KnitBits #233 from Berroco

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Discovering Our Fiber Heritage

Slater MillI have always loved fine linens. Fascinated by the delicate detail and long wearing qualities of the woven fabrics that can be created from this noble fiber, I was compelled to research the roots of the textile industry in the USA. I am fortunate to be living very near Slater Mill in Pawtucket, RI. Slater Mill is situated on the Blackstone River. The Blackstone Valley was the cradle of the American textile industry where Samuel Slater built his textile mill and became the father of the industrial revolution.

Today we have a guest writer, Andrian Paquette, Curator of Slater Mill. He was kind enough to share some information about Linen.

Today, when most people look in their linen closet they find sheets, towels and tablecloths made mostly of cotton and synthetic fibers. There was a time when these items were primarily made from a plant called flax. Flax is cultivated for its seeds, for its fiber and as an ornamental. Linen cloth is made from the variety of flax grown specifically for its fiber. Along with other fiber producing plants like hemp, jute, nettle and sisal, flax is a bast fiber, meaning the fibers come from the outer coating of the plant's stem. Flax has one of the longest natural fibers, with a staple length of up to 35 inches. For this reason linen cloth is both very durable and nearly lint-free but also very wrinkly. READ FULL STORY

Berroco believes in the power of knitting with linen fibers. To soften the hand thus enhancing the drape and sheen we have developed yarns that are more knitterly than 100% linen. This season we introduced 3 new yarns that are a blend of linen and other fibers. Linen Jeans™ is a ribbon of linen and rayon, Seduce™ combines linen, silk, rayon and nylon and Naturlin™ is a twist of linen and rayon.

Today we are posting a free pattern that evolved from a lovely table runner, Montague from Booklet #273. When the piece arrived from the knitter, I threw the fabric around myself and was convinced that it would make a very lovely shrug. By manipulating the pattern stitch and sewing 2 shoulder seams, we created a new piece, Montsey, also in NaturLin. It is a delicate cover-up for those sleeveless, sultry summer evenings. If you haven't yet viewed our audio slideshow about Booklet #273 featuring Naturlin you can hear Norah and me discuss the pieces featured in that book as you watch the slideshow. You can find an archive of this and other multimedia presentations on our new page.

schema 1
Knit in NaturLin
Skill level: Intermediate
FREE pattern instructions


All the best,

Margery Winter
Creative Director

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