Tip Tuesday: Why We Love Linen For Summer Projects

Tip Tuesday: Why We Love Linen For Summer Projects

Sustainable and Beautiful

Let's begin with why we LOVE linen! Linen is not only a sustainable option but also creates a light and breathable fabric, perfect for warm weather. 

Derived from the flax plant, linen yarn produces a strong and durable fabric. Linen takes dye beautifully, and this allows for it to come in an amazing array of colors.

Natural Drape and Hypoallergenic Properties

Tip Tuesday: Why We Love Linen For Summer Projects

Linen has a natural drape that hangs away from your skin as you wear it, making it a breezy and lightweight fabric. It's a great choice for summer projects. 

Linen yarns won't pill and fuzz easily, resulting in projects that last a long time. 

PLUS, it’s a hypoallergenic fiber!

Knitting with Linen vs. Wool

One major difference between knitting with linen versus wool is that linen has no elasticity. The stitches you make with linen remain the same size as when you knit them. 

However, linen yarn has weight to it. This means that your fabric will stretch out as it hangs and is worn over time. This characteristic can give your linen projects a lovely drape as they soften over time.

The Importance of Blocking

Tip Tuesday: Why We Love Linen For Summer Projects

Achieving even tension in linen knitting can be challenging, making blocking an essential step. Linen truly comes to life and softens after blocking, and your project will continue to soften with each wear. 

Linen works great in the washing machine. BUT we know how nervous some knitters can be about trying this. Test it out on low heat with a swatch first. Measure your swatch before and after it goes through a cycle. 

If you like the results, you can try it on your entire project.

Tips for Working with Linen

Tip Tuesday: Why We Love Linen For Summer Projects
  • Soak Your Skeins: If you find linen too rough to stitch with at first, soak your skeins in warm water before you start knitting. This will soften the yarn and make it smoother to work with.

Tip Tuesday: Why We Love Linen For Summer Projects
  • Swatch and Block: Swatching (and blocking your swatch) is crucial for linen projects. Linen can shift slightly after blocking, so compare measurements before and after to see any differences.

Tip Tuesday: Why We Love Linen For Summer Projects
  • Relax into Your Tension: Resist the urge to adjust your tension to account for linen's lack of elasticity. Instead, try switching your needle size to achieve the desired gauge.

  • Choose a Linen-Specific Pattern: Linen is unique in how it works up and hangs over time. Choose a pattern designed specifically for linen yarn, like our STRÅLA pattern, rather than substituting linen into a wool pattern. 

Because linen is so different from wool it’s not a yarn that has a one-to-one substitution in other fibers. Especially for beginners, we recommend choosing a pattern that was made for this yarn. 

Tip Tuesday: Why We Love Linen For Summer Projects
  • Hand Wind Your Yarn: Avoid pulling from the center of the skein, as this can cause twisting and tangling. Hand-wind your yarn into a tight ball to prevent unraveling.

  • Use Wooden Needles: Linen is slippery, and tension can be tricky. Wooden needles provide more grip, preventing the yarn from slipping and helping maintain consistent tension.

If you follow these tips, your linen projects will last you for many summers to come!

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