More cotton questions?

I just bought a bunch of all cotton yarn. I hope I haven’t committed a major messup by doing this. I love cotton fabric lots better than the acrylic sweaters (store-bought) I have. Cotton doesn’t itch!

However I’ve read all sorts of cotton knitting horror stories on the web. Is it really horrible to knit with all cotton yarn? Do knitted items really sag? Should I knit tightly as some sites have suggested? Should I just give it all up and cry?

Soolina :rollseyes:

nope and nope. it jsut gets stretched out more quickly than wool. I jsut finished a minisweater (boobholder) in Henry’s attic organci cotton and its fine. Hendrys attic organci cotton is a very softy spun cotton, so its whay i would really expect to stretch, but no probs thus far. Just remember that cotton acts diff then wool, so cables and ribbing will not how the stretch that a wool garmet will have. that being said, i LOVE cotton!

Thanks for the information about its stretchiness.

However I’m still wondering how I actually knit with it. I tend to knit loosely, and I like this way of knitting. The stitches glide easily along the needles, and it’s very quick to pick up these stitches and knit. However I’ve read that knitting with cotton yarn should be done tightly. Is that so? if so, how tight? Or should I just knit with my regular knitting tension?

I’m pretty new on this site, so this subject may have been discussed before. If so I apologize for rehashing old stuff. And thanks for any info you or anyone can provide.


Im thinkin you should knit a few rows with your regular tension and see how it does. BE BRAVE! I find every new yard is a bit different and you kinda figure it out as you go along.

I am knitting swatches to figure out what st I want to use to knit a big cotton bathrug…Im doubling up some big fat cotton yarn. I have only heard that cotton yarn “blooms” when you wash it. I think that means it puffs up a bit. SO, if that is true (anyone?) then, maybe knitting a bit loose is a good idea.

Thanks so much KellyK. You’ve given me more confidence.

All of my knitting experience has been with the ubiquitous acrylic type yarns, which is stretchy as one knits. OTOH, cotton is not. However I’ve been dying to try cotton knitting, for I like cotton as a fabric so much. I was searching for “rules”, which I thought more experienced knitters knew and I didn’t.

From your message, there are no rules! Just listen to what the yarn tells me as I knit. I only hope I can understand its language. :wink:

I shall try to be brave.

EKG!!! I think she needs your horse!!!

I found that my enjoyment of cotton yarn is dependent on the needle I use. Plastic needle? Bad! I felt like it took forever. Metal needle? Pretty smooth. You should try a swatch on different types of needle to see which is comfy for you. Everybody’s preferences differ.

:eyebrow: Since I am trying to be brave, I shall add that I am looking forward to attempting the cotton knitting with or without EKG’s horse.

I have never tried plastic needles. So far I prefer the Clover Bamboo ones, though there are many other kinds I have not tried. I did read that bamboo needles are good to use when knitting cotton.

If anyone else has any all cotton knitting tips, I’d really appreciate them.

The yarn is not here yet for I ordered it Saturday on the internet. I’ll let you know what happens when it gets here. Thanks for the advice.

One thing about the glory of knitting… if you’ve been told to knit more tightly, and that just isn’t your style, try smaller needles than you would otherwise use, by at least a size or two. This will tighten up your fabric, but still allow you to knit with a more or less regular tension.

Case in point: I tend to knit my socks with one type of yarn, because I love it; Lyon Brand Fishermans Wool. The reccomended needle size is 9. I knit on size 3 needles. This gives me a much denser stitch, better for soxes. The stitches do naturally want to be tighter than I normally knit, but without my changing my knitting style. It happens all on it’s own.

So, if you find that tighter/denser is better, try smaller needles instead of tighter sitches.

Oh, and I’ve used cotton for kitchen things and LOVE IT. I had a pot-holder-less house hold (say that ten times fast…) for the longest time until I was in a grump and cranked out some pot-holdery goodness because I was temporarily fed up with all my projects. Took a second to get used to then BLAMMO! beautiful yellow cotton pot holders.

Couldn’t have done it without cotton!

Yellowness, your tip makes perfect sense. I’ll try it. Thanks.

All I have to say DON"T MAKE A JACKET OUT OF IT… I made a wonderful Jacket and it was small when I started and then I look down and it is like 5 feet long soo GOOD LUCK Jenifer

Nope, no jacket!

It seems that people either love or hate cotton knitting. I have yet to form an opinion. I did get the yarn from UPS yesterday and have started knitting a shawl with the yarn. So far everything’s knitting okay. Cotton yarn just doesn’t have stretch in it, and that’s why I asked so many questions. Anyway now the question is how wil this shawl hold up as I knit it and after I’m finished. Will it stretch as Jenifer’s jacket? I’m hoping for the best.

thanks for all the advice everyone.

Well, I think you may have to answer your own question… Knit it up and find out!

Remember though, that even if it does stretch, because it’s a shawl and not a form fitting garmet, that it will probably be just fine. Unless, that is, the shawl stretches to be 10’X10’… then you may need to give it to a very large friend/relative…

Yeah maybe Hagrid from the Harry Potter books. :wink:

I seem to remember that Hagrid does knit, at least in the books. Not sure about the movies.

You’re right, yellowness. I’m finding out that knitting with cotton is like launching into unknown territory. At least in a yarny kind of way. It’s totally different that the “more normal” kinds of yarns. And as I knit it, the emerging material is different too. Thanks for the funny.

Ok, bumping up this thread because I’ve got another cotton question :slight_smile:

I bought a bunch of cheep 100% cotton in two colours the other day because Ithought they go together so nicely and now I’m trying to find an easy project for them which I can do on my flight to, and during my stay in, South Africa and I came across these tea cosys (spelling?) which I think are so cute and they seem easy enough to do even for a relative beginner.

And I was wondering: cotton is used for kitchencloth thingies like potholders and they keep the warmth away from your hands when you use them: does that mean that it would make a good material to keep the heat INSIDE the cosy aswell?
Instinctively I would pick something with wool in it for keeping something warm but maybe cotton would do the trick aswell; does anyone know?

/Karen still knitting away on her second slipper… :XX:

bumpy bump

anyone know; or am I better off saving the cotton for other projects instead?

Cotton will keep heat in, but not as well as wool. On the other hand, cotton has a slightly higher resistance to burning.

The main difference between cotton and wool, though, is that cotton will not keep heat in if it is wet, but wool will. So, as long as you don’t spill your tea…

Hope that helps!

It does! thank you :slight_smile: I usually don’t spill my tea but I’ll test the pots for leaking while pouring tea beforehand :wink:
And they are small pots so the tea won’t have to be kept warm for long periods of time.

I think I’ll just go for it!

That sounds like the perfect project for the airplane. And cotton is so soothing to knit with. Have a nice trip!

Hm, I didn’t know cotton had a slightly higher resistance to burning, that’s interesting.

I knit up this cafe cover, cafetiere cover Erica Wilson calls it but I did my own pattern coz I didn’t like hers.

I think these are divine and they really really keep the coffee hot. So, I know they’d work well for tea. Except, I just remembered I used acrylic! ha ha Cheapo stuff but it really has worked well. I’m going to do some cotton ones as well, including a tea cozy.

I’ve really enjoy working with cotton. (I’ll post my big beautiful white string bag any day now, it’s almost finished) It’s easy to make the adjustment, you don’t have to knit tighter or anything. It feels good for a change, maybe because it’s a different season. Oh, the original pattern for the cafe cover called that you line it with felt. I never got around to it. That would make for even HOTTER tea/coffee but my dh said the coffee stays hot a long time, so I’m not lining it.