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At the end of Part I, I had reached a decision on what to make with my Euroflax Super Mega Bundle (a set of 30 mini-skeins of sportweight linen yarn offered here in the MDK shop): it would be a kimono-style jacket, and I would knit it in mitered squares.

Before I started to knit, I arranged my mini-skeins in the order I wanted to use them in my striping pattern. I found a plastic craft organizer that was separated into compartments that were just the right size to accommodate a mini-skein each. My organizer had 24 compartments and I had selected a total of 25 colors (apart from my background color, black). So each mini-skein had its own compartment apart from the white one, which I allowed to roll around freely.

(Editors’ Note: That rogue ball of yarn without a proper cubicle worries us, just a little.)

Using a U.S. size 4 needle, I cast on 12 stitches with the black yarn and divided them over 4 dpns. This was the start of the back of my jacket, being worked from the center out. I began my square:

Round 1: Knit all sts.

Round 2: (K1, YO, K1, YO, K1) 4 times

Round 3: K all sts.

Round 4: (K2, YO, K1, YO, K2) 4 times

Round 5: K all sts.

Round 6: (K3, YO, K1, YO, K3) 4 times

You can see where this is headed. After the first six rounds were established in black, I switched to my first alternate color and did two rounds in that, then back to black for the next two, then on to the next alternate color for the next two. And so on and so on, until I had a square that was the width I wanted the back of my jacket to be.

I bound off the two sides, left the bottom stitches live on a length of yarn to be picked up later for a bottom border, and then knit back and forth in stripes across the top of the square to turn it into a rectangle. When the rectangle was the length I wanted for my jacket, I stopped and put those stitches on a length of yarn as well. I had the back completed.

Onward, to the Fronts

The side fronts were a little trickier, as each one needed to be half of a mitered square. I knit a small rectangle in black, so that I had live stitches along the top of the rectangle. I then picked up stitches across the short end, and along the bottom, so that I had live stitches on three sides of the rectangle. I then did my mitered YO increases in the two corners, working the piece until it was the same height as my back triangle. I then cast off the side, again keeping the bottom stitches live to be used later for the bottom edging, and worked in stripes along the top, working in front neck decreases as I completed the same number of stripes as I did the back.

I worked a second side front mirror image of the first one.

Contruction Time

I attached the back to the side fronts using a three-needle bind-off with an exposed, raised seam on the right side. I decided the neckband, front band, and bottom edging would be worked in black, in rows of garter stitch. I went down to a U.S. size 3 needle for all the garter stitch bands.

Picking up stitches to knit a band from linen is a bit challenging due to the lack of stretch in the fabric, and doing so on a striped piece was doubly challenging since the ends of the stripes were a bit, for lack of a better word, wonky. I had woven in the ends as I knit each stripe but had not trimmed them. This turned out to have been a very good plan, as I was able to pull on the ends to tighten up the edge of the piece after I picked up stitches.

I spent an entire Saturday picking up stitches and knitting, and once I had all the bands completed, I picked up stitches for the sleeves and knit them down from the body, ending each in a black garter stitch band.

Once the sleeves were done I could sew up the side seams and put all the live stitches from the bottom of each piece on a needle and knit a garter stitch band around the bottom of the jacket. I laid the jacket out on my dining room table to admire it.

Linen Lint Advisory

It was finally time to send my jacket on a trip through the washer and dryer. I put it in the washer with warm water, a detergent formulated specifically for linen, and two black cotton kitchen towels. I ran a gentle cycle and crossed my fingers. At the end of the wash cycle, I found an impressive amount of lint in my washer, to the point that I had to wipe down the drum with paper towels.

I tossed the jacket into the dryer, along with the cotton towels and three felt dryer balls scented with lavender essential oil. I stopped the dryer three times mid-cycle to clean out the lint trap. When the jacket was dry, I went over it with a steam iron, just to straighten out the edges. Only then did I trim all the woven-in ends.

And behold: a completed linen kimono jacket!

I sent it along to Ann in Nashville, to take photos modeled by her neighbor, Judy, as shown in the gallery above.

(I can’t wait to get it back, Judy.)

