I look forward to Spring - not only for the warmer temperatures, the lighter evenings and the return to allotment gardening, but also (and possibly mainly) for the return of my Spring/Summer wardrobe. Which mainly consists of linen garments. I absolutely ADORE linen. I really can't express it emphatically enough. It is to my mind the most appealing of fabrics, being both comfortable and elegant. Yes, I know it wrinkles, but it is supposed to do that, so you can go through your day secure in the knowledge that your clothes will remain effortlessly elegant regardless of how much they naturally bunch and wrinkle.
It is understandable for British people not to appreciate linen. After all, it is a fabric that really comes into its own in very hot weather, which is something one doesn't suffer from much in Britain. My appreciation for linen really began when I lived in the desert, because no matter how much you sweated, the fabric would absorb it and dry off almost immediately. Also, because it is quite a stiff fabric it doesn't cling to the skin, so it allows air to circulate around your body.
I suppose it is a fabric one associates more with Southern Europe, and in fact the first time I saw flax fields was in Normandy. It is even attractive in plant form - the flowers are pale blue and the seed heads are plump and regular. I'm growing some on my garden, partly because it's supposed to be a good companion plant with carrots, and also just because I wanted to see if I could. After all, if it grows in Normandy, it should grow in Oxford.
|Flax plant image from Wikipedia Commons|
My favourite linen yarn is La Droguerie DK linen, which comes in a range of gorgeous, shiny colours. I also like Katia 4 ply lino, which I plan to use for this pattern - that is, unless I find some nice linen on my trip to Italy:
I knit a skirt out of Hemp for Knitting Allhemp6 last year, and I wear it all the time (knit skirts, incidentally, being another subject upon which Hoxton Handmade and I differ). It is incredibly wearable, comfortable, and best of all, machine washable. Although I developed calluses on my fingers, I was not discouraged, and in fact am currently knitting this dress from the same yarn: