close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fabulous Linen and a Sock Class

The Louet Euroflax has arrived. This is such a gorgeous yarn, just the thing for casual summer knits.

I love this tunic, Liesl, from Cocoknits. I started working on this at the end of last summer, but the cool fall weather sort of stalled my progress. I really enjoy Cocoknits patterns. They are always well written with clever and unusual design details.

Simple mitered decreases result in the points at the sides, and the magic pockets are fun to make and look really cool when you're done. Yup, time to pick this up again. Note that the fabric you achieve with this pattern is very open, so a little something underneath will be necessary. Also, think about the sizing before you cast on. The stretchy fabric has a lot of give, so you might want to go down a size so the fit is nice.

Lacey is a basic feather and fan lace stole done up in Euroflax Linen. The weight of this shawl is so satisfying, and the linen makes it perfect for summer.

Linen is great for facecloths and hand towels, too. Mason-Dixon Knitting has some great ones, but you can pretty much just choose a stitch pattern and go for it.

The linen behaves so differently depending on the needles you use. The ball band suggests a US2 to 4 needle, but I would tend to go larger. This little blue swatch we have a the shop was knit on a US6, and it really brings out the drape and flow that we tend to associate with linen fabrics.

Knitters often find that linen is a little rough to work with, but our friend Nancy solved that problem. She washed the skein of yarn before she knit with it. Soak it in the tub for awhile, rinse it out, and hang it to dry. This won't make it soft as cashmere or anything, but it helps. Your finished item will continue to soften up with every wash and dry.

We have some great patterns from Lana Knits, originally written for hemp yarn. Hemp and linen share many properties, and the Euroflax Linen would substitute very nicely for any of these tanks, tees, and sweaters.

How nice would a linen pullover feel over a tank top this summer? I keep seeing linen sweaters in clothing catalogs (for several hundred dollars, usually), and I think it's time to make my own.

Speaking of making your own, I wanted to update you on our current classes.

I know a lot of you are looking forward to the Sock Summit in July, even though socks might not be your thing...yet. If you want to get the basics of sock construction under your belt before you sign up for all of those advanced classes, Ann has you covered. On Tuesdays, May 31st, June 7th and 14th, Ann is teaching a beginning sock class from 6-8PM. She will teach you all about heel flaps, turning a heel with short rows, picking up stitches for the gusset, and creating a nice little toe.

We also have:

Knitting: Beginning and Beyond on Thursdays May 26th, June 2nd and 9th from 6:30-8:30 PM
Learn to Knit Workshop on Tuesday, May 24th from 6-8PM
Learn to Crochet Workshop on Tuesday, May 17th from 6-8PM

Advanced Knitting Techniques Workshop on Sunday, May 29th from 10-11AM

Give a call or stop by to sign up!

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