Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Its summer, glorious summer, well and truly here. Which brings me to cotton. My preference goes to wool but when the temperature soars , even wool goes off. Now, cotton is a plant fiber, stronger than wool and stronger still when wet. A few issues arise around the 'how green ' is cotton, I've read that as a crop its requires vast amounts of pesticides and fertilizers and if I'm not mistaken this crop needs lots and lots of water.

A decade ago , I did not know much about cotton, did not know there are many level of quality and varied personalities. A leaflet from Lidl came with an advertising of 3 balls of cotton, marketed from Germany, for £1.20. What a bargain I exclaimed at the time and rushed and bought most of their stock. cotton is cotton I thought. What a disaster! This cotton found its quite way to charitable venues...

Egyptian cotton is considered the best, go and see hoe expensive bed linen are made from the staff. Apparently its to do with the longest staple length. Then its followed closely by the Pima cotton grown in the united states and Peru.

regarding the process the Cotton is undergoing I tend to least favour the mercerised cotton (invented by John Mercer in the early 19Th century). Although shiny , the increased strengh make my fingers ache after knitting for a while. much prefer soft spun like the rowan purelife organic range or their 4 ply cotton. If I can help it I know not to pick an aran weight , a cardi made from the staff will make you feel as if you were carrying sack of potatoes . Also another tip, try to knit cotton firmly, garment will keep its shape longer.

So, what is on my needles now? Another Kim Hargreaves charming piece Daisy.

Daisy uses pima cotton by rowan. I went for the 'grellow' look, combination of grey and yellow that I find very appealing. The buttons are a great find from ebay, true glass vintage yellow beauties. and isnt that pocket adorable with its contrast.? a simple pattern really, moss bands , fitted.. I have a good feeling about this one!just a warning about the gauge, kim states 26 sts per 10 cm, impossible for me to achieve even after sqizzing the hell out of the pima. I reckon it is a mistake.

Happy summer knitting!

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