A huge thank you to Wendy, for conceiving and knitting this beautiful linen kimono, and to Judy wright for modeling it in her nashville garden. These photos make us so happy.
—Kay and Ann

About The Author

Wendy Johnson is the beloved author of the blog Wendy Knits, one of the first knitting sites. In a never-ending stream of skill and speed, Wendy dazzles readers with her feats of knitting, start to finish. She is a prolific designer of patterns that play with traditional methods, motifs, and materials. To look at her patterns is to enter a gorgeous world where intricate Fair Isle and elegant lace are everyday fare. She is the author of four books: Socks from the Toe Up: Essential Techniques and Patterns; Toe-Up Socks for Every Body: Adventurous Lace, Cables, and Colorwork; Wendy Knits Lace: Essential Techniques and Patterns for Irresistible Everyday Lace, and Wendy Knits: My Never-Ending Adventures in Yarn. Wendy lives near Washington, DC, where her cat Loki is frankly the star of the show. 


  • Thank you Judy for your fabulous modeling job!

    • Did you get it back?!

      • Not yet, but I’m sure I will soon. These ladies are honorable. (Are y’all listening?)

        • Wendy knows where we live!

    • I didn’t want to give it back, Wendy! The color arrangement is fantastic and the texture, oh my! It is a work of art especially for this mitered-square loving girl. You are a genius! Thank you.

  • That is stunning!

    But I Must Not start anything else until the holiday knitting is done!

  • Magnificent! A wonderful garment that looks so comfortable and fun to wear. I can somehow feel myself that creative satisfaction you must be feeling in this major accomplishment. It is truly Amazing!

  • Wendy, is there going to be a pattern offered for this gorgeous sweater??? It is lovely!

    • Thank you! No pattern, but I bet you could replicate it from the description in this article. It’s really just a bunch of mitered squares, knit until they were big enough to suit me!

  • Completely great. It makes me think of my Nana’s amazing knitting (and it makes me wish she were here to knit it for me). Congratulations!

  • what detergent is specifically for linen? i have lots of linen sweaters i have knit for my hot climate, but i am not sure what to wash them with.

    • I’ve always washed my linen stuff with my regular detergent. No problems (yet).

    • I used “Le Blanc Lavender Linen Wash” (available via Amazon). I bought it to launder my bedsheets because they are antique linen and I wanted a detergent that was gentle. Since I already had it, I figured I could use it for my kimono. But I bet you could use Soak or a similar woolwash with good results too.

      • I have to admit I’ve been slightly obsessed with the idea of your antique linen sheets.

  • I’m very impressed. I didn’t know there was a soap specifically for linen.I suspect everything looks wonderful on Judy. I’d love to know the amount of ease that was allowed.

  • I actually gasped when I saw the finished product on Judy….perfect for all seasons but stunning in the fall.

  • What a wonderful post, so full of technical details. I love Fair Isle but often find it too warm to wear. Maybe I could knit a FI sweater out of linen that I could actually wear in real life. I have 8 oz of some olive green linen, maybe I will get myself a set of those min skeins for Christmas. Hmm. A wonderful planning and scheming moment.

  • Are you sure Judy will send it back?!!!!!! It’s beautiful & linen…. oh my.,,

  • It’s glorious!

  • Could this be done in fingering weight, or is your linen heavier?

    • The linen is sportweight but I don’t see why you couldn’t do this in fingering weight too.

  • Oh my, Wendy, this is beyond amazing! Such creativity! Such sheer genius! I’ve only knit with linen once, a hand towel, and learned the hard way (can you say blue fiber-y hands?) to give linen several good washes and dries before using for such purposes. You were so smart to keep checking the lint trap on your dryer! Now I’m coveting a mini skein set…

  • Stunning, Wendy. Just stunning. And with the linen, it will just get more beautiful with age.

  • Wow. Beautiful. Thank you for the design process, Wendy. Please let us known that it has arrived home safely. Judy is not the worry. It’s the mail service. Oh, wait..give my regards to Loki. No doubt he feels part of the whole project and would like to take his bow.

  • What a glorious jacket. Thank you for sharing the process of creating it!

  • Wendy – have you stopped writing your blog? I haven’t seen it in a long time, and I really do miss it.

  • It looks like so much fun!!! I’ll try with bamboo!

  • Wendy, this is a wonderful jacket! It would be perfect for ‘winter’ in Houston. I just had to start one myself. I’m using a DK dark purple as my main stripe and fingering weight doubled from my stash of yarn. I have a picture on Ravelry under SarahinHouston thanks for the great idea!!

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