The ATX Linen Tote & Louet’s Euroflax Sport

I have a habit of saving my favorite things and not using them. My husband actually had to have a small intervention with me because he would buy my favorite foods and I would save them until they expired. The same is sometimes true of yarn and although I’ve gotten much better about knitting and spinning my favorites first, old habits die hard.

I’ve long admired Louet’s Euroflax Sport. When I first started knitting I was totally smitten with this yarn, but in my newbie knitter mind it was on a pedestal — very fancy and something to look forward to using when I was more skilled. I would go into shops and touch this gorgeous wet spun linen and I would longingly think, “Someday.” At long last, that day finally came at the end of May when along with the June Spinzilla Pack (if you haven’t yet, you can read my review of the pack here) I received a couple skeins of Euroflax Sport and a new exclusive pattern from the awesome folks at Louet. Finally, this yarn was in my hands and I had to knit it right away. No excuses!

The ATX Linen Tote by Staci Perry of   v e r y p i n k  is as complete as they come when it comes to patterns. Clearly written and with a five-part video tutorial, this pattern is very accessible to knitters of almost any skill level. I found it a fun and easy summer knit and did the bulk of this project in the car to and from our exciting family vacation to Minnesota.

As you can see, car knitting…

IMG_9730And I finished up while relaxing at home…

IMG_9737As I said, the perfect summer knitting. Simple, but fun. Stripes are always fun, aren’t they? Especially when they are as cool as this!

I loved working with the Euroflax Sport. I’d say it was worth the wait, but really the sentiment I wish to convey is that I shouldn’t have waited this long to knit with it. It’s a very high quality linen and knits up like one. There was no splitting, even with the lace tips I used which  is pretty awesome. The most spectacular thing about this yarn, however, is when you wash it. I machine washed the bag on gentle and even ran it through the dryer on low or air fluff which in and of itself is wonderful in its magnificent low-maintence way. When it came out of the wash, though, oh my! How soft! It washes up beautifully — I am so impressed!

My bag was knit using the Burgundy and Sunset colorways, the latter being a new color this year.

ATXtoteReally, could it be any more summery?

atx detaThe stripes were SO fun — I love the progression from dark to light.

atx fullI shortened the strap just a bit because I plan to carry it over the shoulder instead of cross-body as the pattern shows. I also did a single crochet edge as suggested in the pattern notes. It gives the linen a very nice finished edge and I’d highly recommend that finishing touch. You can see my pattern notes on Ravelry here for the details.

All in all, I’m of the opinion that this ATX Tote is pretty much the ultimate in cute, grab a book and some knitting park/beach bag. If you’re dying to cast on, this pattern is currently only available with the purchase of the yarn. The great news is that with the purchase of 2 skeins of Euroflax Sport online from Louet you can just use the coupon code VPEUROFLAX when you checkout and you’ll get the pattern… for free! The pattern is also available from preferred Louet dealers listed on the pattern’s Ravelry page.

If this bag isn’t your cup of tea, I’d still like to suggest that you don’t wait too long to try out this fabulous linen. It would make a fantastic garment or shawl — in fact, Louet came out with a lovely collection this spring which is full of great ways to use this awesome yarn. Whatever you do, don’t put off trying Euroflax Sport too long. Trust me, you’ll regret it!

How Long Do I Have Before It Rains?

A week’s gone by and I feel as though I haven’t had a ton to share. I’ve been remiss on ‘Today on my needles’ and ‘Today on my wheel’ posts and have no excuse for it other than life’s been busy and I just ran out of energy to make them happen. The kiddos are wrapping up the bulk of their big subjects for school and I’ve been dotting i’s and crossing t’s with the record keeping for that. I’ve also starting trying to organize and shelve the homeschool books which are finished for the year. And then there’s the organizing and picking the summer subjects we’re going to do (they are fun, I promise). I spent some time looking at the pile of sewing I want to do (but not actually doing anything with any of that). Then our old car needed new brakes, so there was the delivery of the car, the finger crossing that they would find nothing more major wrong, the paying for the repairs (boo!), and the picking up of the car. Car repairs — like home repairs — just stress me out like no one’s business. I also spent a fair bit of time looking outside wondering, “Is it going to rain?” and “How long do I have before it rains?” and “How heavy is it going to rain?” – yes, it’s been one of those weeks weather-wise and I feel this strange need to at least try to plan my errand running around downpours. The lawn needed mowing. Some plants needed planting. The house needed cleaning. The bird feeders needed filling. You get the picture. Life was happening.

I actually have three finished projects that I’m excited to share with you, but one is still drying on the blocking mats, one is a garment that I’ve waited far too long to ask Mr Knitting Sarah to photograph on me and now the idea of putting on a chunky wool shrug sounds awful, and one is being held until early next week because it’s a review that’s the timeline I’m on. So instead today I’ll just show you what I’ve been working on in between all the staring outside and life happenings…

IMG_9478I’ve been spinning with my best pup never far from my side.

IMG_9476And this is the yarn I’ve been making. It’s Sweet Georgia Polwarth + Silk in the Stormchaser colorway which is definitely fitting since a lot of the staring out the window wondering about the weather has happened while spinning this. I’m still marling away at this fiber. I’m half tempted to set it aside and get going on the goodies I recently got from Louet, but then I look at the small basket of fiber left and think, “Nah! I can just finish.” So I keep spinning away. In the mean time I did prep my first spin from Louet, so that’s all set to go.

 Speaking of Louet, I cast on my ATX Linen Tote in Euroflax Sport

IMG_9480And I’m getting awfully close to finishing the increases. It’s a pretty simple, limited-thought-required knit. It’s going to be a while, but I cannot wait to get to the striping portion of the project. It’s going to look awesome.

It won’t come as a shock to you that this afternoon I have a few more errands to run — movies to return to the library and dog food to purchase just to name a couple things on the to-do list and yet here I find myself, looking at the darkening skies wondering, “Is it going to rain?” and “How long do I have before it rains?” Instead of racing out the door now that my son turned in his last assignment, I think I’ll go spin for a spell. After all, I can contemplate the weather while I work on my Stormchaser fiber. That’s totally appropriate, right?