A new spring yarn arrived from Elsebeth Lavold last week. A blend of linen and silk unimaginatively named LinSilk. Great colors, but somewhat unprepossessing feel in the hank. I spent some time swatching it up this week and really putting it through its paces. Here is what I found.
It’s not particularly soft in the hank, and it’s definitely a bit rustic looking, but it was extremely pleasant to knit. It worked up easily, and my size seven Addi Turbo needles gave me 5 stitches to the inch with no splitting or twisting. I didn’t feel that I was fighting with the yarn as I often do with some linens. I did a little seed stitch border and the body in stockinette. The fabric was nice and even, and the yarn softened up quite a bit just by being knit. Unlike cotton, which can feel heavy, this fabric was very light.
|LinSilk right off the needles|
Most, if not all, of the more rustic feeling yarns are greatly improved by a little bath, so I washed my swatch gently in a little Eucalan and blocked it out. It was quite a bit softer, and the gauge was not at all changed by the bath.
|Still wet from its little bath|
Emboldened, I decided to give it the real test and throw it into the washer and dryer with my regular laundry. Not on gentle cycle, but on the regular cycle. You know, the regular cycle of my top-loader that I use for washing jeans and for felting things. I did put the swatch into a small mesh bag so that I could find it more easily. (I also put things I’m felting in mesh bags, so it doesn’t really protect the fabric from shrinkage). Anyway, the swatch emerged from the wash unscathed. It had neither shrunk nor pilled, and it was not a ratty mess. I was impressed. The truest test, though, I thought, was a full round with the hot dryer. Inside the mesh bag, my swatch was wrinkled, but otherwise unharmed. A damp towel smoothed the wrinkles almost instantly, and my swatch was back to its original size, shape, and condition. Well almost it’s same condition – it was waaaay softer.
|After a trip through the washer and dryer|
If you’re having a hard time telling the difference between the three pictures, that’s good. My point is that LinSilk is a hardworking fiber than can take whatever you dish out and still look great. It’s a yarn you’ll use to make garments that become an integral part of your every day wardrobe – garments you will reach for again and again because they’re beautiful, comfortable, and you can just live your life in them.
Although introduced as a spring/summer yarn, LinSilk is a perfect year-round fiber for this climate. Lightweight, soft, durable, and easy care with great colors all at a comfortable price, LinSilk has earned its place on our shelves and in your stash.