in progress

To start things off…

linenAs Japan is in the midst of Golden Week, I decided to cast on for Purl Soho’s Notched Hem Tank Top to take advantage of the free time. Some people string their vacation days together to fly to Hawaii during GW – I make plans with my needles and string (and a rewatch of Gilmore Girls, thanks). Anyway, I’ve been wanting to knit this top up for a while, as Purl Soho’s patterns are always beautiful, simple, and elegant, and I LOVE summer knitting. I mean, I love winter knitting too, and it’s still cold enough where knitting with wool is completely acceptable. But I love how these seasonal yarns are so different from each other. Wool, alpaca, animal fibers are all so alive and fluffy. And plant fibers are so .. rugged? Crinkly and sproingy. Alive in a completely different way. I’ve been switching between the two types with each project, and it’s been nice.

What I haven’t been switching up is my needle size. You know this project calls for a size 7? And you know what size I’m using? Japanese size 1s. Eh, the life of a loose knitter.

Granted, the yarn is thinner than the ridiculous boutique yarn called for in the pattern. (Sorry Purl Soho, I know it’s an aspirational knitting dream website kind of thing – no hard feelings). I actually found a new yarn shop in Morioka a few months back, which, first of all, was a real shock. I thought I had found them all. But yes, there was a yarn shop hidden behind the pachinko parlor (and next to a love hotel, hah!), and what’s more – they produce and sell their own yarns. In fact, that’s all they sell! They’re called Nanatsumugi (link in Japanese). They’ve got wool of course, some variegated monstrosities (SORRY I just hate variegated yarn), and a new silk line with a gorgeous dark blue. Luckily they also have a 100% linen line, which was great because I was in the market for a linen top. I picked this rich garnet.

Two strands held double, with 1s, produces a dense fabric but it’s still see-through enough to warrant a tank top underneath (Darn). The lady at Nanatsumugi was surprised I needed so much yarnage, because apparently they knit this stuff at size 10 gauge. WTF! Don’t tell them I said this, but their knits are ridiculously loose. Drapey, yes, but that stuff is going to drape down to the ground after wearing it once. Well, anyway. I’ve always liked a firmer fabric.

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