pro-tip: if you’re ever having a bad day, have a look through these projects on ravelry of little knitted octopuses attached to various garments
so, I keep seeing awesome sock patterns or techniques that I really want to try!
sadly, while it seems like everyone else in the world has sock yarn pouring out of their yarn chests, I have not! mostly I just have single balls of worsted wool, and I always think, “well, I can make socks out of this! they’ll just be extra fast and extra fun!”
yeah, sami, and extra thick. just what you need for those cold southern california winters, right?
sigh. I just want to knit socks but all I ever knit are hats.
things I’ve gleaned from reading the project pages of people who knit my hat:
Tips for knitting and crocheting with cotton
Given the changing seasons, we’re getting Asks from people about cotton knitting and crocheting and what, if anything, they should know about working with cotton yarn. So we decided to devote this week’s Tutorial Tuesday to the subject.
Cotton can be an excellent choice for warmer weather, given that it’s a much cooler fabric, when worked up, than wool and acrylic are.
Technique-wise, knitting and crocheting with cotton is exactly the same as with yarn made from any other fiber: You do your knits, your purls, and so on, the same as you would with acrylic or wool or anything else. But cotton is a plant-based, not an animal-based, fiber, and because of this there are a few important differences to keep in mind as you dive into warmer-weather projects:
1. Cotton, unlike yarn made from animal fibers and blends, is very inelastic and has no “memory.” This means that projects made from cotton yarn, especially 100% cotton yarn, can stretch out of shape more easily than other projects — especially when wet. And when they do, they won’t go back to their original shape, ever. (This is why your older t-shirts, and your store-bought cotton sweaters, are probably baggier than they used to be.)
One way to combat this is to knit at a tighter gauge than the pattern calls for. Another way is to use cotton in patterns with a lot of structure, rather than patterns with miles and miles of stockinette. Cables, for example, should help the work keep its shape. Using a yarn that’s a blend of cotton and another fiber will also help.
2. Because of the stretching-while-wet problem, when blocking, try not to get your piece too wet. I usually steam-block my cotton knitting rather than getting it wet with damp cloths.
3. In general, cotton has excellent stitch definition. If you’re working on something where you want every stitch to really pop, cotton’s an excellent choice. And because cotton dyes up very well, you should have an entire rainbow, and more, of colors to choose from.
4. Not all 100% cotton yarns feel the same. I’ll try to be diplomatic with this one. ;)
Cotton yarn is not always the softest yarn in the world — to the point where some 100% cotton yarns rather feel, to me, like I’m knitting with… well. Shoelaces.
One good yarn 100% cotton yarn to try, from my own experience, is Cascade Ultra Pima. I also like several cotton yarns from Knit Picks, especially “Knit Picks Comfy,” and I know several of our blog’s followers use that as well. Going with a cotton blend yarn will also help things tremendously.
Again with the disclaimer: all of this is based on my own personal experience. But I hope some of you find it helpful. If you have any cotton crafting experiences that you would like to share — even if it’s just to contradict everything I’ve said here — please do feel free to chime in.
Good luck to you all, and happy warm-weather crafting!