This week in Portland, Maine, has been hot and muggy. Plants droop in their pots moments after they’re watered, keys, mouse, and doorknobs stick to the fingers, and fans are sluggish as they shove air across the room. I arrive at work armed with refreshment--an extra large iced latte and three bottles of water dripping with condensationa survival kit for a hot and hazy afternoon in a quaint, but un-air-conditioned, office.
What to knit under these lurid mid-season conditions? An open, lacey shawl, of course.
This week, gossamer yarn and 000 needles are out of the question. What’s needed is a cool, linen-y mid-weight yarn that cruises through the fingers and a stitch pattern that practically knits itself.
Sharon Brown, former head of Classic Elite’s luxury division, has designed the perfect project for summer knitting. She says her shawl, lightweight and unwrinkable, is the perfect travel accessory. It’s elegant worn over bare shoulders in sultry weather. And when things cool off, try it wrapped around the neck with a jean jacket.
Interlude70% linen, 30% silk
Interlude is a beautiful yarn spun from an unusual combination of fiberslinen and silk. As you would expect, the linen component in Interlude adds heft and structure to the yarn for lovely stitch definition. As you can see in the photo of Sharon’s shawl, the yarn supports the open stitches in the lace pattern and highlights its structure. A bit of silk adds softness, drape, and sheenthe perfect antidote to linen’s sober, no frills characteristics. Learn more about linen?
Here's the free downloadable Lace Wrap pattern.
Sharon swatched several patterns before settling on Checkerboard Mesh from Barbara Walker’s A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns, the middle volume in Walker’s invaluable trio of stitch libraries. In this lace pattern, mesh diamonds are framed by a trellis of stockinette stitch. The pattern has a 20-row repeat, but don’t be put off. Several of the rows repeat themselves and every wrong-side row is purled. Once you get going, it’s straightforward knitting all the way.
Here is more information on how to work decrease stitches.