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I started Canyon , by Mel Ski, earlier this summer on a day trip to Galveston Island with my daughter and her husband.  It sounds so idyllic… being on the isle… finding shells… knitting the hours away next to clear blue water.

Reality was restful, but not quite so perfect.  The water just isn’t as pretty as instagram makes it seem, and there had been recent warnings about waterborne viruses, so I didn’t swim.  I did get in up to my ankles to run along the beach, dodging jellyfish.  And it’s nice to lay on the beach and talk with people you love.  Plus, I found a sea bean- always a satisfying experience.  

We took the ferry, perused an antique store, and had a really good meal downtown.  But I’m totally in it for the sea beans and shells.

Back to Canyon:  I needed a stockinette, fairly simple knit for that trip and for knitting in the theatre  later in the week.  Knit on larger needles, this top grows very quickly and is easy to see in the dark.

I love everything about this pattern- the way changing the stitch creates shaping, the linen yarn, and the colorblocking.

I also like the easy way the edges roll under so there’s no need for finishing them further.  The hi-lo hem is pretty awesome too.

Details:  I used size 7 needles, 2 skeins of Willow Yarns Field in Lobster and 1 skein in Pebble.   It was similar to the colors of the sample, which I loved, but I had a coupon code for Willow Yarns, so I choice them.

I found this cotton/ linen blend just a bit more linen-y than other such blends I’ve tried.  I liked it as much as a wool knitter can like knitting with linen or cotton.  I am adaptable and highly motivated to use plant fibers because of the incredible pore-opening, sweat hog heat I live in.  And the cotton content does make it easier to knit with than pure linen.

It’s also an incredibly easy fiber to wear and care for.  However, when I washed it, I wet blocked it to make sure I had enough length, rather than more width.  I knit the medium size, but it was still looking a bit tighter than pattern gauge (mostly in length), so I added some length like this:

Mods on the front:  On the bottom stitch pattern, just before the stockinette portion begins,  I added 3 extra repeats of Rows 3 and 4 that I had just been working.

Then, on the stockinette bit, I added 3 extra rows of CC after the decreases, but before adding the MC stripe.  I then made the MC stripe 2 rows, instead of one, to avoid weaving in another end since I had carried my MC along the side.  So I added 6 rows to the bottom and 4 to the top.

Mods on the back: Just before shaping for the arms, I added 3 repeats of Rows 3 and 4 that I had been working.
Then, at the top, I added 4 rows of stockinette to the stockinette portion.   So I added 6 rows to the bottom and 4 to the top, as on the front.

I have to admit, I was unsure if these would sew up well together.  The back looked so big in comparison to the front.  But after carefully studying other finished projects, I realized that the seams are more toward the front of this top, not at the side as with most sweaters.

Seaming wasn’t bad at all.  I use one locking stitch markers to hold the sides together where the arm hole should start and just eyed it the rest of the way.

I am glad for the length I added.  As you can see mine does not have the amount of ease as the pattern sample, but it’s still oversized and comfy.  I am still getting used to my current shape and often reflexively pick patterns for the “old me” and am surprised when I try on a WIP and remember I have a chest and hips now.  In this case, it worked out fine because this had plenty of ease.   I’m very happy with it.

I’d like to get my daughter to try this on because I think she’d really like one and, being linen, it would be worn more often and be near indestructible with lazy washing habits.

(on ravelry, kollabora, instagram, and flickr)

I have some more of the Lobster color, to combine with a light pink, for the Pomelo bag from Pom Pom Quarterly Issue 13.

I also have yarn ready for Trail, another pattern in 6 Bits: Wander.  These collections are just the most beautifully photographed and knitted!

This is my first warm weather top to make this year and it’s been insanely hot for months here.  Have you guys been making any progress on summer-weight knits?

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