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It’s my new thing.  (This is a fibery kind of post; I’m just warning you.)  I’m officially all the way into the deep end of summer knitting.  Last summer, I knit five lightweight tops and wore them all year.  This summer, I’m stocking up on enough cotton and cotton blends to knit something for each day of the week.  Not literally, but it’s pretty bad.  Every time I get my closet “organized” for yarn storage, I get more cotton yarn.  It’s so cheap, how can I not?  Obviously, this is an unexpected area of temptation, like the constant sales at Webs.

(more on ravelry, kollabora, flickr)

It is just so easy to justify a little more.  So far, Fire Opal cost about $12, Reef knot- $9, and I don’t remember about Hawt Sands, but I know the hemp was on sale.  Could I have done better, price-wise, at Target?  You know the answer.  Quality-wise?  You know the answer.

Affordability and wearability aren’t the only attraction to cotton.  Since I turned my attention to summer tops, I have tried lots of new things:  hemp, lace, more lace, unusual colors (for me), etc.   It’s like I left all the “rules” of my style of project behind me.  The only thing some of these knits have in common is interesting details and fiber content.

So now I’m onto the Oud Tank, not to be confused with the Ood, by Sarah of Knit York City.   If this were  a fall sweater, it would be a departure from my usual texture heavy, oversized knit.  However, since it’s a summer top, it fits right in with the rest of my queue.   It is also heavy on the cute details.  Can you see this with pleated, dress pants and men’s style oxfords?  I so can.

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  1. I haven't worked much with cotton, although when I have I find it's so incredibly soft. How do you find that it wears? I'd be worried about stretching.

  2. How would you describe the difference between Knit Picks Comfy and Shine? There are several summer tops I'd like to make, but I haven't worked with either yarn yet, so any information would be appreciated!

  3. I haven't had a problem with stretching on any of my projects so far, but they all get machine dried and I think that would snap them back into shape. I also am making short sleeve or smaller projects, so I'm not sure how a larger cardigan would keep it's shape.
    I think it was Allyson, who designed the Fire Opal tee, that said to expect cotton to stretch, then hold. That's been in the back of my mind as I knit these things.
    The Comfy fingering and sport yarns stay soft, but pills a bit with wear. I think that's just how cotton is. Cotton/rayon blends might wear a little better and stretch less. I haven't noticed any pilling with them.

    But for me the time and money invested is so much less than for my usual fall sweater, that if a top doesn't last but a few years I won't be heartbroken. I usually rotate my tshirts and tank tops out every couple of years anyway. I feel good about making things I can wear often, even if they won't be heirloom quality. It fuels my craft habit and will cut down on winter things I have to store. Having said that, I don't see signs of any of these cottony knits deteriorating yet.

  4. I may have just answered your question when answering Jennifer's, Kristen. The tops I've made in Shine have a look of silk due to the rayon and haven't pilled as far as I can tell. They feel light and comfortable. The Comfy feels softer but maybe not quite as cool because it doesn't have the rayon. It comes in a light weight, fingering, though that's is just a bit thicker than a tshirt when knit up. Comfy does "pill" a little with wear. It's nothing extreme, but I've noticed it on one of my older knits. I do machine dry that knit though.
    Not sure if this has helped you. I'll say that if I want to make something that fits like a comfy tshirt or tank, I'd use comfy. If I want a bit of shine for something dressier or with a little more structure, or if I want sportweight, I'd pick Shine. Hope this helps.

  5. Absolutely – and it's great for your climate, too. I would imagine you'd get so much use out of these! I think when I think "cotton", I remember the yucky things my mom used to make me wear that got all stretched out after a few wears. I imagine these yarns are much better quality than those garments were! I've used Comfy bulky before and it was SO soft. I may have to incorporate some cotton into my spring & summer knitting!

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