I make a lot of dishcloths, potholders, etc to sell at a local farm supply store. Customers like the look but complain that the cotton isn’t absorbent and doesn’t create a good lather. I simply use 100% Lion Brand, Sugar & Cream, Peaches & Cream yarns. Is it the mercerization that’s the culprit? Is there a better cotton yarn for these items?
What I use for these is a brioche stitch. It makes them poofy and soft feeling in the dish sink or bath. Soap lathers quite well with this. You will cast on a multiple of 3. * with yarn in front, sl 1 purlwise, yo, knit 2 together* all along the row. Do the same on the reverse side. Try making one for yourself and see if you like it.
These aren’t mercerized yarns and are usually the ones used for dishcloths. Make sure the Lion Cotton isn’t cottonease; that’s a blend with acrylic and won’t absorb as well. Maybe you need a looser gauge, so try a larger needle. If you wash them before hand, don’t use fabric softener because that can coat the fibers and prevent absorption too.
Also, leave out the fabric softener. Using fabric softener on cotton cloths that come in contact with a lot of grease (i.e. kitchen fabrics) will become water resistant. It’s part of how our grandmothers would make “oil cloth” tablecloths and such. Include with the items for sale a care tag that instructs them instead to add 1c White vinegar to the rinse water when washing their cloths and it will help immensely.
Right, or fabric softener sheets too.
Brioche stitch needs a setup row. For plain brioche stitch:
Even number of stitches
R1 (prep row) *yo, sl1, k1; rep from *
R2 *yo, sl, k2tog (slip stitch and yo of previous row); rep from *
One of my favorite stitches, but ya gotta take your time 'till your used to it. Errors can be really difficult to correct until you’ve done it for awhile.
My grandmother used to go buy a giant spool of cotton butcher’s twine and use a really fluffy feeling stitch for her dishcloths. Nobody in her church auxiliary association would complain, those things would make the church big bucks at bazaars and fund-raising auctions… I haven’t been knitting long enough to know what stitch she used.