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This is the Roped Shell, by Angela Hahn, out of the Summer 2008 issue of Interweave Knits. (If it looks familiar, it’s because this is the pattern from the cover photo.) Some of her patterns are really cute – it might not be long before I do another!

I knit this with 2 skeins of Claudia’s Handpainted 100% linen, which is the green yarn, and 1 skein of Louet Sales Euroflax, which is the blue. I have a lot of linen in my summer wardrobe already, so I was happy to add another piece! Linen is so great for the climate here; I can wear it for at least 8 months out of the year.

The pattern was straightforward and easy enough. The colorwork uses a technique called “slip-stitch” or “mosaic” knitting. Basically, you do a round with one color, and then do the next round with the other color. If you want the color that you are working with to show, you knit that stitch. If you want the other color to show, you slip the stitch you are working. It makes for a really neat effect; it’s hard to see in the photo, but the pattern is charted and knit as a square, but the slipped stitched stress the fabric such that they turn into little hexagons!

I should have added some more waist shaping; the pattern shaping only draws the waist in an inch or so, while my actual waist goes in about 7 or 8 inches. Still, it looks nice. I did add a loop and snap to each shoulder, to help hide my bra strap. I might still add a second set of loops to keep them more secure.

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The linen yarn is quite slippery, so I used bamboo needles for this project. I normally use metal needles for everything, but the bamboo is “stickier” and doesn’t let the yarn slide around quite so much, making a slippery yarn such as linen much more manageable. This is the second sweater I’ve knit using size 2 needles. For such a fine gauge, it went by quite quickly.

You can see in the bottom of this photo that I’ve started my garden up again. I have lots of deep shade, so I picked out 7 different kinds of caladiums, along with a few other things. I’ll post some garden photos soon. In the meantime, let’s hope that the caladiums work out!

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