I knit all these samples right away, got them blocking… then had houseguests, bought a house, and generally didn’t write this blog post. But the package for July arrived today, so I guess it’s time!
June’s theme seemed to be “Linen” which seems like a decent summer theme. I hadn’t really felt linen until recently, only heard about it in stories, and it sounded soft and light there. But linen yarn, when you first get it, is usually sort of stiff and hard. I gather it gets soft with age, and I know it has lots of great properties, but I haven’t gotten over this faint feeling of disappointment every time reality clashes with the imaginary linen in my head. Maybe working with it more will help, though!
The pattern: Garden Party Headband
Ooh, a crochet pattern! It’s a cute little scalloped thing and something I might actually try, but I haven’t tried it yet.
“Delicate and textured fabric for breezy garments”
5 sts/inch on US 8
50% Acrylic 20% Linen 18% Nylon 12% Rayon
159 yds color: 6812
So right after telling you that linen is stiff, I’ve got to say that this totally isn’t. It’s a delicate little ribbon of fabric that knits up into something that feels strangely like a kitchen curtain to me, light and yellow and letting lots of light through.
I enjoyed working with this, even though you have to be careful where you put your needles so as not to tear the delicate threads in the center of the ribbon.
The pattern chosen is definitely not square, and doesn’t stay square even after blocking. The photo above is after blocking, the photo below is in-progress, and you can see that there’s a definite lilt in both. I’m sure it won’t matter for a blanket square, but worth noting if you were making a breezy summer scarf with this swatch pattern. Although honestly, a little tilt would probably just make a scarf look more modern, anyhow.
Overall, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would, and I think this experiment has made me feel more interested in trying other ribbon yarns or lighter linen blends that aren’t just the typical linen/cotton.
S.Charles Collezione Audra
“Indulgent and silky with strong stitch definition”
5.25 sts/inch on US 4
76% Linen 12% Silk 12% Viscose
205 yds color: 04
This is a really weird yarn, with that core of stiff linen combined with silk and viscose. I’m not sure about the colourway, which is 3 separate strands of grey, off-white, and peach wrapped together.
That said, it was kind of fun to knit with. The stitch definition is amazing and the swatch interesting enough to showcase it. Although I was worried about it initially, it wound up blocking pretty close to a 5×5 square.
Verdict? I would be happy to work with this yarn again as long as I could get another colourway. But I’m honestly not sure what I’d make with it, given how stiff it is. Maybe if I trust in it softening up it would make a great summer lacy overlayer thing — it certainly holds a pattern pretty nicely.
Rowan Creative Linen
“Undemanding work horse of a yarn which is easy to wear”
5.25 sts/inch on US 7
50% Linen 50% Cotton
219 yds color: 643
This is a hefty linen/cotton blend where I feel that the cotton feel dominates, so it feels sturdy but not quite as stiff as some. It was lovely to work with, and really shows off the swatch pattern.
I’d say that their assessment of it as a wearable work horse yarn seems reasonable.
I’d consider this as a possibility for lighter toddler knits and for amigurumi toys for kids where you know there’s a good chance they’re going to get chewed on a lot. I’d probably wear it myself, although I think given the climate where I live, it’s unlikely that I’ll be knitting too many cotton sweaters. I could see doing dishtowels with it, which is more likely to happen. Especially with the swatch pattern included.
I really love that swatch pattern, although the reverse side is pretty boring.
In summary, this is a cotton/linen blend that I’d consider adding to my arsenal.
These swatches took some serious blocking to try to get them to 5×5 squares, and they didn’t even quite make it. I was glad I’d finally invested in some blocking mats so I had a more sturdy surface for pinning them!
They were all different experiences and showcased a pretty wide range of linen options, which was pretty neat to me as someone who hasn’t worked with linen much. Plus, I quite liked a couple of the stitch patterns which were also new to me.
Overall, quite happy with this month’s mailing!
PS – I took a lot more photos than usual for this month’s mailing and didn’t use them all. If you’d like to see the swatches pre-blocking with rulers and such, here’s a link to the full yarn of the month collection.