Swatching in Cotton

Swatching in Cotton

I thought I might make a summer t-shirt type top for myself so found a cone of off white cotton in my stash and proceeded to make some swatches. I knit the first 2 swatches on tension 6 with this thin, slubby cotton and washed and dried the swatches in the machine to see how much the cotton would shrink. I was pleased with the feel of the fabric after that treatment, but I was surprised to see how much both the plain stockinette and the one with the tuck stitches biased -as you can see in the photo.

Biased swatches

That would never work to make a garment! I knew some natural fibers want to bias depending on how they are wound. So, I made a swatch with 1 by 1 rib in tension 4, because I had read that making both purl and knit stitches in the row makes a yarn that wants to bias into one that is workable. It did indeed fix the bias problem – as per the second photo.

Ribbed swatch

I now had a workable swatch. I am not one that knits with a lot of cotton, but this was an exciting discovery for me to find a solution. Swatching seems like a time-consuming pain, but there is absolutely no substitute to find out how your yarn is going to respond before you put a lot of work into making something. Now… onto knitting! 😊

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Summers and Cotton

Summers and Cotton

Cotton Hats

It has been a busy summer without much knitting going on! I look forward to the coming fall weather and getting back to some serious knitting! 😊

But I did make time for a little charity knitting. I like to make a lot of chemo hats for a charity our Knitting Club supports. I have gobs (and I mean gobs) of acrylic yarn in my stash with very little cotton, so I usually make them in acrylic. But, recently I did a swap with a friend from Knit Club. She needed an accessory I had, that I was not using, and I needed some cotton yarn. 😊 Since summer is a good time for cotton, I got busy with my new yarn. It is a nice, soft cotton but very thin – a 16/2. It takes 4 strands together to make a good-sized yarn for the standard gauge. She even graciously wound a couple balls for me, combining some lovely colors together. And she shared her pattern! Lovely friend, indeed! 😊 Since they are a cotton yarn, they are made a little over-sized, then washed and dried to come out the perfect size. May they bless someone going through a rough time in their life!