Knitting and crochet were for many years seen as seasonal hobbies, often traded in for gardening during the warmer months. Fortunately, for us yarn shop owners, this isn’t so much the case any more and there are lots of us out there who see the summer months as a great excuse to sit down with friends on the beech, or by ourselves taking in those Vitamin D producing sun rays with our latest projects.
Copious photographs in previous posts and on Instagram will go to prove that I will knit just about anywhere, having been known to pull my needles out at music festivals, steam rallies, Ardmore Beach and on tour buses to name but a few. Regardless of the time of year I’ll knit.
As my ever suffering hubby and children will confirm, Love me, love my knitting.
I would have to confess though, that when selecting a yarn to knit with, cotton wouldn’t usually be my first choice as I tend to find it tough going on my hands, particularly if it’s mercerised.
Mercerisation (if you’re interested?) is where the yarn is given a Sodium Hydroxide bath that is neutralized in acid. The process increase the strength of the yarn and is what gives mercerised cotton it’s familiar lustre too. It’s also said to make the yarn adsorb dye better, which is how such bright colours come to be achieved by the spinning mills and as a ‘by the way’, it results in a yarn that is mildew resistant too.
If I was to opt for cotton and i occasionally do, I’m much more likely to reach for a ‘raw’ cotton (un-mercerized), something very like Classique Cotton from Stylecraft Yarns, which is super soft and comes in a range of beautiful colours and costs €5.95 per ball. Each 100g contains 184 metres/201 yards of 100% cotton and knits as a true double knit on 4mm needles, with a tension of 22 stitches to 28 rows over a 10cm/4″ square.
I’ve chosen 15 colours from the range to begin with including (from left to right)
Plum, Poppy, Hot Pink, Shell Pink and Shrimp.
Seville, Sunflower, Leaf, Soft Lime and Azure.
Greek Blue, Lavender, Wisteria, White and Ivory.
Classique Cotton has been a Stylecraft Yarn staple for some time now, so as you might expect there are a good range of patterns available in knitting and crochet, for adults, children, accessories and home wares.
Some of my favourites include.
Pattern 9133 is a t-shirt style knit with decorative eyelet stripes in sizes 32/34″ to 40/42″.
If you enter Classique Cotton into the yarn search bar on Ravelry, you’ll notice the yarn has been used for over 470 projects including everything from dishcloths and bunting to jumpers and blankets.
I imagine by now, there’s every chance you’re wondering what the photograph at the top of the post is all about? It’s actually the widely anticipated three new shades released by Stylecraft in the Special DK range. The new shades are (from left to right).
Storm Blue, Parma Violet and Sage.