Looking for summer yarn ideas? Well look no further, we have a summer series ready for you. If you missed part 1 of our Summer Knitting Series on silk, pop over here.
This week we are taking a look at linen. We have a vlog with summer pattern ideas as well as tips for working with linen, and we dispel some myths.
Are you ready?
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly summer option, linen is the ideal choice. It’s made from the flax plant, requires much less water to produce than cotton, and is naturally more pest resistant.
Linen yarn is a little stiffer to work with and it can take a little while to get used to the tension. You need to be careful to keep your tension a little looser so that the yarn doesn’t rub on your fingers as you are knitting with it. Due to this, as you work, you may find that your tension is a little uneven, fortunately this evens out nicely with blocking!
Another advantage of linen is it continues to get softer with each wash. It just keeps improving. The cool, heavy drape of linen makes it one of my favourite summer fibres to wear. In fact, I think that half of my summer wardrobe is linen!
Pattern Ideas For Summer Knitting
I often get asked about my favourite summer knitting patterns and yarns, so I put together this vlog to answer all of these questions!
I know you’ll want some quick links to the patterns and kits so you can find them all right here or you can jump to a specific one from below:
Huevos – A lacy tank that helps you level up your lace knitting skills. This pattern is suggested for both linen and cotton
Summer Drops – A circular yoke top with detailed drop stitches makes this summer sweater fun to knit and wear. Suggested for both silk and linen yarns.
Dusty Road – Knit from the top down with raglan shaping this sweater has a delicate lace pattern flowing down the sleeves in contrast to the simple knit body. Suggested yarns are both Cotton and Silk.
Hakone Scarf – A delicate lace scarf with an easy to memorise lace pattern in Ito Kinu/Asa combo (silk/Linen/cotton) or silk or linen.
Prunus square -Worked from the centre out with a spiraling lace pattern, this square can be worn as a light summer shawlette. Suggested yarns are Ito Kinu/Asa combo (silk/Linen/cotton) or silk or linen.
Tips for Working with Linen
If linen is new to you, you might not know that there are quite a few things that you can do with Linen fiber to make it more comfortable to work with.
- Try out different needle types. Sometimes moving towards wooden tips and needles can help give you more grip. If you’re having the opposite issue, and finding that your linen isn’t moving along quite the way you’d like, then try metal needles and tips.
- Be careful of your tension. This is the biggest tip for working with linen yarn. As the yarn flows through your fingers and you’re holding it really tight, the lack of elasticity of the yarn can really hurt your fingers. So try to loosen up a bit and knit a bit more relaxed when you’re working with linen fibers.
Linen Versus Cotton Yarn.
One of the reasons I reach for linen yarn is that I love the knit that it produces. Sure, it can be a little stiffer to work with, but in my opinion the end product is absolutely worth it!
Linen and cotton also create very different fabrics; linen can be finer and with a bit more drape than cotton.
As you knit, linen may feel a little uneven, but when you go to block your garment, it comes out like a dream. And it gets better with every wash. The cellulose fibers in linen yarn are slightly longer and wrapped tighter than those in cotton yarn, which increases its strength and longevity of hand knits in linen.
Linen Yarn Myths
Linen is boring and plain
In fact, the colours that you can get with linen are just glorious. The linen holds the dye really well, giving you vibrant, really rich colours.
Linen is always wrinkly
Linen actually creates a beautiful fabric. By its very nature, linen has a wrinkly effect, which is part of what it is supposed to look like. This makes it a really low maintenance easy care fabric.
So which would you choose as summer yarn for your next project?
Let us know in the comments👇