I have designed some wrist warmers for linen yarn and put together some kits using plant/naturally-dyed linen yarn in different colour combinations. Naturally-dyed colours are very soothing to the eye and the thermoregulating, hypoallergenic and anti-static properties of linen make these so comfy to wear. The pair below were dyed with rosemary (from our garden) and combined with natural undyed linen.
I also dye with madder, weld and cutch, which have good colour fastness properties.
There are currently 7 different kit colour combinations in naturally-dyed shades, with more to be added.
These will also look great in Flaxi, which I have added as an option in the kit. The choice is yours!
There are now 7 new more shades available in our Flaxi 100% linen yarn.
We have sourced top quality, certified flax, grown and processed in the North of France and had it dyed and plied by a UK dye house. We then skein it ourselves into 50g skeins. We have therefore produced a linen yarn with the smallest carbon footprint possible, using this sustainable plant.
You how have 17 scintillating shades to chose from. Below are some of the new colours.
If you are looking for a small project out of linen yarn which is really useful around the house, look no further. The Flaxi Hand Towel only takes one 100g skein of nautral undyed linen yarn (choose another colour if you prefer) and one 20g of Flaxi, or any other sport weight linen, for the contrasting colour bands. I am currently knitting my 3rd of these.
These would also make great gifts, either ready made, or in the form of a kit that the recipient could knit for their own home.
Dijon is back in stock, our gorgeous buttery yellow, plant-dyed with weld on our linen/alpaca blend base (Alpalini), seen below.
We have a new addition to the range, this time using weld and chestnut, which gives a soft golden yellow.
This is our Gold colourway in Alpalini. We only dye in small batches, so be quick if you would like some!
How about a bit of linen luxury in the bathroom?
This is an adaptation of the Tonal Blanket pattern which can be found on the Purl Soho website.
The textured slip stitch is amazing and you can choose blocks of colour to create an ombre effect or a more contrasted look.
The towel below turned out to be 85 x 50cm approx. using 3.5mm needles. It took around 3 x 100g skeins of eco-stitch natural sport weight linen (which runs the whole length of the towel) and 4 different colours, 50g of each in hand-dyed sport weight.
The yarn is machine-washable!
One of my knitting friends was brave enough to make a larger, bath towel size. Hers came out at 85 x 130cm on 3.5mm needles and she cast on 161 stitches. She also added an i-cord border.
She very kindly offered to share her photos below. Quantities used were 3 x 100g skeins in eco-stitch natural sport weight and 4 different colours 100g each of eco-stitch hand-dyed sportweight.
I was pretty proud to have one of my patterns published in the August addition of Knitting Magazine. The pattern is a baby onesie I designed specifically with linen yarn (or similar plant fibres) in mind. There seem to be very few patterns for linen yarn for babies, so I have decided to do something about it. Linen is hypoallergenic and thermo-regulating, amongst many other qualities (see my About Linen page) and I don't see why it couldn't be used more for baby and toddler pieces.
The orange sample on the right is knitted with our hand-dyed sport weight linen yarn in the colour Tropic. The pink sample is knitted with our new yarn, Flaxi (see previous blog post) in the colour Peony.
August 2021 sees the arrival of our new linen yarn, Flaxi. We sourced our flax fibre for this yarn from just a short hop over the Channel, and it is certified European Flax and Masters of Linen, the best quality there is, grown and processed as close as possible. We then teamed up with a UK textile company to have it dyed and plied, and here it is, in 10 glorious shades, ready to be knitted or crocheted into creative pieces.
We thought this pre-dyed yarn in solid colours would be a nice addition to our existing range of hand-dyed yarns. They can all be used together in the same project, since they are the same weight and can be worked to the same tension/gauge.
The yarn comes to us in cones, and we then make our own 50g skeins. However, if anyone would prefer yarn in balls, (or even larger quantities on cones), we offer a free ball-winding service.
We hope to be expanding the colour range in the Autumn with some darker colour ways.
I am pleased to announce that I will be taking part in the Botanica Yarn Festival next weekend on Instagram. If you head over to @botanica_yarnfest you will find a sneak peek of all the participants. The festival is about all things botanical, with an emphasis on plant-dyeing.
I will be presenting eco-stitch yarns and patterns in a live shop exhibit at 9.40am on Saturday May 1st.
During the festival there will be a coupon code for 10% off our yarns. (Code BOTANICA).
Linen yarn dyed with madder extract.
We have some exciting new ranges planned for the coming months, all to do with linen, of course.
First up and just arrived is this luxury linen thread, fil au chinois. It is slightly waxed and has been cabled, to produce and exceptionally strong and abrasion-resistant thread in rich colours with a deep sheen. It is ideal for leather stitching (it is actually used by Hermes) and book binding or jewellery making, or for any craft where a strong, rounded stitch is desired. The name "fil au chinois" dates back to when the brand was created in 1847 in France, when all things Oriental were fashionable. It refers to the illustration of a Chinese character that was chosen to represent the brand on product labels. Otherwise, this prestigious thread has nothing to do with China, and is still made in the North of France to this day.
