Summer school finance is over and now I'm taking an intro to textile science class. Besides my brief panicking moments when I can't get my microscope to focus or can't get my nose to recognize the celery burning smell of nylon... I'm having a great time... and learning a lot.
|Worsted Weight 100% cotton|
Why do we love cotton?
It's abrasion resistant, so if you are using a nice cotton yarn it shouldn't pill (although some of the "I love this Cotton" yarn I don't actually love so much because it really does pill a lot... boo). It takes to dyes really well if you're into that kind of thing. BUT MOST OF ALL, it is super comfortable in the summer time and has a weight to it that makes it drape so nicely in skirts and dresses.
Why do we not love cotton?
Well, because like your favorite pair of non-stretchy jeans it can sag and stretch with use. BUMMER. I made my mom the Pineapple Robe for Mother's Day in the larger size because I wanted it to be loose and comfy for her to wear around the house. My mom is a pretty petite woman and after wearing the robe for a week, it was dragging on the floor. She looked like the queen of the house with a train running along behind her... but I don't think that's the look she was going for...
So, simple solution? Wash that sucker. Cotton is actually stronger when wet! Pretty cool, huh? So you don't need to worry about your yarn breaking in the wash BUT since we are human, and I don't always trust the strength of my stitches, I hand wash anything I have made. Then I pop it in the dryer for a bit. AND BOOM... it's right back to the size it should be.
Why do I REALLY love Cotton/Acrylic blends?
A lot of times when I say to use cotton, I'm really using a cotton acrylic blend like Cotton Ease. This yarn has all the benefits of cotton (nice drape, breathable in summer weather) without any of the drawbacks (the acrylic makes it light so it doesn't STRETCH so much and is less likely to vary in size when washed). Now if we could just convince Lion Brand to make that stuff come in one pound discount balls, we could all save a ton of money because Cotton Ease ain't cheap.
What are the benefits of MERCERIZED cotton?
Mercerizing is a finishing process done to cotton. It's a really cool coating that gives it some extra super powers. It makes it a little shinier (more lustrous) which is sometimes nice. It also gives your yarn a brighter more vibrant color, and increases its strength and resistance to mildew. So if you are making the Sweetheart Swimsuit... it is worth it to have your cotton mercerized.
Why does all this matter?
When I first started stitching... I really didn't care what kind of yarn I used - I picked whatever was cheapest. BUT the whole goal of Sans Limites Crochet is to enable y'all to make things that you actually want to wear... that look fashionable, NOT crafty. Crafty is not always bad... but it's really fun to wear something and have somebody say, "Where did you get that?" and you can respond, "I MADE IT!" If you make a nice maxi dress out of a cheap, stiff, scratchy looking acrylic, it's not going to hang well, you won't feel awesome wearing it, and everyone will know you made it... yarn choice isn't everything, but it sure does help!!!
Hope you are stitching happy!