Craft · Knitting

The Love Affair With Linen Stitch

Linen stitch is simple, interesting, and versatile. It’s fun to do, especially in the round. It’s also more interesting than stockinette stitch yet takes about the same amount of attention once you get into the habit.

And boy, am I in the habit.

You might guess that linen stitch is my favourite of all the knitted stitches and you would be right. Every time I make something in linen stitch I get super excited about it and gaze lovingly at whatever project is on the needles.

The things I love about it:

  1. It is really easy to do.
  2. It doesn’t stretch too much.
  3. Even at a loose gauge it’s dense-looking.
  4. Clown-barf colours work together in it.

A few weeks ago Martina at LGH put up a couple of skeins of new yarn together like a funky necklace around a mannequin and I spent far too much time staring at it when I was at the knitting group each Thursday. Last week she was running an Easter promo where you get an egg with a random percentage off and I got a 20% egg, so I grabbed the two skeins.

It turns out it’s Fiora by Berroco, which I described as ‘almost cottony’ – which would make sense as it’s 40% cotton, duh. It also contains alpaca, wool, and synthetic elements. It’s an eccentric blend but it knits up wonderfully.

Martina has an excellent eye for colour so the two I picked work well together, even if it doesn’t seem like they would when you see them separately. These are the colourways:



The mustardy-gold is called Ray, the dusky purple is called Elberta. Can I take a moment to enjoy the names of these colours in Fiora? There’s also a Tybee, a Marietta, and a Bristol. I like these names. They are amusing names.

Back to linen stitch. When I saw these colours together my mind instantly went to linen stitch (as it often does) and soon enough I found myself casting on a random amount of stitches and working a linen stitch cowl in the two colours. I thought every other row would look a little busy, yet I knew I wanted them blended together. This is what I’ve ended up with so far.


Taken with my Blackberry – please excuse the dullness of the purple. It’s much richer in real life.

This picture was taken on the train as I was on my way to a Pet Expo in Mississauga and I found I couldn’t stop knitting it. Even when we were queuing up to get in I still kept knitting. Once we were inside I had to put it away, but only because otherwise I couldn’t cuddle all the adorable dogs wandering around.

Related: I want a Yorkshire Terrier so bad I could cry. I would settle for a Great Dane.

The cowl is growing fast and will be excellent work knitting next week. Linen stitch in the round is so easy – I don’t even need to pay attention to where the start of the round is, though I’ve marked it for when it’s time to cast off. I’m only paying attention to which colour to use in each round in the most basic of ways; I have no concrete plan, I’m just going to see what happens.

With linen stitch that’s possible to do and still end up with something gorgeous. Is it any wonder I love it so much?




18 thoughts on “The Love Affair With Linen Stitch

  1. I feel the same way about mosaic stitch – also in the slip stitch/multicolor family of stitches – as you do about linen stitch. In fact your post leapt at me today because as I was reading it I’m also working a self-portrait designed blanket for a new grandchild in mosaic stitch.

    Your beautiful yarns are at opposite ends of the color wheel, so, yes, they should go together, but you’re right; linen stitch blends them in the best possible way, bringing all the attributes of the complimentary colors together in the most beautiful way!

    Thank you for sharing this post. I love seeing the things you do!

    BTW, my lovely service dog and I hope you get your Yorkie. ^ω^


    1. Thank you! I’m knitting the cowl right now – well, I’ve put it down long enough to type this reply. 😉 But that’s about as long as it gets left at any time.

      Awww, what kind of dog is your service dogs? I love dogs (which wasn’t always true!).


      1. Please forgive me for not seeing your question earlier! I don’t know how it slipped by me, but the answer is she’s a Shihtsu. Since her job is medical alert she doesn’t need to be large, just sensitive to changes in my body chemistry. She’s a love!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, how cool is that? I love how you’re working the “purple” (which really looks like a tan or brown on my computer) in with the yellow. And though seed stitch is my favoritest, I do enjoy linen stitch too. I’m on my second Honey Cowl and it’s such a good travel project, mindless without being mind-numbingly boring. And I would vote for a Great Dane. Big dogs are fun!


    1. The purple looks brown on mine too but it’s lovely in real life. I’ll take better photos when it’s done. I do love seed stitch too, it’s rhythmic in the same way I think.


    1. That’s so funny. We’re thinking of fostering a greyhound after our vacation in June because my girlfriend loves them and I’ve never been around them (so fostering is a good start).


      1. I used to work for Animates (a pet store chain) & they have the rescue organisation at every store event. Lots of dogs get adopted that way and they are surprisingly laid back. Whippets seemed a little more energetic but I could own a greyhound. It would almost be manly enough for Si!


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