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watching all the chit chat about project choices and pairing the right yarns, colors, etc together is just so darn inspiring! during all these discussions one of the most chatted about fibers is linen. there's always questions about knitting with linen, which in case you're wondering, makes a beautiful, light weight garment. it's an interesting fiber to work with and one our ravelry group is always chatting about.
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i'm so excited to have hannah fettig as a guest today! she has been one of my favorite designers for years now and her pattern the "effortless cardigan" was the reason our summer sweater knit alongs even started to begin with. it was my first adult sized garment. so thank you hannah - for all your inspiration & for being here with us today!
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I have worked with linen and other plant fiber based yarns in the past. But this year I truly discovered just how wonderful it is, both to work with and to wear. If you're familiar with my design work you know about my love affair with open front drapey cardigans. Linen fabric naturally drapes and knit at a looser gauge, well, it's doesn't get much drapier than this.
Recently I shared some tips for working with linen yarn on my website. I wanted to share them here with Shannon's readers since some of you may be venturing into linen for her summer KAL.
Linen yarn is spun from a plant fiber so it isn't forgiving the way wool is. Any stitch you create is going to be frozen in time exactly as you make it, no amount of blocking is going to change what those stitches are. But no worries! If you work with it correctly you'll still achieve beautiful finished garments. Here are a few tips I have and maybe other knitters can leave comments with some things they've learned.
TIPS FOR KNITTING WITH LINEN
TIPS FOR KNITTING WITH LINEN
1. Joining a new ball: You want to be mindful of not running out of yarn on the front or back centers of any pieces. When starting a new ball, do so at the side seam or some other inconspicuous spot. To join the new ball, knit the next stitch with the tail of the previous ball and the new ball held together. This will secure the yarn - you can now proceed with the new ball. If it's still feeling unsecured you could temporarily knot the two strands.
2. Duplicate stitch: You'll want to weave your ends in using a duplicate stitch on the WS to make sure those ends won't be visible from the front. Here Jerusha demonstrates how this is done, tracing the yarn through the purl bumps:
3. Washing: Yes, I say washing instead of blocking because unlike wool, you can throw you're linen garment right into the washer and then DRYER and it won't shrink. In fact, the fabric will be all the softer for it. Below, the hand washed and dried swatch is on the top, the machine washed and dried swatch on the bottom. Go ahead and conduct you're own swatch wash test if you're nervous about laundering your entire garment. I do like to pull the piece out of the dryer while it's still a little bit damp, not all the way dry.
So is your interest peaked in linen? May I suggest checking out my new collection Knitbot Linen which features six designs in Quince & Co. Sparrow, a fantastic fingering weight yarn available in Pam Allen's beautiful palette. Also, if you've had the Featherweight Cardigan in your queue for awhile, or maybe Breezy Cardigan or Wispy Cardi, these would all be fantastic in Sparrow. If I weren't knitting away on a collection for fall, I would be casting on a Featherweight for myself right now!
knitbot and hannah here:
what are your tips for knitting with linen? do you love working with this fiber? come chat! it's sskal day! i want to hear all about your projects this week!
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