When it comes to linen (especially organic linen), it’s really impossible to have too much of a good thing. Linen is a fiber that keeps on giving. We so loved it in our little Sparrow, a yarn on the thin side, that we went to work on another way to use it. We wanted something chunky-ish, something suitable for a quick, wearable, summer top.
The immediate idea was simply to add plies to our existing Sparrow to create a rounder, heftier yarn. But linen is a plant fiber with no elasticity or bounce. Twisting in more strands would make a thicker yarn, for sure, but one that would feel more like rope than something you’d want to knit with—or wear, for that matter!
What to do?
Enter Kestrel. This bird is a chunky yarn reimagined. The yarn’s structure isn’t the traditional plied & twisted strand. Instead, the fiber has been spun into tiny, tiny plies, which are then knitted into a tube. The tube is pressed flat and—voila—you have a linen yarn for chunky knitting that is pliable and soft and isn’t anything like a rope. It can be knitted on a variety of needle sizes, starting from US 8 up to 10 ½ (or even larger), depending on what kind of fabric you’re after.
Shown above is our (free!) Kestrel Scrunchie pattern, which is a great project to dip your toes into knitting with Kestrel!
Sparrow and Kestrel are both spun from the same fiber, the finest Belgian flax, and both create incredibly soft and drapey fabrics after that all-important first wash (you’ll find a wealth of tips for our linen yarns in this post). However, in many ways their personalities couldn’t be more different! Try them both and see what you think.
With the temperatures soaring this week (yes, even in Maine!), it seemed like the perfect time to share a few of our team’s favorite summer patterns designed in Kestrel over the years.
From left to right: Stunning Annex by Norah Gaughan (in Kestrel Sand, originally published in her masterpiece, Framework); effortlessly chic Ela by Jerusha Neely (in Kestrel Senza); or classic Togue Pond, by Pam Allen (in Kestrel Cove)
From left to right: The imminently layerable Mira by Elizabeth Smith (in Kestrel Senza); Pam Allen’s wear-with-everything Hamlin Peak cardigan (in Kestrel Pebble); or the charming lace Adelaide by Cecily Glowik MacDonald (in Kestrel Aegean)
And, because we just couldn't resist, here’s a little sneak peek of some new linen-y goodness coming very, very soon! Be sure to subscribe to our e-letter to be the first to see what we have in store!