Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Swatching Cotton

There was no Monday Goodies this week, because I haven't been able to gather up any links. Next week for sure! I will give you some links today, though. No more school for almost three months!!!WAHOOEY!!!!

Okay, now that I've gotten that outta me--here's one thing I've been doing lately. Swatching cotton! I'm working on a couple of baby blanket ideas, and wanted a smooth, washable cotton to show off the stitch patterns. I have done a baby blanket in Cascade Sierra, and it does show off stitches well, but it is hand wash. It and the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece are 80% cotton, 20% wool. I want to swatch the Cotton Fleece and compare with Sierra. The Cotton Fleece seems more tightly twisted, and so it might not split as much.

All of these yarns are hand wash except the
Plymouth Fantasy Naturale, and thank you, Dawn, for suggesting it to me! When I found some online at Yarnware on sale, I nabbed it. It arrived really fast and I was able to do a swatch last night. Gorgeous knitted up, folks--like satin. I'm gonna wash a swatch and see how it behaves & let you know. In fact, I will show you future swatches with all of these. I love the Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton for its delicious softness, but it changes (not for the better) with washing and takes forever to dry once laid out. I have only crocheted with the Patons Grace, but loved the result there. I'll try some knitting with it. The one I am most curious about is the Classic Elite Premiere. This yarn is 50/50 pima cotton & tencel & feels like baby's cheeks! I found it up the road at Pacific Fabrics & Crafts. At first, I thought I'd do some cabled bed socks (you would not want to actually walk on these much) but now I want to swatch for a sweater with it. We'll see.

Now, that's the cabled yarns in cotton that I'm trying out. I am also working with some of the wrapped cottons--a single ply of cotton wrapped with a skinny thread of the same. The first one that comes to mind is Mission Falls 1824 cotton.
I've worked with it before and simply love it. It can be machine washed on gentle. I am working a project now with another of these wrapped cottons,
K1C2's Cotonade, which I like almost as much as 1824. The fabric comes out looser, but still lovely. I swatched with Bernat's Cottontots, and was not thrilled. I will go down a size in needle (from the recommended US 7) and see if it produces a tighter, more desirable fabric.

Arghhhhhh!!!! I tried so hard (four attempts) to upload a pic of strands of these three yarns, but blogger is being very difficult. I'll just have to describe. The Bernat is the mostly loosely wrapped of the three, and the thread actually comes loose at times. The Cotonade is next and the wrapping makes for a zig-zag effect. It holds its wrap just fine. The Mission Falls is by far the best and the wrap makes a tight, bumpy strand. You don't want to use very complicated stitch patterns with these yarns, because they have their own texture. I am working on a project with one of them, however, using a couple of different twist-stitch patterns and the result is lovely. I can't show you, because it's for a future mag publication, but trust me.

I know the problems with working with cotton--doesn't give like wool and other fibers, so your hands get sore--I still have sore hands from the swatch I worked last night. Still, I love cotton yarns and love working with them. I guess you just have to hit a cotton project a little at a time to keep from wearing out!

Whatever you're working with, I wish you happy knitting! Thanks for joining me today--have a good one!

1 comment:

Lorraine The Knitting Hammy said...

You're right there, cottons are very hit and miss. I can't remember the last time I used it- I tend to go out of my way to avoid it.