If you've ever worked with linen yarn, you might have found it a little tough to deal with. Linen on its own is rough, inflexible and often limp looking, though knitters who can stick with it are rewarded with a fabric that becomes softer and nicer to wear every time it's washed.
If you'd rather have some of the good qualities of linen without the more annoying parts, try Berroco's Linen Jeans, a combination of rayon and linen knit together into a tube that makes for a softer product right off the hank.
- Content: 70 percent rayon, 30 percent linen
- Yarn weight: Medium
- Gauge: Ball band says 19 stitches and 26 rows per 4 inches on size 9 US needles; I got 16.5 stitches and 23 rows per 4 inches on size 9 needles
- Yardage: 80 yards per 50 gram hank
- Color availability: 13 solids
- Color used in swatch: Maritime
- Care instructions: Hand wash cold, lay flat to dry. Dry clean if mixing dark and light colors in a project
Berroco Linen Jeans is a nice combination of rayon and linen fibers. It has that somewhat lustrous, silky look of rayon (and the particular color I used shows off its great ability to hold dye, though other colors are less dramatic and dark than this one).
From the linen you'll feel a bit of stiffness as you knit, but the rayon takes a lot of the unyielding property from the linen fiber and makes it a lot easier to work with. After a quick wash, the fiber is much softer and has better drape, though with dark colors you may lose a bit of dye and some small bits of fiber in the wash.
Because this yarn is itself a knit tube, there's some danger of splitting the yarn when working with very pointy needles. I didn't have any problems at all working with basic wooden needles.
The stitches themselves are a little uneven, making garments with a rustic, organic look rather than a perfect crispness where every stitch stands at perfect attention. It's a yarn that looks casual and feels comfortable, the perfect choice for garments you'll want to live in.
Stockinette Stitch worked up with a decent amount of curl that was eliminated after washing and blocking.
Uses for Berroco Linen Jeans
Linen Jeans is a great choice for casual looking garments like summery tops and sweaters for the transitional seasons. The bit of luster makes it a nice choice for fancier projects as well.
A single skein could be used to make a cute headband or some other sort of accessory, but the real joy in this yarn comes from knitting it up into something you'll wear.
I'd probably recommend simple stitch patterns for this yarn because of the somewhat uneven stitching, but you can add interest with stripes or simple textures such as cables, ribbing or even a bit of lace.
Berroco Linen Jeans isn't the type of yarn that everyone will enjoy working with. If you prefer the look and feel of natural fibers (particularly if you're one of those people who's willing to work with 100 percent linen yarns), you might not like the addition of rayon, which hides a lot of linen's character.
If, on the other hand, you're someone who doesn't enjoy yarn that's stiff and hard to work with, someone who likes a bit of a silky feel and doesn't mind stitches that aren't perfectly behaved, this yarn is a wonderful choice for tops, sweaters, accessories and more.