May 14, 2014

Linen is easy to love.  The fiber is cool, breathable and strong.  Linen trousers are timeless.  Linen shirts, persistently chic.  Linen is casual and elegant at the same time.  It rumples and relaxes within an hour and that's part of it's charm.  Transferring these charms to a knitting yarn has not, as far as I know, been done successfully until now.

Enter Rowan Pure Linen.  Actual 100% linen yarn for home knitters.  You've guessed that I love this stuff and I admit I wanted to love it. The elegant skein has a slightly soft sheen, a bit hairy, and feels dry and firm in a papery kind of way.  While knitting, the mere act of touching the yarn turns it instantly pliable.  The word bounce has no place here, but it's still surprisingly easy to knit.  Linen yarn has no natural elasticity and unlike wool yarn whose stitches will hug each other and line up like little soldiers, linen will behave nothing like that.  The knitted fabric is uneven and open and finishes with that unmistakeable linen matte/sheen look that is unique to linen.

The sweater is simply gorgeous and it's why I knit: I don't think it's possible to purchase a sweater of this quality that will fit me this perfectly.  This is going to be one of those yarns I'll rely on for one or two summer knits a year, similar to how I feel about Kidsilk Haze, Felted Tweed and Wool/Cotton for cool weather knits.

The yarn is the star and it's important to find the pattern that will showcase it's special qualities.  Use Pure Linen if you want a casual but sophisticated look.   Know that the stitches are meant to be uneven and open. Like linen cloth, the knitted fabric will relax with wearing so think of drapey styles and forget about form fitting which rarely works with linen.  Play around with needles to see what works best for you; blunt or pointed tip, wood or metal, etc.  I preferred the pointed tips found in my smooth wood Knit Picks Caspians.  I hope if you use Pure Linen on my recommendation you'll let me know how it works out.  I absolutely love it.

Trinity is a basic V-neck that flatters both men and women and is the second sweater of the he knits/she knits knit-along I'm having with my knitting friend Konrad.  Our mission has been to knit the same pattern with the same yarn with our personal modifications for fit and style.  The pattern is very easy to follow and a perfect one to modify if needed.  Follow the links to find out how I made the V-neck lower, and Konrad made it higher.  I made the sweater slightly smaller than the smallest size and also added more waist shaping; Konrad eliminated waist shaping, added some stripes and shortened the sleeves.  Make sure you go over and check his out, it's terrific.

The Links

View the gorgeous colors of
Rowan Pure Linen at Deramores, Webs, Jannettes
See all the patterns designed for this yarn,
Pure Linen Collection by Lisa Richardson at Webs, Jannettes, Deramores

I'm also working steadily on the Martin Storey Afghan and pretty well caught up.  The download for week 4, Lace Kisses, is here.  Today was so warm, when the neighbors trees shaded my garden, I blocked some squares and set them on top of my tomato cages to dry!

 Konrad and I have already started our next sweater together.


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  1. Gorgeous! You two are knitting up a storm! I love this Linen too!

  2. I love everything about that sweater except that it's not mine! :) I can't wait to try the Rowan linen, I love linen garments, and I have used most of the Euroflax color I like, so I am especially excited about what Rowan can offer in that department!

  3. Very appealing! But does it stretch out and grow over time?

    1. Yes, the stitches and fabric will relax, rumple and grow over time and behave just like linen cloth. I haven't washed it yet, but I imagine with hand washing it will come back to it's shape. I'll report back here when I've washed it. Ihave high hopes for it.

  4. I LOVE your new sweater! Will have to keep this yarn in mind!

  5. looks perfect for summer! I haven't knit with linen before, but the breathability factor is so important for summer knits. It looks classic and lovely on you!

  6. Gorgeous! I've been itching to work with linen for some time.

  7. The linen fabric looks so luxe! And the sweater fits you perfectly! I am sure you will wear this for years to come.

    Loved the photos of your pieces blocking in the garden, that was so fun!

  8. Saw this sweater in person yesterday. It is lovely. Got so excited I left my credit card in the restaurant. Fortunately, they held it for me.


  9. It looks beautiful on you Kristen and don't you just love the Pure Linen!!! I really enjoy knitting with it :)


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