Posts filed under ‘Knitting with Cotton Clouds yarns’

Over the edge: Knitting patterns inspire!

Knitting 2

Aren’t knitting patterns inspiring! I look at the details and often find little treasures – bits of the pattern I could borrow to put in another project. Maybe just an edging….

Photo by Joe Hancock, © Interweave Press 2010

Photo by Joe Hancock, © Interweave Press 2010

This is an awe inspiring shawl, Someday I want to knit the whole shawl but right now I only have a little time. I am borrowing just the edging for a swatch.

Tencel Lace Edging 2

Edgings are incredibly useful to jazz up anything. Lace edgings are beautiful and give glamour  and spark. They can be applied to a blouse, the edge of a skirt, pockets, a decorative   pillow, a purse, a Christmas ornament and more.

T-shirt by SabakuEdging by me

T-shirt by Sabaku
Edging by me

I wanted this shirt to be longer. Look what a lace edging does for it.

WIL cover

The shawl is from Wrapped in Lace. This book is chock-full of wonderful shawls, beautiful lace patterns and lots of inspiration and borrowable ideas.

Pattern inspiration

Here is another idea. I liked the design of this sweater and I wanted to use up some of my stash of handspun yarn. I decided on a naturally brown 2-ply cotton.

Pattern in cotton

I didn’t think the flower boxes would not work in brown so I changed it to lace checks and kept the squares. The gauge in my cotton was a bit smaller but as cotton stretches I stayed with the pattern size.

All Laced Up

How about a wide edging for a tea cozy? This would make a nice gift for cozy lovers.


The beautiful Tencel yarn in the swatch is wonderful to work with.  It is shiny with a nice drape but still has body. The 8/2 size is a nice lace weight. Love the color and the color name – Lemon Grass.  It is available in mini-cones – 840 yds for only $8.50.

Happy Knitting and Idea Borrowing!

12/19/2012 at 8:01 pm Leave a comment

Cotton Cap for My Cat

Cotton is King! This applies to knitting with cotton too. Cotton knits can be worn year around.

Posted with permission.
Anemone Beret – Photo by Joe Coca, © Interweave Press 2008

This unusual Anemone stitch is perfect for cotton. Cotton has a bad rap for stretching out of shape especially horizontally. Stitch patterns with manipulated stitches – cables, twisted stitches, bobbins, nupps, slip stitches – hold cotton in shape. Fair Isle does too.

The Beret pattern in Knit So Fine recommends a fingering weight yarn in Merino wool on a size 4 (U.S.) 16 inch circular needle. The gauge in stockinette is 28 stitches and 36 rows over 4 inches for a finished size of 18 inches brim circumference – nice for the slouchy effect in a beret.

My choice of yarn is 5/2 Mini Pearly Perle cotton for the shiny and intense colors. The 5/2 is lace weight – finer than fingering weight. The pattern will need to be altered for the smaller gauge. 5/2 Pearly Perle is also available on larger size and economically priced cones for bigger projects.

I checked the 5/2 cotton across the holes in the needle gauge until I found the one where the doubled yarn fills the hole without overlapping outside the hole. This is a good starting point for choosing a needle size. The 5/2 cotton filled the size 1 opening- the edges show on the size 2 opening. I used the size 1 needle for the ribbing and a size 2 for the hat. The slightly larger needle was better for working the anemone stitch.

Swaching Again: This little beret for my kitty was a swatch (and also fun).

  • Knit with half the stitches in the pattern it worked out to one-fourth the size of the adult version.
  • Another swatch is needed to resize it for an adult since the pattern only offers a stitch gauge in stockinette – not the anemone pattern.
  • The anemone stitch requires four stitches, therefore the number of stitches to cast on needs to be a multiple of four. Perfect since the ribbing is also a four stitch repeat.

