When you think about knitting, you likely imagine someone using traditional needles and thick woollen yarn, perhaps producing a scarf – but this is far from the full story. Knitting is, at a basic level, the art of making fabric by linking a series of loops on a continuous thread. What makes a craft knitting is that it uses a thread to make those linked loops, not what the thread is made of! If you want to explore more possibilities, you can look for different kinds of yarn, and see what you can make by varying the materials you are using,
What is cotton yarn like?
Cotton yarn looks quite similar to wool, but it’s very different in feel. It’s lighter, smoother and less elastic. It’s also easier to dye and more breathable, which opens up many more options when you’re using it to make clothes.
What to make with cotton yarn
These qualities make cotton yarn a great fit for summer clothing – anything you knit with wool, from scarves to socks is great for keeping warm in winter, but a trial to wear when the temperature soars. Cotton knit fabrics help you stay cool!
It’s also machine washable and more durable than wool, which makes it a good choice for clothes that need to be hard-wearing – cotton knit socks, for example, will stand up to repeated wear and washing with ease.
Things to be aware of
Cotton yarn can be slippery and inelastic, which can make it difficult to handle, and to maintain the tension necessary for knitting. A long session risks aching muscles! While it’s easy to dye, coloured cotton can also run, so using different coloured yarns can create problems. It can also sag and distort under its own weight when wet – both issues mean you need to take care when washing wool.