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  • There is no harm in continuing the Honey Cowl instead of the Wollman Rink. This is just not your time for the linen stitch.

  • I couldn’t even get through a linen stitch bookmark, and I will always and forever back stitch my set-in sleeves, so you already look like patience on a monument to me! (And I think the yarn looks more lively and will feel more springy as a honey cowl.)

    Having said that, I do wish for (and possibly have been good enough for) a loom, Santa.

    • This past summer, I pulled out a glasses case I was almost finished knitting for myself with a skein of Silk Garden because I got the bright idea to make it in linen stitch. There it remains unfinished on the needles, just a few rows into it. I continue to use the gray garter stitch case that I knit for myself last year.

      Fom time to time I ask myself if I crave the linen stitch case enough to continue on it to the finish.


  • Faithfulness(to knitting) is highly over-rated. We knit for pleasure, not penance.

    • Hear, hear!

  • Love the fox! It is hard to escape the lure of a honey Cowell.

    • Darn auto correct—cowl.

      • Sometimes I think Autocorrect is channeling Dr Freud…

  • As the proud grandmother of said new baby I’m all for ripping out the linen stitch. It takes too long! I know it looks good but I think the Honey Cowl is just, if not better, looking!!

  • KonMari the linen stitch. It is NOT sparking Joy in your life right now. Honey Cowl that yarn and be happy!
    Bleesed is she who knows her limitations.

  • Kay, the linen stitch cowl to me seems like I’m looking at the wrong side of the honey cowl. Beautiful yarn and colors, but they seem to work better with the honey cowl. You wouldn’t have even started the honey cowl if you weren’t satisfied with current project. Go with it!

  • I just finished a crosshatch-cowl and I just hated every stitch of it… And there were 464 stitches in a row. Knit two together, slip one, repeat. I was so bored and wit was so slow and easy to mess up. By the end all I could think about was the time I could’ve spent knitting something else. Anything else. Which is to say: stop the madness, or the linen stitch. Life is too short.

  • There is much in life that is not fun. Knitting should not fall into that category. From these comments it looks like you have reason to ditch the linen stitch. Guilt free.

    • Agreed. No pleasure in the knit? Frog that sucker.

  • Bravo, I absolutely ADORE your blog.

    • Agreed! I wish I had your writing talent.

  • I say – ditch the linen stitch! Honey cowl has same effect, with less pain and more stretch. If you love the woven look, suck it up and buy a loom. 🙂 And I am all for finishing things, but also am all about acknowledging what isn’t working and ripping it out and making the yarn into something that IS working! Love the foxes. Geese next? 😉

  • With absolutely no guilt whatsoever, frogit, frogit, frogit! There are far too many things in life that we have to do…even if we don’t like them. Knitting is for fun and relaxation…if you’re not having fun, kiss Wollman goodbye and say hello to Honey! We learn something with every project…a new technique, a new stitch, a new pattern…Wollman taught you (and many of your readers!) that life is just too short to be tortured while knitting! Embrace the lesson and find a new love! Happy knitting!

  • Go with the honey cowl. That linen stitch cowl looks quite uptight.

  • Oh Kay, you temptress. I currently have a linen stitch scarf for my dad on my needles, that is supposed to be done for the 25th, and boy, it is slow going. I did a scarf in this stitch in double knitting in the summer, but whatever made me think it was a good idea for four-ply? Though it is alpaca and his colours, and beautifully soft, and drapes well. Dilemma, horns.

    • Sarah, stick wth it! Your Dad will be so pleased, and you will be proud of yourself once it’s done.

      • Thanks for the encouragement Judy. I am planning a knitting filled weekend, so hopefully will make some progress.

  • I love linen stitch but what can you expect from a person who knit one Honey Cowl and thought, “I don’t get it??” Once was enough! The linen stitch cowl is really looking nice. HOWEVER, it’s your knitting and if linen stitch will be no good during all your Great Plains movie nights, well, do what makes you happy! Put the “Happy” with the “Holidays.”

    • I just tried something-do you throw or knit continental? I knit continental and when I go to slip the stitch with yarn in front, the yarn is just carried there by my movements. When I try to throw, it is a very different story. Your sharp analysis that it was like weaving got me trying to see if there was a way to reach under the yarn without moving it to the front.

      • I had the same reflection. I knit continental and the knit/slip just flows… I’m about to start on a black and white Hexadot scarf (http://knitty.com/ISSUEw15/PATThexadot.php) for the cute young girl who’s kind of my daughter in law.

  • Gah! Decisions, decisions…

  • Ha! You almost sucked me into that Wollman Rink when you first showed it. I had seen it on Ravelry and immediately deleted if from my feed in the spirit of “That will never happen.” But then, the Kay Effect until I remembered that I would never, ever finish it. Sometimes, a Knitter’s gotta know her limits! But you? Don’t you have a movie marathon coming up? You’re ready.