Click here to find this thread in shorter lengths on thread cards to make it more accessible to try out.
We've all been through some difficult times recently. I hope you have been able to find some comfort in your creative crafts while keeping safe. Personally, I discovered that my new-found interest in gardening was quite therapeutic. Fortunately I had ordered some seeds before lockdown (without knowing what was ahead) so I was equipped for trying my hand at some new plants. Some of these were with the aim of creating my own dye garden: weld, woad and rosemary, and even artichokes (yes, apparantly you can dye with artichokes, but I haven't tried yet). None of these are mature enough for me to harvest any dye material yet, but maybe later....... if I manage to keep them alive!
I did cut back a rather large rosemary bush whose branches were falling over, and after stripping off the leaves and fresh sprigs, I heated them up in a dye bath. I was really pleased with the results on both linen yarn and the Alpalini alpaca/linen blend. Out came a very bright yellow, which I then modified with a dip in an iron bath to create a beautiful soft olive (now in our shop). All skeins are pre-mordanted to ensure colour-fastness, and I only use dyes that have proved to be colour-fast over the centuries (eg Weld, Cutch, Madder, Sweet Chestnut) You can dye with many different plants (eg beetroot, red cabbage, berries) but many are fugitive dyes and tend to fade.
Photos below show the original colour of the rosemary dye bath, before I modified it to olive.
You can purchase plant-dyed linen yarn here.
One of my goals this year was to launch a new yarn, Alpalini.
After many months of tests and collaboration with a local spinning mill, our new yarn is finally here.
Not only is it a unique, luxurious base, composed of 50% smooth, long-fibre European linen, and 50% soft fine alpaca from the UK, it is also only dyed using plant dyes to create the colour range, giving a truly natural product. The intertwining of the soft fluffy alpaca with the lustrous, strong linen makes for a versatile, trans-seasonal yarn, suitable for all types of stitches, cables, lace and colour work.
We have just published a second linen top design called Tribord. "Tribord" is the French word for "starboard". Inspired by coastal landscapes on the Isle of Wight, where sand, sea and sky merge together in beautiful hues, this pattern will allow you to play with different colourways, which are knitted in bands that blend in to one another.
It is designed to be a loose-fitting, easy-going top, with lots of comfortable ease and drape.
Our 2 samples are each knitted in 3 colours: Beetroot, Pewter and Rhubarb for the pink version and Anchor, Vanilla and Seabreeze for the grey/green version ((all in the LinenNaturals range except for Vanilla).
It can also be knitted up with 2 or 4 colours, or even plain, since the textured bands add interest.
There has been lots of dyeing here at eco-stitch over the Winter months. Our focus has been mainly to develop the range of colours available on natural linen yarn (unbleached). This range is called LinenNaturals. Due to the already naturally strong colour of the yarn, beige/grey, it is of course impossible to achieve pastel colours. However, we have managed to come up with a series of lighter colours, which look beautiful together, teamed up with the Natural or even the darker colourways.
There are now 5 shades of grey in our shop. Cloud, Steel and Kohl are dyed on a white base. Pewter and Anchor are dyed on a natural silver/beige base. They are all semi-solids. The newest addition to the family is Kohl, our darkest grey.
In this line-up, from left to right: Cloud, Pewter, Anchor and Kohl.
The following photos show the greys next to their respective yarn bases.
A very happy New Year to you all, wishing you health and happiness for 2019.
I have finally returned to my dye pots after a few weeks off from dyeing. The weather in November and December here on the island was very grey, wet and windy, with little sunshine, not at all conducive to producing hand-dyed yarns. Below is the colour that I have been dyeing this week. It is called Anchor, a beautiful mid-grey on a natural linen yarn base. If you look closely, you can see the silver/beige undertones of the natural yarn showing through. I have a feeling this colourway is going to be popular this year. As soon as the skeins are dry, they will be added to the shop.
This yarn is part of the LinenNaturals range (hand-dyed on a natural base). Although it is a sport weight yarn, it can also be knitted or crocheted as a DK yarn.
2019 will bring more new colours in this range. Watch this space!
Our hand-dyed sport linen is currently £12 for a 100g skein instead of £14.40 until 31 August.
On top of that, the newly-released Simplicitee pattern is FREE if purchased with eco-stitch sport yarn.
Time to cast on for a new project?
Shown below are our 2 latest colour ways: Pumpkin and Parma Violet (semi-solids).
As its name suggests, this is a quick and easy knit, giving you a comfortable, loose-fitting garment with lots of drape. The colour combinations for the stripes are endless. The top is knitted bottom-up and the pattern gives you the option of knitting flat in 2 separate pieces which are seamed to finish, or knitting in the round in one piece resulting in no seams.
The pattern is FREE if purchased with eco-stitch hand-dyed sport linen yarn to make it (4 - 5 skeins). Coupon code SIMPLICITEE.
The sample you see below is made with Seaspray and Serenity and is knitted in the round with eyelet side increases (one of the optional design elements of the pattern).
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