A Little Linen for Summer- Milo

The temperature has begun to heat up in my California mountains, so I picked up a yarn that I knew would give a little less warmth then others in my stash. I chose a merino, linen blend yarn. This means that it has a fine, or soft, wool combined with a plant based fiber that has been around for thousands of years.

Linen is created from the stalk of the flax plant. The stalk is essentially long strands that are held together by a “glue” that is created by the plant. The “glue” is dissolved, in years past it was done with a fermentation process, the stalk was placed in a watery solution and allowed to rot. This broke up the “glue” and allowed the long, fine strands to be gathered and spun into a yarn. Once it was turned into a yarn, it was called linen.

Milo by Manos del Uruguay

There are certain characteristics with linen. It actually repels dirt and is stronger when wet. If it gets wet and dries quickly, but it does wrinkle easily. There is a particular luster quality, and is cool to the touch. This definitely fits the description of a summer yarn to me.

The yarn I picked up was Milo by Manos Del Uruguay, it is 65% merino and 35% linen. Offering a generous 380 yards/350meters, for a 3.5 oz/ 100 gram hank, in a super fine weight yarn. Honestly it does not remind me of a super fine weight, or lace, it seems to have a bit more body then that and I feel comfortable working it up on a 4-5mm crochet hook. It has a nice feel in the hand, and definitely has that “linen luster” quality.

After washing it actually becomes softer, and I feel it will make a great shawl, but it could work into a nice camisole, or wrap. I think the fiber blend is really at a point of mutual benefit. The is just enough merino to allow for strength while being balanced with enough linen to give it a interesting and stand out quality. This one will do well on my hook and I look forward to seeing what it will become.

Summer Lends Itself to Different Fibers in Yarn

ScannedImageAs the warm months approach I always find myself wanting to play with some different yarn types, yarns that may not be as warm and heavy in my lap.

Recently I have been playing with a silk/linen blend yarn. This yarn (Queensland Collection Savanna) is a light to fine weight, with an almost stiff feel. In fairness this stiffness subsides after being washed, as is the case with linen. There is a strong stitch definition and the yarn has what I would describe a rustic feel, with a slight bumpy feel. Each stitch definitely stands on its own, but I don’t feel that it would support heavily textured fabrics such as cables or popcorn stitches very well as the rustic feel and appearance of the yarn tends to distract from this, almost like there is too much texture overall.

0520161107

Queensland Collection Savanna yarn

This yarn has very little if any stretch, and a very flat, sturdy drape. It reminds me of similar qualities of cotton. I like how it has breath, meaning that it feels light and summer like. The sheen to it is interesting as well, as it is a dull luster. When this is combined with the rustic feel, it almost seems old fashion to me.

Since silk is the main component of this yarn I know that it has strength, and the linen helps to keep the fabric cool to the touch. My designing mind can easily envision this yarn as a tunic or a skirt, some sort of sturdy simple garment. If it was intended for home décor, I can see that it would create anything to grace a patio setting, or someplace with a natural outdoors feel. I can easily see this creating a fabric that would make a great handbag. It has an interesting appeal and definitely feels right for the warm month.