Cotton Yarn qualities for kitchen towels/rags

I’m thinking about making some dishtowels for my mom and myself. The pattern I chose recommends Blue Sky organic cotton (love their colors) but I’d rather go with something a bit more economical. I thought I’d noticed a better quality brand available in a larger bulk quantity or spool, very affordable. Lion Brand doesn’t have the colors. I’m not ruling Lily out, just considering that there might be another option. Any ideas which one it might be? Already checked Garn studio and Knitpicks, they don’t have the larger quantity.Thanks always :hug:

You might check, they might have coned cotton available. Also check eBay for coned yarn. Between the two that’s where I bought all of my coned yarn.

Even though it’s not bulk on a cone, Hobby Lobby’s “I Love This Cotton!” is economical and has a good hand for dishcloths and such.

Great suggestions Charlotte, I’ll take a peek at Ebay later on in the day and see what I can find.

How did I forget Hobby Lobby?:doh: I did take a look earlier today after checking in real quick. It seems they’re prices are pretty much competitive with Knit Picks. Still I wish I could remember which brand I saw. Nothing on Craftsy either :think:

Peaches and Cream is possible but their white is too bright. Maybe I’m better off going with Blue Sky (which I would hate to do) but their colors are simply amazing. I’m still confuzzled lol:gah:

Btw, one common question with this very basic pattern is if there were any issues with the towels bleeding when washed, and the question never got answered. So there is THAT, since the towels are very light neutrals mixed with red striped accents. It’s what made me hesitant with Lily, but if other brands are an issue what other solution is there besides gathering the red yarn in a hank and soaking/rinsing until it runs clean?

I like the Bernat Handicrafter Cotton myself, and you can get it in large skeins, although it is hard to find in stores. I will find them once in a while in Joanns, but not as often as I would like.

Thanks Sakura! I’m looking closely at that one since I like their red and white. They’re on sale now in case you didn’t know with free shipping:)

I’m still missing a third color from them (they don’t have a solid dark brown, a lighter/darker shade of red, and they’re out of tangerine). I guess I could pick up another brand in order to complete the colors but I still have to worry about bleeding, especially if I’m mixing brands.

How do your colors hold up after washing? My towels will be white with some contrast red in them (and a third contrast color):??

Okay, so far Knit Picks “Dishie” is in the lead since Bernat didn’t have my colors :pout:

Dishie costs slightly more than Bernat cotton, but not by much. Bernat on sale now for about $8 and that’s for their 400g/700 yards. Regularly priced it goes for about $12.

Dishie has a pretty nice color selection (I tend to like more muted tones though) and has two different reds and white that I like. Price is $4 for 190 yards - about $12 for 600 yards, so I can justify paying a little more for the colors. Can’t vouch quality wise since I haven’t used either. ILTC was an option as well but they didn’t have two shades of red like KP. I use a lot of their acrylics and have been collecting all the colors a little at a time :heart:

As for the combo of red and white in particular:
I guess I can do one towel with the colors and throw it in the wash and see what happens. If the red bleeds a bit into the white I might have to make hanks out of the reds to soak and rinse the excess color out. I wish I didn’t have to. This way I don’t have to buy too much of it before I know how it will turn out. I would hate to gift a towel and have it accidentally ruin another piece of clothing or merely have a hand knit towel ruined because of red bleeding into the white.

Open to more suggestions though before I make my decision. Thanks all!:muah:

My favorite is Tahki Cotton Classic because the colors stay bright and pretty. It is a mercerized cotton though and some people don’t like that. It works for me. I’ll have to try Dishie sometime just for comparison. I don’t like the Peaches and Cream or Lily. They fade and stain like crazy IMO.

Jan I’m so glad I caught this before I signed off. Will not be looking at those then since I’m too worried about the red mixing with the white.

You are right about the mercerized cotton, I don’t like it myself but I think my bias has more to do with the project I was working on. For these towels I do prefer the regular cotton:

If I end up with Dishie I’ll let you know how they work out.

Btw this is ot but I couldn’t find the thread in order to respond. I MUST thank you forever and ever for recommending Options NP Interchangeables. I feel indebted to you for life - just so ya know:clink:

Being mercerized may be why the color stays nice. I’m not sure. The dishcloths I have now are getting used looking, but I’ve had them for years so that’s to be expected. I’m not sure if Dishie will be better than the other inexpensive cottons, but it’s worth a try!

You’re welcome! I’m glad you like the Options needles. The Knitters Pride needles we sell here in KH are excellent, too. :thumbsup:

Understood, the colors are gorgeous and I have worked with this yarn before. What puts me off about mercerized is the shine but I might be willing to give it a try on another towels project. I think these towels have a more natural look. The ones I def won’t be using per your post are the other ones that you mentioned, Lily and Peaches and Cream.

I’m not worried about the colors fading, sometimes I think that looks nice since I like my colors toned down. My concern is the red bleeding into the white, which I understand could be hit or miss with any brand depending on batch/dye lot. I’d like to find something that eliminates the extra steps of having to make hanks to soak first.

As far as the interchangeables there’s quite a difference in price from KP - between your comments and the Options value ($50) it was a no-brainer – needles 4 - 11 and not very sharp since I prefer them blunt. I couldn’t be happier with them. I have the cords in all sizes - just collecting 16-inch circulars and dpns now whenever I have the chance. Thanks again! :woohoo:

Edit: Forgot to mention that I did speak to a KP rep the other day about colors running and while she said that she couldn’t guarantee that it wouldn’t happen one viable option is to dip the knits in full strength vinegar before putting them in the wash. I think I might try this – thought you should know this Jan since it’s meant to set in colors and keep them bright.

The colors have held up better than the yarn – the dishcloths are falling apart, but they are still a nice color! Not as bright as when they were new, but not very much faded either, considering that I wash them with my whites – hot water, bleach and all!

I haven’t washed any that were red, though; my cloths are in Meadow – shades of blue and green.

I hesitated with Bernat at first since I thought that I didn’t have that second shade of red. It turns out they have a burgundy in the smaller size - a little bit on the dark side but might still look very nice paired up with “country red” - that one is really nice, more like a coral. I also prefer their white to KP since theirs is slightly on the yellow side and Bernat’s is much more neutral.

The burgundy is not available atm in the larger size. I ordered 3 large whites, 1 large country red, and 5 of the burgundy (I need less of the burgundy than the other red). With free shipping (orders over $35) my total came out to $40 – and I think I have plenty to work with there for now. I’m okay with not having a variety of colors atm, just the reds and whites.

II’ll try the knit picks possibly after the holidays when I don’t need to purchase as much. It’ll give me a chance to see how long the Bernat towels will hold up as well. And since I’m going to soak the fo’s with vinegar first as suggested, I’m less worried about the color running before putting them in the wash - all this before gifting. I’ll just have to cross my fingers now since I already made the purchase.

Thanks for getting back to me with the info :hug:

I wanted to post about this for anyone that has had problems in the past with colors bleeding into their whites, or for anyone that avoids mixing white cottons with reds (or any other dark colors).

I was committed to trying a vinegar soak and found out that salt water works as well. As I began reading what the different methods were I came across this product – I think I will try this since it does everything in one step and hopefully won’t change the original shades that much:



The first one is a soak, the second a detergent. Can be used together or just the soak with Retayne for fixing the color. I purchased both since I like gifting red for the holidays.

Will try on one first and see how it goes. If the smell is too unpleasant I might have to wash again, but the same goes with a vinegar soak, and this might actually work better.

I’d rather be looking at patterns than researching this material but thought it might help. :sleepy:

Will report back on this when it’s all done.

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