Monday, May 2, 2011

Cotton is comforting

I've been knitting a lot with acrylic lately, because that's what's in my stash right now, but I was starting to not enjoy knitting with it anymore. I didn't even realize it until I decided to cast on a new project, the feather and fan dishcloths from my 10 Projects I Really Want To Make quest - incidentally, the first project I'm tackling from that list!

I pulled out the first ball of my small cotton stash and cast on. The first couple rows of the pattern are just garter stitch, so I started knitting away. By the time I was ready to start the actual pattern, I had noticed a remarkable change in myself. I felt way calmer, way more relaxed, and much happier and light-hearted. Sounds familiar to a normal knitter, but I hadn't been getting this kind of joy from acrylic lately. Kind of like the other day when Bruce lit up a cigarette and had to immediately sit down because of the unexpected nicotine head rush (by the way, he announced last night that he's quitting!).

Then I started remembering how much I love knitting in cotton. I know some knitters complain that the lack of spring in the yarn makes their hands hurt after a while, but since I'm one of those freaks that doesn't exactly play by the rules of tension, I've never had a problem with it. Instead, it just flies through my hands. I love the feel of cotton stitches slipping over aluminum needles. The fastest thing I ever made (before I learned to crochet granny squares) was my cotton peace sign dishcloth that I made in a single evening.

I had included the feather and fan cloths to my list of 10 projects because I knew they would make excellent gifts and I wanted to try out a feather and fan stitch pattern, but I honestly had been more excited about other projects on the list. I just happened to cast on for the cloths first in a fit of start-itis because I had all the necessary materials, but it turns out the simple joys of cotton were a much needed break from my stickier acrylics. The plan is to make as many as possible in what little cotton is in my stash, then give them as gifts to my parents and maybe Bruce's parents if I make enough. And since I want to make several cloths, I can intersperse them with my peace sign granny squares and other projects to give myself a cottony break if I feel another potential burn-out coming on.

I think I learned a very important lesson about how important switching up fibers can be in a knitter's life!


  1. Dishcloths are becoming more and appealing to me. They'll make great, fast, simple, and reusable gifts.

  2. It's funny, I've just cast on something in cotton and remembered how much I dislike it ;) I like to have 2 different types of fibre on the needles, so I've also just cast on some 100% silk - I need to switch it up too, otherwise I get fed up ;)

  3. I've used some acrylic blends that aren't bad but there are some acrylics out there that have this squeaky kind of thing going on and it makes my teeth hurt to knit with them. Crazy, but true.