L is for...
The next day I threw it into the washer with the regular wash and let it ride. No great difference after the washing, but I tossed it into the dryer with the other things and turned on the heat. When the cycle was done, I hunted it out. Eureka! Amazingly soft and fluffed out! And not a bit of blocking needed!
Seriously, I was blown away by the results. I was standing there in the laundry room, squishing the towel in my hands and against my face, certain that some washer/dryer gremlin had replaced the dry, hard linen with this wonderful fabric. I'm sold. I'm converted. Now I believe that those beautiful patterns knit with linen are entirely worth the investment. (Now, if I hadn't put myself on a stash-only diet...)
Specs: Louet Euroflax Originals, one skein French Blue. I only had enough to knit 10 repeats of the pattern instead of twelve. US Size 5 needles. Scrumptious.