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 knitting with linen yarn
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conniec
Chatty Knitter

220 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2002 :  3:10:25 PM  Show Profile Send conniec a Private Message
Hi --
I was wondering if anyone out there has any experience knititng with linen yarn and linen blends. What kind of characteristics does it have? Does it retain "memory"? Or is it more like cotton and has a tendency to stretch?

The reason I ask is because there is some linen yarn on ebay I was thinking of trying...it's no name brand, but I figure for $14 for a whole sweater, it can't hurt too much to give it a try :)

I was also wondering if anyone read my question under the 'General Techniques' forum, under the 'Disappointed with Yarn' thread?

Thanks again. I always find everyone here so helpful. :)
-connie

ajar
Chatty Knitter

USA
174 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2002 :  10:37:22 PM  Show Profile Send ajar a Private Message
I have machine knitted with linen yarn. I knit two sleeveless, v-neck
dresses. They grew, but it only seemed to be a problem with length. I didn't see distortion with the armhole or neckline, but they were not worn much because they were part of my senior thesis. The yarn I used was Normandy linen from Henry's Attic Yarns. This yarn was a bit rough but had fabulous drape.

I can tell you that linen is a curious fiber that is heavier than it is strong. Antique linen garments have a tendency to break where folded if left that way for a long time. It does not have much resilience/memory, hence the wrinkling. It has a lovely drape and excellent wicking (removing heat/wetness from the body) which is why we put up with the less desirable characteristics. Depending on who manufactured the yarn, it could have been chemically enhanced to less the bad qualities.

Also when it comes to any yarn, the longer the staple fiber used in spinning, then better the yarn will be. Not withstanding individual yarn characteristics, yarn made with shorter staple fibers have a tendency to pill easier, have less resilience and strength than yarns made with longer staple fibers. This is why Egyptian cotton is prized. The Egyptian cotton plants have naturally long fibers.

I read your other post and some of the advice given for Knitgirl will work if you have problems. But you can try to shrink cotton with really hot water, and cotton is actually a stronger fiber when wet than when dry so don't worry about hurting it. The more processing the cotton fiber has gone through, the less likely it is to grow, but it also makes the yarn more expensive.

Hopes this helps.


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ajar
Chatty Knitter

USA
174 Posts

Posted - 06/13/2002 :  10:37:22 PM  Show Profile Send ajar a Private Message
I have machine knitted with linen yarn. I knit two sleeveless, v-neck
dresses. They grew, but it only seemed to be a problem with length. I didn't see distortion with the armhole or neckline, but they were not worn much because they were part of my senior thesis. The yarn I used was Normandy linen from Henry's Attic Yarns. This yarn was a bit rough but had fabulous drape.

I can tell you that linen is a curious fiber that is heavier than it is strong. Antique linen garments have a tendency to break where folded if left that way for a long time. It does not have much resilience/memory, hence the wrinkling. It has a lovely drape and excellent wicking (removing heat/wetness from the body) which is why we put up with the less desirable characteristics. Depending on who manufactured the yarn, it could have been chemically enhanced to less the bad qualities.

Also when it comes to any yarn, the longer the staple fiber used in spinning, then better the yarn will be. Not withstanding individual yarn characteristics, yarn made with shorter staple fibers have a tendency to pill easier, have less resilience and strength than yarns made with longer staple fibers. This is why Egyptian cotton is prized. The Egyptian cotton plants have naturally long fibers.

I read your other post and some of the advice given for Knitgirl will work if you have problems. But you can try to shrink cotton with really hot water, and cotton is actually a stronger fiber when wet than when dry so don't worry about hurting it. The more processing the cotton fiber has gone through, the less likely it is to grow, but it also makes the yarn more expensive.

Hopes this helps.


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kknit
Chatty Knitter

126 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2003 :  7:23:37 PM  Show Profile Send kknit a Private Message
I made a short-sleeved pullover using a pure linen yarn called Euroflax. Because of the lack of "memory" and concern over possible stretching, I used "twice-twisted stitch," which involves slipping and twisting every other stitch on two rows. It looks great as a finished garment. I haven't worn it too much yet, but it is very comfortable. The best thing about it, though, is that the fabric keeps getting softer as it is handled and washed - and dried in the drier! I am concerned about the question of long-term durability, though; I have noticed that my "bought" linen garments (all woven) do tend to wear out faster than wool or cotton. It was a long knitting project, as the stitch gauge was high and the rows took forever to grow (given all the slipping).

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ms_little
Warming Up

Australia
61 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2003 :  8:33:49 PM  Show Profile Send ms_little a Private Message
I made a sleeveless vest using Rowan Linen Drape which is a blend. It has a beautiful drape and is very comfortable. After washing (a cold wash inside a garment bag) it shrank a little in length and felt a bit harder but it softened up upon wearing. The garment stretches only slightly during wear but that might be because it doesn't have any 'stretch areas' like sleeves. I can see that elbows areas might be misshapen quite easily. Let us know whether you end up getting the yarn and what you make with it. =)

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