I’m not one to knit with linen yarn very often (although, keep your eyes open for a new spring design coming up soon that may in fact feature some linen! I’ll keep you in suspense…), but since I work at a yarn shop I try to keep myself educated on all different types of fibers and how to care for them. This winter Suzie had a sample knit up of the Perkins Cove pullover for the shop, a beautiful Quince & Co. pattern designed by Pam Allen. It uses Quince & Co. Sparrow, an 100% linen yarn, perfect for spring and summer knitting and wearing. One thing I was really curious about was how to care for garments knit up in linen. I had read a great blog post by Hannah Fettig last year about it as well as heard her and Pam Allen discuss it on a knit.fm podcast episode. In both they talked about how you can put garments knit up with linen in the washing machine and dryer as well as iron it…I was intrigued! So I took home the Perkins Cove to see for myself.
Here is the “Before” shot:
And here is the After shot…
So what exactly did I do? I first ran it through the washing machine, on the delicate cycle. Then I put it in the dryer, on low heat. As a knitter, putting finished garments in the washer and dryer seems to go against all my instincts but I trusted in the process and sure enough, the sweater came out just fine and it really did soften up! But the edges were curling up a bit so I decided to try the iron. Again, going against all my normal knitter-instincts, I put the iron directly on the sweater, and, once again it turned out beautiful.
Here’s a before shot of the bottom edge before ironing:
And here is the bottom edge after ironing:
So my experimentation was a success and I now have a whole new appreciation for linen. I definitely recommend giving it a try this spring and summer!
One side note: This process works great for 100% linen yarn like Quince & Co.’s Sparrow or Kestral, but if you are working with a yarn that is a linen blend (say it has merino and linen in it), then you will want to stick with ‘regular’ blocking methods.
I’m so glad you wrote this post. I’ve wanted to try Quince’s sparrow for a while, but didn’t really know what to expect. I love that you can wash, dry, and iron it. I really blocked beautifully! I’m going to have to make the leap and order some.
I’m so glad you found it helpful! I think you’ll love working with the sparrow – and the colors are beautiful too!
Neat! What setting did you use on your iron? Did you use any steam?
I used a low setting and I did use steam – the results were pretty amazing!