So blocking linen is apparently different to blocking wool based yarns, everything thing I know about line says it softens with washing and aging. So when I read on multiple places to block linen by throwing it into the washing machine and then the drier I thought that was the way to block linen. I suppose it is .... but only if the ends are very very secure.
Here is my blocked rippled linen cardigan, lovely and soft rather than crisp. Although I feel it will crisp up with a little steam press. I'm rather pleased with the entire thing, the pattern was written to work flat but I rejigged it to be worked seamlessly. My first top down picked up and knit sleeves, kinda short row as per Barbara Walker, with ideas adapted from my knowledge of flat pattern drafting for cut and sewn garments, and around the internet. Photos of it being worn will be posted soon. Pattern is Rippled, by Kirsten Singer. Yarn is Quince and Co Sparrow in 100% linen.
This is were the blocking went awry. One lower corner of the front band ravelled a teeny tiny bit. Nothing to dramatic except it needs fixing beyond the temporary holding fix of a stitch marker.
I thought, like other delicate garments, it would be best to do up the buttons and wash / dry it inside out. Turns out that created stress points, and a rather nice drawn out front hem as well as the ravelling.
I am liking the simple lace either side of the front - after dithering about what would work in linen I'm pleased with this. The buttons are hand made by Benji. I have several other sets all coordinated to match cardigan batches of yarn. These buttons are based on a William Morris design.
The set in sleeves, seamless worked well, I used twin stitches as detailed in the FLH pattern, aka Fish Lips Heel. They have become my favourite short row solution. I also added some increases to shape the sleeves a little more like a sewn set in sleeve. I like these, and will work more sleeves this way.
The v-neck shaping is also a great surprise, the v is pretty much perfect with a dress or tee shirt, and sits nicely on the body. Of course a good press and it will be even better.
With the linen cardigan out of the way - I have begun the next one, a sweater in ALB Lino, 85% wool and 15% linen, by Schoppel. The pattern is Holstein by Annestrick. I've admired her style of patterns for years - and finally found a yarn and pattern combo that I like. The pattern swatch is 22 stitches in 10 cm - my unwashed gauge was 25.25 so I am waiting to see if the swatch relaxed with blocking.
Na Stella - or look a blog post.