There is nothing more pleasant to wear in the summer than a loose, breathable linen shirt. We dream of knitting loose cover ups to wear over a tank top, yet we are scared of the feel of the yarn. Linen yarn undeniably feels different from its woolly sibling. Where wool is elastic, linen is not. So how do you knit with linen? Here are a few recommendations that will help you knit the garments you imagined.
1- BE LOOSE!
A natural tendency when knitting with linen is to tighten up to try and make the stitches neater and tighter. DON'T! Rather, stay as relaxed as you can. Put little tension on your yarn, let the yarn glide, and the stitches form loosely. If you want to knit at a tighter gauge, go down in needle size rather than tighten your grip. If you stay loose, you will relax, and enter an almost meditative state.
2- NO METAL!
Metal is too slippery for linen yarn. Switching to wood or bamboo needles will make the fiber less slippery, and therefore allow you to relax into your knitting.
3- JUST LIKE A GOOD WINE!
Knitted linen fabric goes through a transformation when you wash it. The drape and softness of the fabric increase with each wash. Knitted linen fabric is like a good wine, it only gets better with age.
I am working on a design for a simple little cover up in yummy blues using a gorgeous linen from Spain which we carry in 10 beautiful, earthy hues. The perfect garment to wear over a summer tank top...