Tag Archives: cotton

FO: Tulip Top

Voilà! One cute little cotton top for warmer months. I like this pattern a lot actually. It’s dead easy and the neckline is pretty much perfect for a décolletage-flashin’ hussy like me.

Check out the neat little i-cord trim too! The original pattern had a contrasting trim but it seemed like too much effort to track down an entire ball just for a little bit of knitting.

I think if I have any quibbles at all, it’s that the armholes are a little tight and the pure cotton yarn means the fabric is just a bit too hole-y to wear without a vest underneath. Maybe this one can go on my list of ‘things to remake should I ever need another summery top’. Not that I have any need for a summery top right now, with all this wet weather. Ugh, remember natural light? I used to love taking pictures with that.

All this drizzle in the UK is starting to get to me a bit to be honest. I didn’t want to spend July staring out of rain-spattered windows whilst contemplating existentialism and sighing heavily, yet here I am. I’m going to be under the duvet with some good books and wine until further notice.

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Me, me, me!

The tactleneck is now 2/3rds complete. The back and the sleeves are done. It’s all coming along swimmingly! So much so that I decided I should take a break to knit something for myself as well. All that altrustic knitting was just too much. (Truth be told, the miles of 2×2 ribbing in heavy aran yarn was starting to take its toll on my wrists. I love that boy of mine, but I’m not giving myself RSIs for him!)

So I cast on a ‘light’ project. A simple casual T-shirt made from Sirdar Luxury Soft Cotton Dk on Knit Pro’s wooden needles. That’s a combination that weighs practically nothing.

And then this happened.

What is this?? I bought these to make the Noble Cowl on, and they haven’t been used since! How does a girl go about getting a refund on these?

So I took it as a sign that I should make a start on that cardigan idea I came up with for Design Week a while back. Here is half a sleeve!

I’m very much in the habit of starting with the sleeves when I make a top. It’s a quick little milestone and often the most boring part. The pattern that I’m planning for the front is being saved ’til last.

Other important news: The Knit and Crochet Blog Week is next week! I am going to be bringing a daily post to you and each one will be filled with knitty goodness. Happy writing to everyone else who’s taking part!


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Yarn Review: Knitshop Mercerized Cotton 4-ply

The second of two yarn reviews…

This week I have knitted up Knitshop Mercerized Cotton 4-ply. Mercerized cotton isn’t a material I’ve used before, quite honestly. Cotton in general is touted as more suitable for crochet, especially lighter weights. Maybe one day if I get into crochet I will pay attention to that convention. For now, let us knit!

Needle size: 3mm

I assumed this was going to be a slippery pain in the butt to knit up but in the end only the first few rows were fiddly. I think this swatch came out pretty neat!

Knitshop Mercerized Cotton 4-ply

The colourway here is ‘Oyster’. The fabric is rather smooth and not particularly soft or drapey. Less than I was expecting anyway. Maybe some washing would sort that out?

…not really! There’s little change after washing as you can see. It was certainly easy to block into shape though. 28 sts and 36 rws to a 4″ square.

Note: This swatch took forever to dry!

Mercerized cotton is super-tough and does not fuzz up much at all so there’s no need to worry about loss of stitch definition over time. However, I found it very easy to distort. This is one of those cotton yarns that just stays where you put it, even once it’s dried.

I also get the impression that the recommended needle size of 3mm might not be the best for knitwear. If it was at a larger gauge it might hang better and the lack of elasticity might not be so noticable.

Knitshop cotton comes in some really nice colours (lots of jewel tones) so I’d like to say if you were going to knit with this stuff, it would be ideal for glamorous fitted summery tops. It’s shine would also make for some spectacular lace – maybe something like this pattern?

Previous Yarn Reviews:

Excelana 4-ply
Sirdar Luxury Soft Cotton DK
Rowan Kid Classic

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Yarn Review: Sirdar Luxury Soft Cotton DK

Yarn reviewing time! Today I am putting Sirdar Luxury Soft Cotton DK though the gauntlet:

Sirdar Luxury Soft Cotton DK

You’ll be pleased to know that the yarn does in fact live up to its name. It’s very nice to handle and very drapey. That’s good because false advertising is an awful awful thing.

The swatch is knitted on 4mm needles. I know I went on about the importance of a garter stitch border in the last review but I’ve left it off on one edge so I can actually see how much rolling and stretching the yarn edge is subject to. I’ve not used a lot of cotton so its properties are a bit more of a mystery to me than all the animal fuzz I own. You can see it’s rolling a bit, but it’s not been blocked yet.

Sirdar Luxury Soft Cotton DK Swatch

Knitting with it is pretty easy on standard plastic-coated metal needles. It’s a very loosely spun yarn so it requires blunt tips and a little bit of grip on the needles or you’re going to end up with stray loops of thread all over the place. I certainly wouldn’t go for anything rougher because it’s also a heavy yarn and that would be too much like hard work on the hands.

As a general rule, I will choose the needles that allow me to bust out the stockinette and still pay attention to some particularly tense televisual entertainment, like The Wire or early X-files (Oh Mulder! Can’t you see that getting too close to the truth only gets you punched in the face??).

But I digress. The yarn label states that it is machine washable at 40°C and it holds up well. Before washing the stitch gauge was 5.5 sts/7.25rws per inch. Then it stretched out to 5.7sts/8rws per inch…and after hanging the swatch up for a day, it sagged back to the pre-washing gauge. So I guess the lesson is, any horizontal blocking cancels out when you wear anything made from this?

So here is the swatch after getting good and busted up. It’s eeeeeeeever so slightly faded and it’s not rolling quite so much at the plain edge. Those loose ends got tatty quickly though, so I’ll be joining any ends with a decent Russian join.

Oh and here’s a closeup of the pilling…

I gave it a good ruffling and it wound up looking worn pretty quickly. I’m not sure how well the photos show this, but it seems like a yarn that isn’t going to stay pristine for long. Certainly not something to make clothes out of unless you aren’t bothered about stitch definition.

My verdict: Soft and casual-looking yarn that would be best for drapey clothing. Absolutely no point making anything hard-wearing like a bag out of this, but I am planning a nice T-shirt with it.

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