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.
I’m so excited to share the catalog cover for April 2012! I knew I wanted to do something with our lovely range of cotton yarns
and I definitely wanted to create flowers but it took a few tries to get
the cover just how we wanted it. I can’t help thinking about the huge field of poppies in the Wizard of OZ when I look at this picture.
With the weather finally getting warmer (er, minus the crazy snowstorm that I found myself driving in last week), my mind has been turning to some lightweight projects. I decided it was time to make myself a nice little hat out of one our new Chroma colors
A while back, I tackled my first ever weaving project and instantly loved not only the texture, but also the way colors interacted with each other. I was so impressed at how fast I was able to work through so much yarn that it didn’t take long for me to warp the Kromski Harp Loom for another project. Hannah has also been working on a few weaving projects recently and every time she brings in a newly finished project, my mind begins to wonder off and daydream of all sorts of fun, color-filled projects.
Having this itch to weave led me to Ravelry, where I discovered I was able to filter projects in a way that only showed weaving projects. I have been intrigued by the idea of working with Palette since there are over 100 colors to choose from. One click led to another, and I entered “Palette” into the search field to only show weaving projects that used Palette. One word: amazing! I was instantly inspired by all of the stunning projects that Knit Picks customers have made. There was one project, however, that just jumped out at me – yarnvista’s woven blanket!
I’ve been working on my hubby’s sweater now for a little over a month, and I’ve just passed 50% completion!
Both sleeves are finished, and the body is currently 8.5″ long – just
over a third done. For me, this is where the hard part begins – the
monotony of the next 23″! Luckily I’ve only got a foot left until I
break for the armscyes… yipes. My attention span on a project is
usually two weeks or so, so looking headlong into another month of
knitting this one project is daunting, to say the least. To keep my mind
busy, I’ve started timing my rounds. It takes about 10 minutes for
non-patterned rounds and up to half an hour for patterned rounds. So,
with about 75 rounds to the armscyes, that’s 25 hours and ten minutes
max. I could totally do that in a weekend, right?
I told my mother at the end of February that if anything in my Ravelry
queue caught her fancy, I would knit it for her. We browsed through all
the 514 patterns together and none of them were really speaking to her,
until the Swirled Pentagon Pullover from Knitting Nature. Her eyes lit up and we read through the pattern details. On a whim I clicked through to see all the patterns in Knitting Nature and that’s when my mother saw the Hex Coat, the pattern that really won her heart.