Our hottest months are upon us and knitting with wool can leave our hands and lap sticky and damp, even in air conditioning. The solution? Having an adventure with linen or cotton! Today the subject is linen; watch for cotton coming soon!Linen is the perfect yarn to use, and creates the perfect fabric to wear, during hot weather. It actually helps keep you cool! For detailed information, read this blog post by Elizabeth Doherty who is coming to My Sister Knits to teach in November!Linen creates a fluid fabric that softens with washings and can be washed in the washing machine and dried in the dryer! The dryer's tumble action helps transform the fibers into a wonderfully soft and supple fabric. Be sure to make a swatch and launder it the same way your finished project will be laundered because the finished gauge will no doubt change!If you'd like to try softening a finished linen knit, handwash and dry it and then put it in the dryer on air-dry to soften.Linen's characteristics are what give it its casually sophisticated look: your stitches will not be uniform, your finished project will wrinkle, and the slightly biased fabric that may be created is just fine. You will end up with a cool, elegant garment with plenty of drape that will be worn again and again!Tips for knitting with linen:
- Plan to go down a needle size or two because it creates a slightly larger stitch.
- Use a longer cable than usual because linen stitches don't compress like animal fibers.
- The texture of wooden needles may help even out your stitches.
- Work from the outside of the ball.
- Join a new ball of yarn at an inconspicuous spot such as the side; knit a few stitches with the old yarn and new yarn held together to secure the new yarn.
- Use point protectors to keep your stitches on the needles since they can slide off easily.
A summer knitting adventure with linen is just the thing to solve those sweaty hand blues!If you'd like to make a summery linen shawl instead of the tees we linked to, or a different tee, we will be happy to help you find a pattern you love!