At Kelbourne Woolens, we not only knit (and crochet) year round, but we wear our knits, too. It’s all about pairing a breathable fiber with a beautiful pattern. BC Garn’s range of yarns includes several plant fiber bases that we turn to during the spring and summer for ourselves.
Today we’re discussing BC Garn Alba —a worsted weight, GOTS-certified 100% organic cotton that comes in a range of 24 gentle to bright colors.Judoka by Lia Moya, in Pom Pom Quarterly #25, is a sweet little bento bag perfect for playing with Alba’s color palette and geometric knitting. Depending on how big or small you make the bag, it will hold one or several balls of yarn and your current WIPs. COAST— a figure flattering, versatile cardigan made in Alba that is all about the finishing details. Find the perfect buttons and take care with the button bands and blocking for a cardigan that goes from the office to an evening walk along the shore. Nuvole di Panna sweet and airy shawl is just the thing to keep you comfortable and cool no matter the weather.
This fun and dynamic knit is worked from point to point and uses yarn overs and garter stitch to create the asymmetrical shape.
We know cotton yarns can have a bad rap, but honestly, for summertime crafting they can’t be beat. If you have been hesitant to try cottons, here are some helpful tips to maximize your knitting pleasure.
KW’s Handy Tips for Knitting With Cotton Yarn
RELAX. Tight knitting is no friend to cotton. Cotton and other bast (vegetable) fibers have no ‘give’ or stretch to them. If you are naturally a tight knitter, you will want to use slick needles with a sharp point, and probably in a size larger than you would think.
Practice mindfulness. If you need an excuse to meditate or add a daily mindfulness practice to your routine, a cotton based knitting project may be just the thing, especially if you are a naturally tight knitter. Concentrate on your work, stitch by stitch, ensuring that you’re giving yourself plenty of room in that stitch to make it easy for yourself. What better analogy do you need for self care?
Choose an unmercerized cotton. Mercerized cottons are treated with a chemical process to make them slick and shiny, and the mercerized fibers take dye more readily, creating a deeper, more saturated color. For handknitting, however, mercerization adds no tangible benefit. An unmercerized, natural cotton will feel softer in your hands and be more pleasant to knit with. Bonus points for choosing an organic cotton, like BC Garn’s Alba.
Choose a small project knit at a naturally loose gauge. If it’s your first time knitting with cotton, choose a bite-sized project to try it out. A simple garter stitch facecloth or baby’s bib makes a great gift item!
Happy (Spring) Knitting!