Today, let’s explore what is linen yarn and what to knit and crochet with it. If you’re living in the Northern Hemisphere, it means that, like us, you’re leaving winter behind and maybe planning some lighter knitting and crochet projects. Linen is definitely one of the best bases for spring and summer garments. We decided to explore linen yarn and give you a few options for knitting and crochet!
What is linen Yarn?
How is made linen yarn ?
First let’s see how linen can also be a yarn and how it’s made. The fibre, the yarn and the fabric that we call linen, all come from the Flax plant, as explained by the Encyclopedia Brittanica in its article about linen.
The fibre gets through a lot of transformations, more than wool for example.
As a result, linen is very sturdy and dries quickly.
The first time I touched linen, I was surprised because linen is not really soft. To be honest, it had the same feeling as a rope for me and I didn’t understand its appeal. But after dyeing and knitting with linen, I realised the yarn got softer with use.
What weight is linen yarn?
Yarn weight is always a bit confusing when you come across a base you don’t know. The weight depends on the ply chosen your skein of yarn. If you remember, I explained what a ply is in our article about what is single ply and what to knit with it?
So linen yarn can be more or less thick, depending on the ply. That means you can have a whole range of weight for linen going from single ply all the way to bulky. This being said, I’ve only come across fingering and sport weight when it comes to linen.
Linen yarn uses
So when are you more likely to use linen yarn? It’s more of a spring/summer fibre since it absorbs moisture quickly and feels always cool. It’s also known for its drape and its natural shine. Since it’s not very elastic, it wrinkles easily and can be tricky to knit or crochet at first. We are often used to fibres being a bit stretchier, like wool so it can be surprising but don’t worry, you get used to linen pretty quickly.
What to knit and crochet with linen yarn?
A couple of knitting patterns with linen
The first time I decided to do try some linen yarn knitting, I decided to use our Sweet Summer Knight base, a mix of bamboo and line. I followed a new-to-me natural dyeing recipe to obtain a steely grey. I loved the result and decided it’d make the prettiest summer cardigan so I used the Ochre Cardigan by Ambah O’Brien designed with a linen base in mind. It’s a light and drapey garment and definitely recommended.
Notched Hem Tank Top
When I first started knitting, I fell in love with this notched hem linen tank top from Purl Soho. It looks pretty simple but the notched hem makes it really interesting and this indigo is so deep and beautiful! It’s still on my long list of garments to make and I definitely need to give more time to summer patterns and especially to linen yarn knitting.
A couple of crochet patterns with linen
First, a disclaimer. I’m not great at crochet. I made a giant amigurumi once where the head was bigger than the body. I liked some of the process but I always forget how to crochet the stitches and what are their names and then I have to watch videos and start again. So I haven’t tested the following patterns, they are based solely on the fact they look pretty.
I had a “wow nice” moment when I found the RbeadG tank from Stephanie Erin. I absolutely love the beaded yoke and it’s a tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’ dissent collar. Seriously love the idea behind the project AND the tank!
Sagebrush Tank Top
I couldn’t say no to a garment inspired by sage. The Sagebrush Tank Top definitely looks like a staple piece for summer and it’s a free pattern! We all need more knitted/crocheted tank tops for summer. It’s such a better way to cool down!
I selected only a few patterns but feel free to give us your best linen patterns for spring and summer in the comments below! If you wish to use one of our summer bases for knitting or crochet and don’t find it on the shop, just drop us a message in the contact section!
We also have a few skeins left of our Sweet Summer Knight base on our Etsy shop !