Honestly, I'm really not sure. I've only made dishcloths and stuff like that out of cotton, so I've never really paid attention. I don't think it shrinks constantly. Usually just a bit, after a wash or two, I think, if store-bought cotton clothes are anything to judge by.
Before you just go for Simply Soft, I suggest you check out Amy Singer (of Knitty)'s No Sheep For You. It's all about knitting with non-wool yarns, especially plant-based ones. There are tons of options besides acrylic, like corn, soy, bamboo, hemp, and of course cotton.
Skinny jeans are really hard to pull off, and extra long skinny jeans bunched around your ankles will, I think, emphasize your curves (which it sounds like you don't want) while also making your legs look shorter. If you want to get the look of skinny jeans without skinny jeans, you can try tapered leg jeans (these are a lot easier to find at a Walmart or a Kmart than a trendier store) or even straight leg (not a wide straight leg though, obviously). A tapered leg will probably be best - it's close to a skinny jean, but more wearable than skinny jeans.
I thought about a pinwheel blanket too, but then I found this ndishcloth with a bat motif. You could make the whole pattern bigger, or just use the bat pattern and repeat it several times. Or you could make a bunch of the dischclothes and sew them together to make a patchworky version of it. Which maybe isn't gothy, but I think it would be cute. Oh and you could even alternate it with skull and crossbones dishcloth
I think you did the right thing, and my best bet is that she was just trying to sell people some washable blends that maybe weren't selling too well! I work in a tea shop, and among the employees I'm one of the people that knows a little bit more about tea, but I'm hardly an expert. When people come in and ask me a question I don't know, I offer to google it and see if I can figure it out, but I definitely don't try to sell them something completely different. Honestly, it just sounds like that woman doesn't really know much about sales.
I took a history of fashion class my last semester of school, and one of the things I really remember about the class was the professor telling us that people didn't wear knits until the 19th century. That's wrong. But knits were part of fashion until the 19th century. Anyway, that means that it's really hard to find stuff about knitting before then. However, I did find some websites with some patterns. I haven't looked at the patterns, but they're there.
I think it's important to make your own decisions, but it is important to note that even if soy is great for some people, it might not be great for you. I used to have a lot of soy in my diet, and for for several months I was not in top health. It turned out that the soy I was consuming was, actually, affecting my thyroid and just plain not very good for me.
1-2 servings a week won't be a problem for anyone though, unless they have an allergy or something. Don't just eat tofu at every meal - who eats the same thing for every meal anyway? I would encourage you to try seitan (gluten) as well, and various other meat replacers. There's more to not eating meat than tofu.
I just finished mine, after spending the last two months working on really really really cold weather stuff. I love it love it, but my camera isn't reading my memory stick, so I can't even take a picture. And I'm so proud. Does anyone else think it's actually too small? The length is fine - I swatched and measured, my head's about 23 inches but my yarn was slightly smaller than the pattern yarn anyway. It just seems so narrow! I almost want to remake it, but wider.