Some Tips for Ribbing in Cotton

  • Use an elastic cast-on. I used the crochet cast-on – not the most elastic but better than the long tail cast on for cotton ribbing. Another option is to cast-on twice the number of stitches required. Then knit or purl two together every stitch on the first row. I use this cast on for cuff down socks sometimes.
  • A knit 2/purl 2 ribbing is the most elastic of all the ribbing stitches.
  • To make the ribbing firmer in cotton, knit in the back of every knit stitch. This twists the stitch so it holds its shape.

I can hardly wait to make this beret in my size.

Jill Holbrook, Brookmore Creations, for Cotton Clouds

12/19/2012 at 6:52 pm Leave a comment

When & How to Substitute Yarns

 We again welcome our guest blogger, Jill Holbrook to help you learn how to substitute a yarn called for in a pattern with a Cotton Clouds’ yarn.

Jill’s love of lace knitting will inspire you to give it a try with our versatile and oh, so soft and silky Bambu 7  yarns.

My adopted “boys” on a trip to Maine.

Have you ever seen a pattern that called for a yarn you could not find? Maybe you just happened to have something in your stash and wanted to use that instead.  It can be tricky substituting different yarns – especially if the yarn is a different fiber. Knowing about the fiber and its characteristics – how it drapes, if it has body – can help make decisions on when and how to substitute yarns.

Rose Shawl*

     This lovely shawl is from Margaret Stove’s book Wrapped in Lace: Knitted Heirloom Designs from Around the World.

Wrapped in Lace will inspire

The pattern calls for Moco Quiviut Merino Silk Lace yarn. The shawl is light (approximately 2 ounces) and airy in this yarn as it is lace weight and contains a light-weight down fiber similar to cashmere.  It is knit with US size 6 (4mm) knitting needles at a gauge of 20 stitches and 34 rows over 4 inches in garter stitch. The pattern calls for 2 skeins of yarn at 300 yds each.

However I wanted to try Cotton Clouds’  soft and silky Bambu 7  yarn on mini cones instead.

Cotton Clouds’ Bambu 7 is soft & silky

Bambu 7  is approximately twice the weight of the lace weight yarn called for in the pattern. Bamboo is generally denser than wool depending on how it is spun and plied. Also Bambu 7  does not have the elasticity or memory of wool. However, it has great drape. This shawl would have more weight in a bamboo yarn but the drape and silky effect is worth it.

The yardage in one Bambu 7  Mini Cone  is close to what the pattern calls for – 525 yards versus 600 yards.  One mini-cone is probably enough but knitters vary in their gauges. I always buy extra yarn so I don’t have any anxiety about running out. Usually I can find something else to do with the left over yarn – maybe a scarf.  Bambu 7 is affordable enough to purchase extra, compared to other yarns.

Shawl Swatch in Bambu 7 yarn

I knit this swatch with one needle size smaller, a US size 5 (3.5mm) for more body. My gauge is close to the pattern gauge. The nice thing about shawls is that gauge is not as important. The shawl may turn out a little smaller – a shawlette – or a little bigger – a cozier wrap.

My swatch after finishing looks like a go!

Because of the lack of elasticity in the Bambu 7 yarn, the lace will stay open so it does not need blocking.  It does not change much after wet finishing, i.e. soaking and laying out. I love how it  maintains its luster and sumptuous softness. 

Just imagine, if you start now this could be a treasured gift for someone special at Christmas or maybe something special for you to wear to a Holiday party!  Too ambitious? Try one of the gorgeous lace scarves in this book, Wrapped in Lace: Knitted Heirloom Designs from Around the World.

Fiber Trends pattern knit by Jill Holbrook
I knit this lace shawl for my niece Sheley as a wedding gift. Although knit with a wool/silk blend I can see this pattern being knit with Cotton Clouds’ Bambu 12 yarn, a finer and eve more drapable yarn.  I would probably adjust the ruffle.    
Whatever you choose to knit, have fun and explore your creativity with joy!  Be sure to check back as I continue to explore knitting with Cotton Clouds’ yarns!
Jill Holbrook

*Rose Shawl photo by Joe Hancock, © Interweave Press 2010,  used with permission of publisher.

11/08/2012 at 5:26 pm 2 comments

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