Fifty Shades of Linen.
June 1, 2012 Uncategorized

For two years, we have been asking – no, begging – our friends at Prism to dye linen.  See, we’re kind of into linen at Loops.  Actually, we’re quite fanatical about it.  We love that we can machine wash  it, and it just keeps getting softer.  We love the drape.  And most of all, we love the way we can knit with it by the swimming pool, and it still feels cool, even when it’s hotter outside than two rats making love in a wool sock.

We’re also fanatical about Prism.  The way Laura from Prism combines colors – well, there’s nothing else like it in the wide, wide world.

But dyeing linen is tricky.  If you don’t know what you’re doing, the colors can go all muddy on you.  And Laura was doing just great, thank you, dyeing everything else from merino to cashmere to fur.

Finally, though, we wore her down.  Or maybe her creativity and curiosity just got the best of her.  Whatever it was, we’re so very, very glad that she decided to do this:

Presenting Prism Euroflax Linen, custom dyed 100% linen that is machine washable!  Colors as shown above, top photo left to right: Ebony, Sapphire, Mallard, Shadow, Agean, Shale.
Middle photo: Sagebrush, Highlands (my model color), Avocado, Orchard, Tapestry.
Bottom photo: Embers, Hibiscus, Plumberry, Cabernet.

A development of this magnitude called for a very special pattern.  Something easy, something on-trend, something everyone can make and wear.  Something…wait for it…free.

And so without further ado, I present Fifty Shades of Linen.  A sexy, swingy, wear-with-anything top, named in honor of the books that have – gasp – taken the western hemisphere by storm.  And also in honor of what seems like 50 shades of color in every single skein of this luscious, saturated, no-holds-barred linen.  If you’ve read the Fifty Shades series, you’ll know what I mean when I say, “Oh my!”


Fifty Shades of Linen
Prism Linen, 270 yards each skein, 3 skeins (warning: I barely had any left)
Size 7, 32-40″ circular needle, or size needed to obtain gauge of 4 sts and 6 rows to 1 inch in stockinette
Size F crochet hook

Directions, Front:
Cast on 140 sts.
Work 6 rows in garter stitch (knit 6 rows).

14-row repeat:
Next row (RS): beginning with a knit row, work 11 rows stockinette.
Next row (WS): knit all sts.
Next row: K1 *k2tog, YO* repeat from * to last st, K1
Next row (WS): knit all sts.

Repeat the last 14 rows (from ***) 5 more times, ending with a WS row.  Work should measure 12″ from beginning.  If not, continue 14-row pattern until you reach 12″.

Begin v-neck:
Next row (RS): Knit 70 sts, PM, work 70 remaining sts.
Next row (WS): purl all sts.
Next row (RS): work to 2 sts before marker, k2tog, sm, attach 2nd ball of yarn and SSK, work to end of row. 
Repeat last 2 rows 20X (40 sts decreased).  Continue working straight for 8 more rows, ending with a WS row.  Work should measure 20″.

Begin back of sweater:
Next row, knit across first section, cast on 40 sts using backward loop method, knit across second section (140 sts).  Work in stockinette for 8″.
Now, switch to 14-row repeat (working from *** above and creating eyelet ridges) until piece measures 39″.

Knit 6 rows (garter) and bind off loosely.

Steam block the entire piece, taking care not to press too hard on the eyelet ridges to maintain texture.

Fold sweater in half at the top of the V-neck so it has a front and a back.  Using stitch markers, mark for side seams at 4″ from hem and at 12″ from hem.  Now, sew an 8″ seam between the two markers, leaving your piece unseamed at the bottom 4″ (your “vents”) and at the armholes.

Using F hook and starting at the middle of the back neck, work one row of single crochet down the V neck and back up to the middle of the back neck.  I skipped every 4th stitch in order to close the V slightly.

Here’s a crude little schematic I drew.  (Don’t judge.)

Note: I really came down to the wire on my 3 skeins.  This is all I had left:

If you’re unsure, get 4 skeins and make Gina’s Biased Cowl with the extra skein.  Awesome gift!

And one warning: When you make this, people will want to borrow it.  And it will be hard to get it back. 

Just sayin’.
Laters, baby!

– Shelley
shop online at

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"38" Comments
  1. Can you translate this to crochet? Just a similar translation.. doesn’t need to be exact or anything..

