C is for cotton, a wonderful fiber for knitting. (While an ABC along should only have one entry per letter I couldn’t resist.) For me, knitting with cotton symbolizes the beginning of summer and the rich vibrant colors that accompany it.
Like any fiber, cotton has its pros and cons. From my perspective, they are:
- It’s a natural fiber.
- It’s relatively inexpensive.
- It’s light weight and good for spring and summer knitting (although I’ve found that it can absorb humidity when knitting on the beach.)
- It has good stitch definition which is great for patterned stitches.
- It tends to be hypo-allergenic so that most people can wear it (unlike many types of wool.)
- It stretches downward so that garments grow out of shape.
- It doesn’t have a lot of give which can be an issue for some knitters.
Cotton and cotton blends, which use wool or another fiber to overcome some of the negative effects of knitting with cotton, are a mainstay of my summer knitting. In particular, I like Egyptian cotton since it has a wonderful sheen. It’s great for all sorts of garments and makes a great beach knitting.
Last year, my cotton knitting included the Woodstock Sweater (as a sleeveless top), the Saffron Tunic, a Heartbreakingly Cute Baby Kimono and a warshrag.