crochet guru, Mom. (Thanks in advance, Mom! Heehee).

So that’s the extent of my addiction…thus far. Hi, my name is Danielle, and I’m obsessed with linen yarn.

Let’s move on to something equally yummy now. My Sea Silk wrap is growing steadily, thanks to knitting sessions before breakfast, on the train, and during various PBS shows at night.

This picture really shows off the sheen of the yarn. Obviously, a good blocking session will be needed to flatten the edges and open up the lace.

I was struggling a bit with an apropos name for the design. But last night, I saw Midnight in Paris, the new Woody Allen comedy, with my sister Gabrielle and our good friend Michelle. The movie was GREAT – so tongue-in-cheek funny, check it out if you get a chance! One of the scenes of the movie features La Belle Epoque, the historical era at the turn of the 20th century that’s known for having produced colorful art and graceful architecture in Paris. It struck me that “Belle Epoque” would be a great name for a colorful silk wrap, so let’s go with that title for now, shall we? I’m hoping that I’ll have this wrap done next week, so that I can photograph it on my sister/model while we’re away on our 4th of July vacation – I’ll keep you posted….

PS: I’ve got a great item to share. My sister-in-law, Alex, and I love to do canning – my mom taught both of us last summer and it’s been a great pastime ever since. Alex reads the aptly-titled Food in Jars blog about canning, and she came across these knitted jar cozies! How cute are they? hahahaha

2 thoughts on “on a linen bender…”

  1. Yes, those crocheted place mats caught my eye, too, and they don’t look to be too difficult to do, once one gets in the groove…! The jar cozies are very cute, but I wonder if it wouldn’t be easier to start with a knitted (or CROCHETED…!!) circle for the bottom of the jar and just pick up stitches around and knit a pattern ’round and’ round to your heart’s content…I can see those wheels turning from here…:=)

  2. I’ve made a few market bags for my sister, who is living in Germany right now. It seems that they shop almost daily there, for their food items, and they don’t have “plastic bags” like we do. She loves using them, so I am sure you will find your little market bag very handy for those everyday items, and easy to carry too.

    I love that little lace knit top. I hope you follow through, and do make one. I would love to see it finished on a “real person.” LOL

    The shawl/stole is coming along very nicely. Looking forward to seeing that finished too. But since I know how time consuming they can be, I won’t try to rush you. LOL

    Have a great 4th weekend.

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