I’ve come to really love handknit linen tops. A couple years ago I knit the Kit Camisole in Quince & Co Sparrow and it’s still one of my favorites. This year I decided to add to my linen wardrobe with Quince & Co’s Kestrel and knit up Pam Allen’s Togue Pond.
Kestrel is a unique yarn. It’s the same Belgian-grown organic linen they use to make Sparrow, but it’s spun in a ribbon structure to create a worsted weight yarn. As a heavier weight yarn it knits up quickly, but it still feels light and cool when you’re wearing the finished garment. It does feel a bit coarse at first, but once this yarn is washed it just comes alive becoming very soft and with drape to spare.
I started this project on the back porch of our rented cabin in South Dakota. You probably remember that — it was after the tent broke and we ‘camped’ in our 4door hatchback and our stove died. As the magpies flew back and forth across the field and I unwound from all the excitement of the previous days, I cast-on my Togue Pond in the pebble colorway.
It was excellent car knitting on the drive home, too.
And even with a few little boo-boos thanks to my misreading the pattern…
It was finished and in the bath in just 10days.
Then, of course, there was the requisite waiting for the combination of good weather & being with my husband and my Togue Pond in a picturesque enough spot to take some photos.
In the mean time, I snapped a couple detail photos…
And the front armhole. The ribbed edging is basic, but just enough to give it a classic look and keep the edges from rolling. There is a slightly curved hem that I think is best illustrated when worn…
It is shown in the pattern photos with an inch of negative ease whereas mine has about an inch of positive ease. To go down a size would have put me in the two inches of negative ease ballpark and I am a very big fan of loose, drapey summer tops, so I went with the slightly large size. I went just a smidge long in the body and it’s definitely roomy, but as promised the Kestrel delivered wonderful drape making this an effortlessly wearable piece for my wardrobe.
I knit and blocked this top to gauge, but it is a bit see-through for me to wear out and about so I threw on a lightweight cami underneath and was comfortable both in how it looked an how it felt. It’s everything I’ve come to expect from the Quince & Co team in both yarn and design — it’s a quality yarn that will last and wear beautifully and a classic design that I know I’ll wear for years to come.
I stashed a few more skeins of Kestrel in the urchin colorway — a beautiful slate-y green — that I have dog-eared for a Hamlin Peak sweater. I also find myself thinking of the Sparrow I stashed a while ago and knitting that up into a Palmyra top. I may not get to these for a while, but I’m coming to believe that these pieces are seasonless. I’m pretty sure I can’t go wrong with linen!