Linen has become very trendy recently, and most yarn companies are putting forward their own. Which is amazing! When we first purchased the Euroflax yarn line over 20 years ago, it was so new that most consumers had no idea how to work with it! Linen doesn’t have elasticity like wool, and it’s a completely different fiber than what many people are used to knitting with.
Linen absorbs color beautifully (we’re often asked why we don’t sell Gems in the same colors as Euroflax… it’s because wool can’t absorb color the same way!). It’s durable, absorbent and non-allergenic. Linen can absorb 20% of its weight in water without feeling damp and the pectins in the fiber give it a heat-regulating quality… making linen perfect for summer projects.
We are regularly told by our customers that our linen is their favorite. And the best available on the market. Aww, make us blush!
What makes Euroflax such a special linen yarn? Euroflax is a long line, wet-spun linen yarn. It is called ‘long line’ because the plant itself grows more than a yard tall. When standing in the field, it is a beautiful sight; bright blue flowers waving in the wind. All of our flax is grown (and processed) in Belgium, which touts a damp ocean climate and rich soil that grows the finest linen in the world.
The term wet-spun refers to the process of using heat, humidity and water during the spinning process, which creates a smooth yarn; in contrast to the the dry spun process which produces a rougher, more uneven yarn.
Since crops vary from year to year, so does the quality of flax. To get a consistent quality, our yarn is made from a blend several years of crops at a mill which has been in operation for several generations. Our Belgian mill has developed a way of splitting the fibers very finely, and they also double-boil the yarn to produce a soft and exceptional quality.
Here are a few tips for knitting with linen:
- Linen feels rough in the skein and softens up over time. Many knitters find that hand-winding the skein or running the yarn through your fingers as you wind it softens it up considerably- which helps your knitting enjoyment!
- Always swatch! Your gauge is likely to be different with linen than with other yarns (mostly due to its inelasticity), so it’s important to do a gauge swatch for your project.
- Wash your swatch. Because linen develops drape as it softens through multiple washings, it’s helpful to wash your swatch a few times as though it’s your finished piece.
- Look for linen-specific patterns. Because linen is a unique fiber, you may be disappointed in the result if you swap it willy-nilly in a pattern that calls for a wool yarn.