  2. What does the abbreviation PM mean?

  3. PM means “Place Marker” in this case.

  4. It means “Place Marker” in this case.

  5. barbara angrist

    What size is this, what is the guage, and can it be made larger if I want a finished 48 inch bust.

  6. What size is the tee? Would make it longer. What price is the linen? The colors are so pretty.

  7. I made a comment but forgot to check notify me of follow-up by email

  8. Carol-Ann Drummond

    This looks like a fun top. What size is it.

  9. Could you adapt to a less wide tunic? I love it but need it narrower. Thanks.

  10. I love this and want to buy the linen to proceed. What colors did you use? Three differenty skeins? Very excited love this!

  11. can you tell me which shades you used?

  12. What does sm mean? (slip marker?)

  13. I am a size 16 (40DD) on top — what size is this as the pattern is written? I imagine I would need to make it larger. Thanks.

  14. I’m so confused!! Working on the neck… ssk all the way to end or ssk then continue knitting????? Please help

  15. can this be done on the knitting board?

  16. Could you please give more details about the yarn, i.e. weight, stitches per inch, etc?

  17. i am a large woman – i knit to a bust size of 44-46. Is there a pattern which includes instructions for increasing the size? i would love to knit this – it is so pretty!!!

  18. This is such a cute pattern. Can it be made longer bu just adding on some additional rows? Thanks for sharin.

  19. sorry… this is a duplicate. I just submitted a question about making this pattern longer and wanted to check the box to notify me by email. Can I just add additional rows to front and back to make it a little longer? Thank you.

  20. Please tell me where I can buy this yarn in this color. I love it and really have to make this top. Thank you so much

  21. How would this look in a baby blanket or bunting for unborn baby whose sex will not be revealed until birth? Don’t want to just knit in white or boring neutral color and wonder if this would lend itself to something for baby.

  22. I am a plus size and I was wondering if this pattern is a “one size” or if you have additional info for making this a larger top. Unfortunely, “one size” does not “fit all”. I love the pattern and I noticed that it is over-sized, it looks very cool and comfortable.

  23. Sorry for my delay in replying. When we changed to our new blog format, there was a delay in all of the comments coming through. This pattern is a very generous width (70 inches all the way around) which will drape and hang to adapt to almost any shape. It is one size. It is also very easy to adapt by adding rows to the front and back, or adding stitches (just be sure to adjust where you place the neck opening). I used the color “Highlands.”

  24. Would like to make this in a plus size with a smaller neck and of course longer. It is so pretty would like to knit it to wear as a t shirt top.. Reply.

  25. Meg Lopez de Quintana

    I’m also a more-to-love woman, and would appreciate knowing if there is a pattern available for a 48-50 bust. I love the linen and the colors! Any thoughts?

    Softailstitches ( Ravelry)

  26. What size yarn did you use? You know, DK, 4 (worsted), etc? I’m fairly new to knitting and I love this top. I want to use the correct weight of yarn to provide that lovely drape that it shows.

  27. Bonnie Hollinger

    Hi–I love the linen top and tried the pattern with a sport weight yarn just to see if I could figure it out. The yarn was too bulky but I love the pattern. Can you suggest a substitute yarn that is not as expensive as the Prism Euroflax Linen. I really don’t want to spend $90 on yarn until I know if I like the finished product. Thanks for your help

  28. Is there a print friendly version?

  29. Would like to make this in a plus size with a smaller neck and of course longer. It is so pretty would like to knit it to wear as a t shirt top

  30. Diane Buchkosky

    Please – what is the gauge for this sweater

  31. I noticed someone in January of last year someone asked if there was a different yarn that could be used for this but I saw no reply. I’m wondering the same thing. I really want to make this but there are no stores near me that carry the Prism yarn. Also, I can’t seem to find any store that even carries linen yarn. A response would be really helpful, thank you.

  32. I do not see the color ” Highlands”, that you used for the Prism Euroflax top, on your Web site. Are you still offering this color ?

  33. Is there a print friendly version?

  34. Was there a reply about the bust size of this pattern? I wear a size large. Love the looks of the pattern and just happen to have 3 skeins of linen!

  35. I’m having some issues with the v-neck part of the pattern. After k2tog, sm, ssk what does work to the end of the row mean? Do I continue with ssk or do I knit the rest?

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