Location: Napa, CA where I wish yarn grew on vines
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It would depend on what you're knitting. Hemp might be a good substitution as well as certain cottons (not soft spun). You may even be able to substitute bamboo or silk. If the blend you're thinking of is a linen blend, it's probably fine.
__________________ WIP: GAAA for m&d, purse for grandma (needs assembly), Grannie Smith Cardi (still), 3 quilts, maybe five
In the Wings: felted clogs, socks
Recent FO: dishcloth for swap, booties for cousins babe
www.smileysyarns.com has a linen/cotton/viscose blend on sale for like $2 a skein. The skeins are small and I don't know what weight you need, but check it out! Sorry, I forgot to tell you, it is the Lanorata Royal Linen under "internet sale".
Linen has great stitch definition and is crisp looking, giving some structure to the finished garment. For a substitute, I would look at a cable spun mercerized cotton. One that I've liked is Classic Elite Provence.