  • I’m an unrepentant cad when it comes to knitting projects. Yeah, I might string one along for a few months or even years before ripping it out, but I have no problem telling any project to take a hike. Sometimes I even enjoy destroying a bad project. No sunk-cost fallacy to factor, no curiosity or guilt or stick-to-itiveness involved if I’m not feeling it. It’s not me, it’s you [insert project name].

  • Ditch it. The sense of relief and freedom you will feel will overwhelm (in a good way) you just in time for Christmas. I worked part of a scarf in linen stitch and I thought I was being punished for bad behavior. Finally ripped it off the needles in despair. I still have that yarn in my stash and every time I see it I shudder.

  • Life is too short to knit something that the yarn doesn’t want to be.

    • I’m mostly too stubborn to quit a project – almost any project, but I agree with Emily. If the yarn doesn’t want to be a Wollman Cowl, it isn’t going to be. And it looks like it’s making a lovely Honey Cowl!

  • Hobbies are suppose to be fun. I also think the important part here is the yarn. From a distance, the effect will be the color of the yarn and not the stitch. Make a cowl of this wonderful yarn but do not use a stitch that does not bring you joy. I hate to say it, but no one will remember what stitch you used. They will only remember the image of the yarn being a cowl.

  • Kay it looks to me like the Honey Cowl is showing off the yarn nicely. I vote for the Honey.

  • If it’s a really long cowl, why not turn it into a scarf? Bind it off when you’re at the end of the yarn, cut it open, and fringe the ends. It mind not be very long but it would fit nicely inside a jacket or coat. Your yarn and the linen stitch are classy and classic. And it would be finished and you wouldn’t frog hours of work. Just a thought . . . !

  • Feh…linen stitch. I’m honey cowl all the way and you are exempt from finishing right now. Also. .once you frog it , its not “not finishing”, it’s repurposing.
    Also..If you want to binge watch the last season of Downton now, yes now..ask me to add you to the Facebook group where all the UK airings are hidden. No need to suffet.

    • WHAT

      • Friend me on FB. Once you do I can add you to the Downton Spoilers group. As members of this group we’ve all watched the current and final season as it aired in the UK. It’s all archived there…a very nice man posted the episodes each week on Sunday night.

  • Good luck. I do not envy you the decision. It does have a lovely look, but so does the famous (infamous) Honey Cowl. If you run out of foxes I volunteer to send you my zombie kit if it will help you prolog the decision.

  • I can totally relate to this. I made a linen stitch cowl a few years ago (http://www.ravelry.com/projects/VickieTori/loopy-cakes-cowl). I wanted the finished product so badly that I kept going even though I found linen stitch completely tedious, slow, and just not “intuitive”. The whole time I kept thinking “this seems like it should be so easy and just flow and it doesn’t”. Then I finished the project and love the colors but I found I don’t even like wearing the linen stitch fabric either. It is not warm and cozy like a cowl should be, it’s flat and dense.

    Moral of the story for me: Linen stitch – NEVER.AGAIN. And appropriately – I am casting on for a Honey Cowl for myself the minute I finish making Christmas gifts next week. I know I will enjoy making it a wearing it so much more than the linen stitch one.

    I vote for kissing the linen stitch goodbye and embracing the Honey Cowl!

  • The weaver in me says say linen stitch toe fabrics for the loom and go for the honey cowl. The reason you have no joy in knitting linen stitch is because it’s the wrong tool. Like trying to make something look knit with a crochet hook. Life’s too short to waste on stitches that aren’t fun.

  • I have avoided the linen stitch despite my stockpiling of Koigu for that purpose. Last year I made a very successful Tunisian crochet cowl which mimics the linen stitch, and this year Julliana’s Fibres podcast introduced me to simple crochet linen stitch. I am encouraged.

  • Life is too short to knit something you are not crazy about knitting (except if requested by someone under 6 or any age if they call you Mom and it takes less than a month). As my husband always says when I am debating keeping or retuning something, if I have to think about it that hard, then return it! The honey cowl needs you and the fact that you started it with the extra skein speaks volumes.

  • I’m Team Honey Cowl!

  • Honey cowl, honey. Wollman rink is for skating. Please let us know what you decide

  • Back when I returned to knitting a few years ago, I made a linen stitch shawl. Out of Koigu KPPPM. I basically started the Churchmouse scarf and kept going. I am not sure how I stuck with it. Maybe the color changes had something to do with it. And I really love the way linen stitch looks and wears. Once it is done, it always looks good. It is a great scarf choice for my husband, who for some reason, is very hard on them, BUT, I will say….it can be a little stiff at a wider width. My shawl doesn’t wrap or drape well. Tough call. Your yarn is going to be gorgeous either way. I know …. I’ve been no help at all. That fox is so charming, btw!

  • Dump the Wollman. The Honey Cowl is calling with it’s sweet voice….

