With warmer weather just around the corner (at least hopefully for us here in the Pacific Northwest), more of my project planning starts to focus on working with cotton yarns and blends. For me, shifting from planning and working up projects with animal fibers to plant based fibers can be a bit tricky since cotton fibers play by their own rules. This means that we as knitters and crocheters must sort through additional guidelines and characteristics to achieve the desired results that we are looking for in our projects.
To help explain why protein and plant fibers differ, we have to look closer at the structure of the fibers. Unlike wool and other protein fibers, cotton yarns are made up of cellulose fibers. These are fibers that typically are inelastic, yet very strong and durable. The structure of these plant fibers also have the ability to pull away heat instead of retaining warmth. You can work with these qualities to your advantage, however – if chosen without these considerations, your project may not turn out as expected.
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