We're a Canadian site and all transactions are charged in Canadian dollars.
How to knit with linen yarn : part 1

How to knit with linen yarn : part 1

If you're anything like us, you probably have some 100% linen garments in your wardrobe and can't wait to wear them this summer! What if we told you that you can achieve that beautiful crisp fabric and incomparable drape and comfort in your handknits too? 

Shop 100% linen yarn

Linen is a beloved all-round superstar fibre, and a delight to integrate into your knitting repertoire. While linen is not soft as cashmere or silk, or even merino, it is known for getting softer with wear. It can be worn year round, of course, but is particularly awesome in summer as it keeps you cool, wicks away sweat, and only gets better with frequent washing. 

How to knit 100% linen yarn

Use the right needles

Linen yarn can be less forgiving than wool, so using needles with sharp tips can help you pick up stitches more easily and work through tight spots without splitting the yarn. We always recommend knitting pure linen with bamboo needles for a more even fabric throughout while knitting. Our favourite are Kinki Amibari needles, as they also have a super-smooth shaft to make working with the rougher linen and smoother experience. 

Work with a relaxed tension

Linen yarn doesn't have much elasticity compared to wool, so knitting too tightly can result in a stiff fabric that doesn't drape well. Focus on maintaining a relaxed tension while knitting to allow the yarn to breathe and create a more flexible fabric.

Block your swatches and finished pieces

Linen yarn will soften and become more pliable with washing and blocking. Make sure to block your swatches before measuring gauge, and your finished pieces to achieve the desired size and drape. Wet blocking is particularly effective for linen yarn: knit a large swatch and toss it in your regular wash cycle, then lay out flat to dry as you would with handwashed blocking. Tumble drying also helps soften linen quicker: make sure to tumble dry your swatch, if you intend to dry the finished object this way. Always treat your swatch exactly like you plan to treat your finished knit!

Embrace the natural texture

Linen yarn can have a rustic and textured appearance that adds character to your knitted fabric. Embrace this characteristic by choosing stitch patterns and designs that complement the yarn's texture, such as simple lace or openwork stitches that allow the yarn to shine. Find a list of our favourite linen knitting patterns at the end of this article!

Be patient with the break-in period 

Linen yarn can feel stiff and rough to work with initially, but it softens with handling and wear over time. Be patient and continue knitting, knowing that the finished fabric will become softer and more comfortable with use and washing.

Like with any new thing, have patience and embrace the process! Knitting with linen will feel very different from knitting with wool: you may find it changes your tension and how you hold your yarn. To be honest, you may also be discouraged by the effect at first: working in a yarn store, we've chatted with a number of new linen knitters who have complained how uneven their stitches look! We always say to them: block your swatch! You'll be amazed how much blocking will even out the final look. And while we're talking blocking, check out our next post about aftercare for 100% linen yarn. 

Pure linen knitting patterns

Here are a few of our tried and true favourite knitting and crochet patterns for 100% linen yarn. These are great pattern choices for our 100% linen Petit Lin laceweight and Petit Lin+ sportweight yarns. 

Sunshine Coast

Staple Linen Top

Ilene Bag

Banana Leaf Shawl

Ombre Tank

Aisé Shawl