Linen Stitch – What You Need To Know
Today’s blog on characteristics of Linen Stitch can be viewed or read. Both are approximately the same. But since video allows me to demonstrate more about a stitch and fabric drape, the video is a bit better.
Linen Stitch – Character Traits
Lou commented on the blog post from this past Friday. He wrote:
I’m hoping you’ll post a photo of the finished linen stitch scarf. I have found the stitch to be rigid and a real yarn eater, but not drapey and with little or no “give”. Maybe if it were in a really smooshy yarn it would be more pleasing.
First of all, thank you Lou for your comment and encouragement. I could easily have answered your question in a lot fewer words. But I thought the Linen Stitch deserved a bit more in-depth discussion.
First of all, what is the Linen Stitch.
The stitch pattern is as follows:
Cast On an Even Number of Stitches
ROW 1: Right Side (K1, Slip 1 Purlwise wyif) to end
ROW 2: Wrong Side (P1, Slip 1 purlwise wyib) to end
Some of the good characteristics:
- Creates a very flat, woven-like fabric
- Blends variegated yarns and minimizes bad pooling and striping
- Gradually blends stripes of different colors in a pleasing way
Some of the bad characteristics:
- Knitting grows slowly (each 2 rows makes up the equivalent of one row stockinette)
- Creates a very dense fabric
- Selvedge edge looks messy
- Fabric can waffle or ruffle at edges
- The reverse of the fabric isn’t as appealing as the front (it’s not reversible)
Hints and tips:
- Always go up at least 2 needle sizes from typical needle for your yarn – current scarf was fingering weight on US8 (5 mm) needles…5 sizes up from normal
- Use a different selvedge stitch pattern with the same row gauge – I used K1, Sl1 wyif for six stitches at the beginning and end of the scarf
- Cast On and Bind Off a bit more tightly than you might normally to avoid ruffling the beginning and ending edges or go down a needle size or two just for the cast on and bind off
- Make sure you use a wool or fiber that can be blocked flat
No surprise, I was able to finish the Linen Stitch Scarf.
The scarf ended up being approximately 5.5″ wide and 71″ long. I still have a few ends to weave in, but most of them I wove in before I finished got to the end.
3 comments on “Linen Stitch – What You Need To Know”
Thanks for your thorough response. I love the edge on the short ends of the scarf, and how thoughtful you were to keep the row gauge the same as the linen stitch. To keep from having to cast on and bind off tightly, I would go down a needle size or two from your size 8s just for the cast on and bind off. The color blending is lovely in your finished product. Based on this, I might give it another try, as the reverse side is not displeasing and it doesn’t roll like some scarf stitches do. Thanks again!
I found a way to make neat selvedge edges on linen stitch scarf. Slip EVERY last stitch. On the knit side, knit into the back loop of the slipped stitch. Start linen stitch by knitting the next st. On the Purl side, Purl into the back loop of the slipped stitch. Begin linen stitch by purling the next stitch.
This is a belated comment, but Purl Soho’s Peppered Stripes Wrap uses a technique that makes a pretty selvedge. It is worked over an odd number of stitches. Wrong-side rows begin and end with p1. Right-side rows begin and end with slipping a stitch *knitwise* with the yarn in the *back*.