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  • June 10, 2024 4 min read

    I've just finished my Lizzie, and I'm again reminded how much I love Rowan Creative Linen and why it should be on everyone's needles this summer.  As I talked about last week, linen by itself is lovely to wear, but no fun to knit.  Not so this yarn. sure, it's a plant based fiber, and there's everything that goes with that, but as far as I'm concerned, this is THE fiber for summer.  Do I love cotton? of course, but, I mean, do I have to pick? That's like having to choose between chocolate and caramel?  Why not both???  Because together they are better. 

    While Creative Linen is one of the oldest yarns in the line, it might be new to you, so let me introduce you to one of my oldest, and one of your newest best friends.  

    What is Rowan Creative Linen?

    As I said Rowan Creative Linen has been around.  Originally introduced not even in the Rowan line but under a line called Nashua from one of Rowan's previous distributors located in Nashua New Hampshire.  Creative Linen is the only yarn that survived when that line and that distribution relationship tanked. And no wonder.  A beautifully balanced blend of 50% linen and 50% cotton, this yarn combines the best qualities of both fibers.  It's much nicer to knit that either 100% cotton or 100% linen, and it has a smooth texture with great stitch definition.

    With a carefully curated palette of neutrals and a few wearable brights, Creative LInen can be the basis of a perfect summer sweater capsule wardrobe.  

    Benefits of (what I love most about) Knitting with Rowan Creative Linen 


    The blend of linen and cotton makes Creative Linen incredibly strong and long-lasting. Linen is known for its toughness, and the cotton doesn't diminish that in any way.  If you've heard me talk about this yarn ever, you know that the sweater I knit out of in 2010 sill looks brand new despite dozens of wearings and washings.  .


    Let's face it, summers in Southern Maryland are HOT.  I tend to run cold when the air conditioning is blasting, but in the sun, even I glow. My mother always said, Horses sweat, men perspire, ladies simply glow. But whatever you're doing in the heat, you'll be doing it less in Creative Linen,  Linen and cotton together are both absorbent and breathable, wicking moisture away from your body and releasing it out to the air so you stay cool and glow less.  


    Right out of the skein, Creative Linen is easy to knit and my Lizzie - without even having been blocked, is soft against my skin. The fabric responds well to blocking and stands up to washing, as I mentioned.  Given a few dozen trips through the machines, it manages to feel soft and still look crisp.  


    Creative Linen is a dk/worsted. You can  Whether you’re knitting a lightweight top, a breezy shawl, or a cozy tank, Creative Linen is incredibly versatile. Its excellent stitch definition and beautiful drape make it suitable for a variety of projects, allowing you to get creative with your summer knitting.

    Knitting Experience

    According to the ball band, Creative LInen's happy place is 21 stitches per 4".  I can say with confidence that it looks nice at anywhere between 22 and 19 stitches per 4".  My Lizzie is knit at 20, and the fabric has both structure and drape. I would say that you could easily do one of those loosely knit Cocoknits Emma sweaters in this yarn and be very happy.  

    As far as working with it, remember that Creative Linen is a plied, plant-based fiber. It's not bouncy or elastic in any way.  But it's easy to knit and doesn't hurt your hands at all.  It's easy to get a consistent gauge, although I did notice a little rowing out when I examined the inside of my Lizzie before I blocked it.  

    That unevenness with have a chance to work itself out over the next few years as I wear this cardigan on repeat for the rest of my life.  .

    Perfect Patterns and Projects for Creative Linen

    Rowan has some beautiful classic designs Creative Linen.  Erika Knight has also done some more outré designs.  I find that anytime I see something calling for worsted weight cotton, I am going to opt for Creative Linen. The only drawback to this yarn is its somewhat limited palette. It's a nice palette, but not the dizzying array of juicy colors you get with Handknit Cotton. But for my aesthetic of slow quiet luxury, this is my go to.  

    On my YouTube channel

    This week I'll be sharing 15 fabulous summer knitting patterns you've probably never seen before -- some of these are knit, of course, in Rowan Creative Linen and some in other beautiful fibers.  I hops you'll join me.   


    ps - have you knit with Creative Linen? or other linen yarn? What's your favorite? tell me in the comments

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