Quince & Co. recently released some awesome new patterns using linen yarn. I've never knit with linen before, but was intrigued by several of the patterns. However, after finishing the Mash-Up sweater, I had 3 skeins left of the natural Berroco Ultra Alpaca, so I wanted to use that before I bought more yarn. With only the 3 skeins, I couldn't knit a big project, but I thought that I had enough for a short sleeve cardi that would come in handy for this in between Spring weather. When I saw the Jessamin cardigan and that it called for size 10 1/2 needles, I thought that I could do an adaptation of it with the alpaca. For the Mash-Up sweater, I used size 7 needles, so I was curious to see how the alpaca would drape with the larger size needles. I followed the pattern instructions until I got to the open lace pattern, which seemed really simple. But for some reason, I could do the first 2 rows of the 4 row pattern, but when I completed all 4, my stitch count was off. I tried twice and I couldn't figure it out. (I'm not blaming the pattern; it just wasn't working for me.) So I decided to do just the first 2 rows several times, interspersed with straight stitch and ending with a couple rows of garter stitch. I was a little worried about picking up the stitches for the trim, but I did okay. I ended with simple short sleeves ending in garter stitch. Before blocking, the holes in the lace pattern were barely visible because the alpaca/wool blend is so springy. I was almost going to frog it, but decided to block and see what happened, and I am so glad that I did! I blocked it aggressively and the pattern opened up. The already lightweight alpaca is super lightweight and drapey when knit on the big needles.
The weather has been Spring-like here - one day warm enough for the little babe to be playing in her bathing suit, but then the next day we're staring forlornly at the cold dark woodstove. So the warmth of this alpaca blend is still appreciated, but I've got my eye on several of those linen patterns.