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Linen makes the perfect fabric for a light and airy beach cover-up

by Cindy O'Malley

This week, I’m knitting with Fibra Natura Flax Lace, a strong, light and airy, long lasting fiber that is perfect for summertime wear.

Today I’m sharing with you an airy cover-up made with Flax Lace perfect for the beach! I was inspired by the free crochet pattern, Mesh Up Tee, available for download.

By the way, this pattern uses a single strand of Flax Lace, so if you’re a crocheter, just download the pattern and go. Since I prefer knitting over crocheting, I want to make a knitted version.

Mesh Up Tee – free crochet pattern for using Fibra Natura Flax Lace

Yesterday, I made a swatch combing two strands and colors in various patterns to create a similar look. Now I need to figure out what size I want to make to determine my stitch count. The pattern has a schematic with all the relevant measurements and it calls for approximately 8” of positive ease. Even though it’s a cover-up, that’s too much ease for my liking, so I’m going to make the equivalent to the pattern size small, which is a finished bust size of 42½”.

It’s time to do some math. Using a gauge of 19 over 4”, with a width of 21¼ (half of the finished measurement) I calculated my stitch count as follows: 21¼ / 4” * 19 = 101 stitches. I calculated it again using a gauge of 20 over 4” and came up with 106 stitches. The pattern I’m using needs a multiple of 4 stitches + 2 stitches, so I decided to go with 102 stitches and a US 4 [3.5mm] needle.

The pattern finished length is 19”, but easily adjustable by adding more rows to each of the pattern sections. Knowing that open mesh work and lace will elongate with wear, I targeted my knitted length to be about 22”. I also decided not to go with a garter stitch section, but rather a textured section using a simple basket weave pattern.

Pattern for the knitted version of the Mesh Up Tee


  • 2 skeins of Fibra Natura Flax Lace – 1 Poppy (Color A), and 1 Silver (Color B)
  • US 4 [3.5mm] knitting needle (I used a 32” [80cm] circular needle)
  • tapestry needle

TIP Since the pattern calls for using 2 strands of the same color, you may find it easier to split the wound yarn into two cakes so you can easily draw from each cake. This tends to be easier than drawing from each end of the same cake.

To begin, cast on 102 stitches using one strand from each color.

Texture Section: with 1 strand of each colors A & B.

Row 1: *K2, p2, repeat from * until 2 stitches remaining, k2.

Row 2: *P2, k2, repeat from * until 2 stitches remaining, p2.

Row 3: K1, p1, *k2, p2, repeat from * until 4 stitches remaining, k2, p1, k1

Row 4: P1, k1, *p2, k2, repeat from * until 4 stitches remaining, p2, k1, p1

Repeat these 4 rows 4 more times – 20 rows.

Rib Lace Section: with 2 strands of color A.

Row 1: K2, *yo, p2tog, k2, repeat from *.

Row 2: *P2, k2, repeat from * until 2 stitches remaining, p2.

Row 3: K2, *p2tog, yo k2, repeat from *.

Row 4: Same as row 2.

Repeat these 4 rows 3 more times, and then repeat rows 1 & 2 (18 rows in total).

Open Mesh Section: with 2 strands of colour B

Row 1: K2, yo, *k2tog, yo, Repeat from * until 2 stitches remaining, K2 (103 stitches)

Row 2: Purl

Row 3: K2, *yo, k2tog, Repeat from *until 1 stitch remaining, K1

Row 4: Purl

Repeat these 4 rows 3 more times, and then repeat rows 1 & 2 (18 rows in total)

Note: When you finish the Open Mesh section, you will have 1 more stitch on your needle. On the first row of the next Texture section, be sure to k2tog on the 3rd & 2nd last to stitches to get back to the multiple of 4 + 2.

Repeat these three sections in order: Texture – Rib – Open Mesh using whatever color combinations you like. I alternated between the solid red and silver sections because I wanted to see the open mesh in each color, but wanted the lighter color up against my face.

Each of my sections measured approximately 2¼” making a total length of 22”. I have to admit, I doubted my calculations because I thought that it would be too short. It won’t cover the area I really want covered up when I throw it on over my swim suit. I’m rather short, but not that short. I finally decided to trust the homework that I did previously with my swatches, and throw it in the laundry. I could always add on to the bottom if needed. It also measured 24” across making a total width of 48”. Nevertheless, I seamed it up on the sides and shoulders and threw it in the washer, then the dryer.


The knitted version of the Mesh-Up Tee softly blowing in the breeze – the perfect cover up for the beach

Taken straight out of the dryer and popped onto the mannequin, here’s the finished knitted version of the Mesh Up Tee. I’m rather pleased with how it turned out and the finished length is 28”, and width 42”, without blocking. My doubts were for naught because I did my homework, and my nether regions are covered. Whew, that’s a relief.

Most knitted fabrics tend to bias a little, especially with an open mesh lace, but linen does bias a fair fit. This is easily rectified with blocking, but since I intend to wear this over my swim suit, I’m not all that concerned. Should I choose to wear it over a tank top around town, I may want the bias minimized so this is what I did. I threw it back in the washing machine and dryer, but took it out of the dryer before it was completely dry – just a little damp. I then squared it up and let it finish drying. It worked.

I’m very pleased with the end result and already have people requesting the pattern since showing them the finished pictures. I can’t wait to wear it this summer. It’s soft, hangs beautifully, and it’s a breeze when it comes to laundry care.

I hope you tune in tomorrow when I use Flax Lace to make a lacy bandana to accessorize my beach cover-up.

I’m using Poppy and Silver as my color choices for the knitted version of the Mesh Up Tee

This is part 3 of 5 in this series.
Go back to part 2: Knitting with linen yarn, my story, my way

Go to part 4: Knit up in Flax Lace, the Cabana Bandana is perfect for a hot or windy day

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