I had a blast doing a freebie class for the shop about knitting with cotton. Had a great group—beginner to master knitters. I talked about the difference in working with cotton and animal fibers, and I brought a huge number of different cottons from my stash.
I was so surprised that these knitters had never seen many of the spins and blends that I had with me. Especially the finer, higher quality cottons. That alone explains some of the negative attitudes I’ve heard about cotton. If all you have seen is Peaches and Cream, then no wonder you don’t want to make a sweater out of cotton. ( Not to slam Peaches and Cream–it has its place in my knitting world.)
As everyone “tasted” the cottons, they rated them and gave feedback. I shared this with Remi, the shop owner. We talked about some future purchases and also about recommending some more patterns for the yarns the shop currently owns. Remi has really embraced the responsibility for making certain her customers are kept aware and are educated to make the perfect selection for what they want to make. I, of course, love to be part of that. Always teaching!!!!
For those who couldn’t be at the class, I have posted on the Tutorial Page the little handout I gave which covers most of the points I made. Here’s a link–Knitting with cotton notes.
As for some of those patterns, here’s a few ideas culled from Ravelry and my suggested yarns from Charlotte Yarn.
Linda Kinlo’s “Let’s go shopping–Market Bag” is simple to knit and produces a spiral effect which would look great in a space dyed yarn such as Araucania Antu or, for a solid, Mirasol Hap’i, a thick n thin yarn of 100% Tanguis cotton, Peru’s preferred variety.
In my Ravelry queue is this cool Windmill Bag by Danielle LaFramboise. I think I will use some Tahki Cotton Classic because there are so many colors to choose from. You could make this in a bulkier cotton like the Berroco Weekend and just have a bigger bag. Maybe mix a space dyed with two solids?
If you crochet, and you should, try this Crocheted Swirling Bag from designer Kathey Merrick (link to her gorgeous site–read the articles about color). I think it would be a super summer birthday gift and could go to the beach or shopping. A sturdy cotton or cotton blend would work well. Try Cotton Classic or some Universal Cotton Supreme will be in soon.
If you want to gift a knitter, try this little bag that will hold a ball of yarn (or anything else that size you choose) on your wrist. Teresa Murphy designed this Wrist Yarn Holder. It has another spiral effect which I really like. Teresa doesn’t give a yardage amount, but it has to be way less than a 50g skein. This is a really quick knit gift. Berroco Linsey would make a lovely one of these, or Touche which has unfortunately been discontinued but Remi has some in the shop. For a brighter one, Cotton Classic lite.
Feel adventurous? Have a really special person in mind? Grab the Cotton Classic Lite and knit the Montavilla Market Tote, a lace market bag. The original version uses a worsted weight, so the regular Cotton Classic will work fine, as well as any of the great linens we have. The pattern calls for two colors, but I like my lace in a solid, so I’d use just one–in the Euroflax. (Check the sale bin!) Do as thou wishest; thou art the knitter.
Want something a little more “uptown.” The Quinn Cabled Bag by Yvonne Kao is lovely. You usually think wool with cables, but cotton has great stitch definition. Check the sale bin for a Nashua silk that would be heaven in this pattern. Also check out some of the Sublime blends. That multi strand spin would be easy on the hands as you turn these cables. Tahki Cotton Classic creates a great cable.
A real summer cutie is this 120-9 bag from Garnstudio. It is crochet; many of the cute purses were. I’d even consider the Sirdar Baby Bamboo for this, but knit it on a smaller needle for stability. That yarn was really liked by the folks at the Knitting with Cotton class. (I know it isn’t cotton; it’s just so-o-o-o pretty.) Also consider Universal’s Fibranatura Flax or Elsbeth Lavold’s Hempathy, a personal favorite.
If none of these float your boat, go to Ravelry and search for free bag patterns yourself. There are 88 pages of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Knitters are so generous.
Thanks to all the designers for allowing me to use their photos. I know it is a great relief to see some good photos on this site. It is for me.
I have written the blog, found the pics, located the links, learned what Tanguis cotton is, and joyfully checked it all——–this blogger is now napping. 🙂