We saw a break in the rain Saturday so I hauled finished items downstairs to get photos. The stripes on the linen scarf still remind me of exercise wear but I like how bold they are:

Scarf_2008Jan20_BlackPinkStripe

Pattern: own
Stitch pattern: Feather Faggot from Barbara Walker’s First Treasury, page 185
Yarn: Euroflax 100% linen yarn, 3/4 skein black (color 18-2223-17) and 3/4 skein hot pink (color 18-1234-1)
Needles: size 4
Size: 6″ x 72″

Although the non-elastic yarn was rough on my hands, I enjoyed working with it.

I joined the colors by twisting the yarns around each other at each color change, just as you would when working intarsia. Remembering to always bring the new color under the old one on right-side rows and over rather than under on the wrong-side rows prevents tangling and also creates a neat little ladder of color changes on the wrong side:

Scarf_2008Jan20_BlackPinkStripeDetail

Working with linen reminded me of something I read a while back in Spin Span Spun by Bette Hochberg, something that really boggled my mind. A little explanation first: linen and cotton were (and still are, I suppose) fibers commonly used when creating something that needed to be strong but not necessarily warm. Linen was often used in sails. And the thing that really got me: the Phoenicians and the Romans and the Vikings and all those old pre-Industrial Revolution world explorers you learned about in elementary school sailed the Seven Seas in ships that had very large sails… and all those sails were made of handspun thread that was then handwoven into the sail fabric. Amazing.

I haven’t spun with linen yet. I wonder how hard it is. I tried spinning from a cotton ball once, spectacularly unsuccessfully.

This week’s bus knitting looks very festive:

Hat_2008Jan29_RedSquiggleWIP

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