This post is part of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2011.
Have you ever knit with linen yarn? The first time I tried knitting up some Louet Linen I broke a favorite needle. Granted, it was a plastic Bryspun, not a metal needle, but still, it was a disheartening experience. On top of that, as a fairly new knitter, it was difficult to handle this yarn, so wiry, so rough, nothing like the soft merinos I had grown fond of with their bounce and sheen. I put the three skeins in the back of my stash and did my best to forget about them.
However, a few years later, continuing to hear about what a great yarn this Louet Linen is, I tried again. This time I was more prepared for the hand, and I grabbed a Hiya Hiya metal needle - no chance of breakage there, unless I ran the needle over with a tractor. I re-swatched, and the knitting wasn't terrible. I think my additional experience as a knitter helped. Then I washed the swatch, as Louet recommends, in the washing machine and threw it in the dryer. Holy smokes! It went from crispy and rough to soft and drapey. Now I understood what everyone had been talking about. From the swatch I worked up a pattern (coming soon) and knit up a sweater that I wore all last summer. It only gets better with washing! I have some more, and I'm debating whether to wash the skeins before working with them. It's still a tough, strong yarn, and I kind of enjoyed the magic of putting the finished item through the washing machine. We'll see.
Just goes to show that sometimes you should give yarn a second chance.
*I guess this ended up being a tale of the same yarn at two different times.