  • Linen stitch, feh. The Honey Cowl looks much the same and is so much more fun to knit. I actually made a linen stitch cowl once, and it’s very stiff and hard to get over my head. I never wear it.

  • Perhaps that is why I only knit with size 10 and up needles. I want to make the Hoxey Cowl cuz it will go fast and I will finish it:

    I treasure all the others but know myself well enough that if too tedious on the hands and eyes, I will not finish it.

  • Kay, your dilemma may say me grief. Thanks for posting this, and admitting the problem with a pattern you suggested (and got me to buy). I’ve swatched and I’m not in love. There’s not enough contrast for me to get excited. Also, I’m squishing the swatch in my hand and thinking “It’s kinda hard and definitely flat.” At least now I can swatch other patterns before attempting that long cast on. Or at least see if I can knit linen stitch continental style.

  • Err, save me grief. That was just a typo, can’t blame auto correct.

  • I can see where this is headed. Life is too short to plod through questionable projects. Revel in the happiness of knowing the virtues of the linenstitch, and carry on with the honey cowl 🙂

  • That “no give, no spring” factor of the linen stitch would seal the deal for me. It looks gorgeous but perhaps was not meant to be draped around a neck line. I like cowls to look soft, not structured. I once made a baby cardigan with a band of linen stitch alternating with striped rows. It was just enough to get done (in size 3 months, lucky me) and to look pretty.

    La Droguerie patterns sometimes play with 3-color seed stitch which looks almost as prettily woven as linen stitch and is a whole lot faster. Just saying.

  • I agree with the others. If it’s not making you happy, put the energy into the Honey Cowl. Linen stitch will always be there, if you are so inclined. And seeing the Honey Cowl, I think that pattern is calling my name, again.

  • I have made a couple Honey Cowls, and will make more. I have also made one Linen Stitch scarf and want to make another one; the secret is to do it in worsted weight. Extra warm and wonderful when done in Malabrigo! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/malabrigo-linen-stitch-scarf

  • My vote is hang in there! The finished Wollman Rink will be sooo beautiful. So what if it takes a couple of years to finish? You’ll love the results. I’ve done multi hundred stitch linen st neck “things” and love them,
    Margieinmaryland aka the linen st queen

  • I had exactly the same issues with a never-finished linen stitch item, but I couldn’t have put them into words as precisely as you have. You’re so RIGHT!

    And, I happen to be knitting my first Honey Cowl at the moment, and can easily say it’s no contest where enjoyability is concerned. You know what you’re going to do.

  • If you insist on finishing….why not give this a go? Supposed to be a faster approach to linen stitch

  • You have made made SO MANY Honey Cowls. I say stick with something new!! I am also a continental knitter, though, so I agree with others– that may be the reason the linen stitch isn’t so bad for me. I love the look of the yarn in both patterns.

  • The side-by-side image made me think only one thing:
    what about kitchenering those two together?

    • 🙂

  • To the gallows, ye linen stitch! I could not get through a one inch by four inch patch of linen stitch on a Cat Bordhi sock. I switched it to seed stitch instead.

  • Poor Linen Stitch…it is getting such a bad rap! As a continental style knitter, I love the rhythm of linen stitch. Yes, I did make the Churchmouse Scarf with Koigu and loved every minute of it.

    But, you have to love what you are working on. If it isn’t doing it for you, then frog it is and finish the Honey Cowl.

  • I have, in fact, knit cowls in both styles. While I love the orderliness of linen stitch, it does not make for a great cowl, in my opinion. Too flat. Too stiff.

    (It also does not seem to insulate as well, if you were looking for a practical excuse to abandon your linen stitch version.)

  • I made a Wollman rink and it was tedious but I am really glad I finished it, and glad to be done with it. I have got several compliments every time I wear it, so that’s a bonus.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.

  • Kay, you can have your Wollman and Honey too! Take a gander at http://www.andreawongknits.com. I knit using this method (Portuguese), and guarantee there will be no more moving the yarn back and forth to create the linen stitch! In this method the yarn can be carried around your neck from right to left or with a fancy pants pin, and the yarn is always in front for either a knit or purl. You just move the yarn around the working needle with a flick of your left thumb. I switched to this way of knitting, because I used to have arthritis pain in the left thumb holding the needle (I was a thrower). Even though my thumb is doing much of the work now, it no longer hurts.

  • I have a linen stitch cowl that I absolutely adore. I have to admit it took a few inches to get into the rhythm of knitting the thing, but, once I did I really enjoyed the knit. The think is, it is a slow knit, the stitches interlocking with each other in the most beautiful way. The honey cowl, on the other hand, annoyed me both times I made it. The first time was the shorter version and I love my acid green Honey cowl. The second time, knitting the longer version, irritated me to know end. It ended up being just one skein wide.

  • I am completely addicted to linen stitch!