Working with Cotton Yarn

I’ve tried knitting a couple of different sweaters/vests with some 100% cotton worsted weight yarn and keep ripping everything out. I’m finding it really hard to work with. Does anyone have any suggestions? Different needles maybe?

Cotton yarn is rather hard to work with isn’t it. Except for a few types there is usually no stretch to it so it’s kind of hard on your hands and it doesn’t slide nicely over some needles. You might try using a different needle…if you’re using bamboo try metal or vice versa.

You aren’t alone, it’s a common problem.

I’ve made a couple of tops with the kitchen type cotton. What helps is to use a larger needle than usual with them, like a size 10. It’s easier to work with at a larger gauge and keeps the item from being too heavy. For a pattern that calls for using a size 7 or 8, follow a smaller size to get it to fit. Metal needles work better I think because it can grab onto wood ones and keeps it from sliding.

Thanks. I am using metal needles and I’ve tried to use bigger needles and I guess it does help a bit. I guess I just don’t like that it isn’t very forgiving! :slight_smile:

I saw that WEBs was having a huge Rowan grab bag sale and I quickly went to sign up, but then I saw that it was mostly for cotton yarn and I haven’t been happy working with cotton so I opted not to buy a bag. However, I went in to check a while later and they were sold out. That’s when I thought that maybe I’ve been missing something.

Thanks. That was my feeling- that there wasn’t any stretch & it wasn’t forgiving (It was actually humbling trying to get perfectly even stitches!!). Wasn’t sure if it was just me or not.

Hardly anyone gets perfectly even stitches as they’re knitting. That’s what blocking and/or washing are for - they even out the sts very very well. So don’t worry what it looks like as you go along, it’ll look better when you’re finished. Try knitting up a largish sample, then wash/wet it and let it dry flat. See how much difference it makes.

I found that cotton yarn mixed with a little wool is great to work with.
It gives the cotton a bit of stretch and is less splitty. Knit Picks makes a great cotton/merino yarn. Lamb’s Pride cotton fleece is great as well.

Cotton/acrylic blends are nice too.

I have a lot of trouble with cotton as well. Most I can handle are dish cloths. But I do like the blends. They are much easier to work with and much easier on the hands. I think you just have to try a few types to get what is good for you. I like both the cotton/wool and cotton/acrylics. And perfectly even stitches… never accomplished that with out washing and blocking!

I can’t offer any help… but I do feel your pain! I knitted a beanie in cotton. BAD idea. It was so stiff to work with.

Good luck!

I found some very cute cotton yarn when I very first started knitting and then found more colors of it online and bought some. My daughter especially loved one color and wanted a scarf so I made it–first thing I finished. I really did not like knitting the cotton and the wool felt soooooo good after that!

I just did this baby shrug out of Peaches & Cream and didn’t have trouble with knitting but I was just disappointed that it wasn’t very soft even after washing:nails: Won’t use it again.:!!!:

I’ve found that it takes several washing for PnCream to soften, but it does.

I use my Denise’s for cotton yarn - for whatever reason, they work really well for me, even cotton chenille is okay.

but when I do use cotton, it’s always on metal needles (addi fan here!)

Very sweet baby sweater. Nice job even if it was a pain to work with :wink:

The baby sweater is very sweet. It’s Peaches & Cream that I have. I had bought a couple of small balls and then ordered three big cones online. Wonder if it would make a good doggie sweater.

Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece is a LOVEY cotton with just a touch of wool for character. I don’t have any difficulty with it at all.

When I started knitting again (after a 30yr hiatus) I was knitting dishrags and always used Peaches n Cream. I suppose since I hadn’t tried anything else I didn’t have a problem with it. In fact, I did two baby afghans for my twin granddaughters and they softened right up and are holding up really well for 8yrs now.
I have since broadened my horizons and am using wool blends and even bamboo.:woohoo:

I have found that some good old fashioned Downy fabric softener helps my 100% cotton to feel a whole lot better.

My favorite cotton blend (so far) is Berocco’s cotton twist. It is a rayon cotton blend and it feels good while knitting and has a nice shine. My DDs have enjoyed tanks I have knitted for them.