Knitting with Cotton

Tricot is the first time I’ve really tried knitting with cotton. Before that it’s always been some wool variety or blend. This cotton thing has led to some learning for me:

  1. Cotton yarn knits at a tighter gauge for me. Typically I can hit the gauge listed on the label with the suggested needles. But this time I had to go up from a 5mm to a 6mm to get gauge.
  2. Cotton shows dec/inc more. It’s not as forgiving and so the decreases I worked last night show a little. I don’t mean that there’s a hole or a pucker. Just that you can definitely tell that something’s going on with the yarn there. Moreso than with wool.
  3. I knit slower with cotton. I’m sure it’s also a combo of that with intarsia. I only have 3 balls of yarn going at once, but stopping to detangle and swap them every row must be slowing me down as well.
  4. My purls are tighter than my knits! Go figure. I know it’s usually the other way around. But I’m knitting this Combined. I think it’s because the cotton is so “grabby” – it’s stopping the purl stitch from pulling thru as much as it normally would.

Don’t get me wrong though – I’m loving this sweater! I think the bright colors are going to be great for spring and even work well on a cool summer night.
One question for those of you out there who have used Lion Brand Cotton Ease before. How much shrinkage did you experience? From what I know about cotton I believe it shrinks more in the length than the width. I may knit up a test laundry swatch tonight. If that’s the case I may add some length to it so I can comfortably use the dryer for it. I mean, I have NO interest in air drying a cotton sweater!
BTW, if any of you are knitting up Tricot as well, Alison (the pattern’s designer) emailed me last night and gave me a link to the schematic.

2 thoughts on “Knitting with Cotton

  1. Interesting thoughts on cotton. I have only knit kids sweaters with cotton and then baby blankets. I didn’t care about shrinkage. I want to do the Sitcom Chic in the Cotton Ease. I look forward to your reponses on the yarn.

  2. Hey there, just found you again! I see the cotton has been a good learning experience. You’re right about it not being very forgiving. But I think the acrylic in the Cotton Ease will help with the shrinking issues. I haven’t had any noticeable shrinkage in my Smooch that I made last year in Cotton Ease. It just gets snug again after washing and then loosens up while wearing (like jeans). Have fun with your winter knits and let me know when you pick up Tricot again. I really want to hear how it’s going!

Comments are closed.