I've been sitting on some beautiful linen for about a year and one of my friends has been bugging me to get dyeing it up ... and so I've been hunting for some other gorgeous warmer climate yarns and think I've found a good variety (from a number of sources which is increasingly important in the current Covid world) that you will love!
I've explained each of them below so that you will have a list of them with all their information.
Why some Summer fibre yarns? ... There's definitely a need for some lighter weight cellulose yarns both here in Australia and elsewhere in the world too during the summer months. Sweater wearing weather (which wool is ideal for) is only here in Victoria for 6 months of the year and further north it may never arrive so it seems silly for people to be knitting with unsuitable fibres... bring in Cotton and Linen and even a bit of Bamboo to expand your options! You can even combine the fibres to get the best of both.
Cellulose fibres also deal with some other needs that some people may have including allergies and vegan preferences. So, I've also been looking for beautiful natural fibre yarns that I could list as Vegan. I've marked these with a V.
*Lotus - 3 ply (heavy lace) linen - wet spun - V. My original Linen yarn this comes in at 580 metres to 100gms and is sold in 50gm skeins (290 metres for 50gms). This has a slightly waxy feel to the yarn. Ideal for comfortable summer tops, T's and lightweight cardigans - perfect to blend with silk or cotton for some added textures. Also double it up to produce a heavier weight yarn - two threads of this would equal a 5 ply / Sport weight thread.
*Linden - 4 ply silk and linen - 65% silk and 35% linen. 400m/100gms. This yarn is a treasure. Silky and cool - I've been trying to get my hands on some of this for the past couple of years and I've finally made it. Not cheap (thanks exchange rate) but the skeins come in a whopping 115 gms so you get extra for your hard earned money. Shawls, as well as tops, T's, lightweight cardis, and cowls. This yarn comes in a wide variety of formats from cobweb to 8 ply - I decided to start with the 4 ply but will likely introduce some other weights if the initial sale of these proves to be popular as I expect it to be.
*Amaranth - 8 ply Pima Cotton - 220 metres/ 100gms - V. This is an amazing and unusual cotton yarn. Totally unlike anything else I stock (and a truly strange animal to dye- which a rather amusing description for a vegan yarn) but it'll be great for that sloppy summer cardigan or baggy easy living sweater, and even a summer weight cowl. Again, mix it with other fibres (such as silk and linen) to get the best of both worlds and create a wonderful blend of textures and fibres.
*Camelia - 4 ply silk and cotton - 50% cotton and 50% silk - 400m/100gms - A nice soft cotton type of yarn with a bit of drape due to the silk content. Not as much sheen as I would have thought for a 50% silk content, but this is a gorgeous yarn none the less and the two fibres combined give you the benefits of a beautiful drape and a comfortable summer wear. Beautiful summer cardigans, tops and blankets.
*Koshary - 3 and 4 ply, 50% Alpaca, 25% Linen and 25% silk - my initial reaction to wool based fibres mixed with linen was "Why"? I just didn't get the benefits of combining the two, but I think I'm beginning to come around to seeing how these two would work together (and I have a beautiful merino/linen I'm thinking of adding to this line. Koshary comes in 3 and 4 ply versions (and possibly more). It has a definite halo to it that you should take that into account, but I've seen tops, hats and even gloves knitted in it. I myself plan on using it for a Tegna this summer, so I'll let you know how it goes.
*Zhucha - (from the mandarin Zhu for Bamboo) 70% Bamboo and 30% Linen - 400m/100gms - V. This is a great Vegan yarn. I had initially been very against Bamboo as a fibre due to the heavy processing it went through to make it a suitable fibre for crafting, but I'm gradually coming around to accepting it as an alternative to silk for Vegan use. This is a wonderful yarn with that slight waxy feel that seems to be present in some wet spun linens.
The Dyes - Dyeing cellulose fibres requires some different dyes and techniques, and rather more rinse water than I generally care to use in my dyeing (but we pick our battles) - not all of the colours I produce will be available in the cellulose fibres and it's entirely possible that as I flesh out their offerings they will end up having their own range. At the moment I still plan to include them in the Overall Colour themes... I'm starting off stocking the colours in my latest collection - The Outback. But more about that later...