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Topic: Yarn substitution help needed please - cotton/bamboo wanted  (Read 450 times)
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« on: February 13, 2008 09:38:50 PM »

I would like to make a sweater for The Boy. The pattern calls for Caron Simply Soft Shadows (acrylic 4 ply worsted), but he has requested that I try to find something in cotton instead. I think it will need to be something either tightly spun, or blended with another fiber, so that it does not just stretch out and hang like a dishcloth. (I made a summer top for myself out of Bernat Handicrafter Cotton and the results were not that great Sad)

It needs to be something relatively inexpensive, too, as The Boy is not a small Boy and the pattern calls for 15 skeins of the Caron (2295 yards total).... I would need to stay under $5/3oz, tops.

I am currently looking at Bernat Denim Style, which is an acrylic/cotton blend, or Brown Sheep Serendipity (60% cotton, 40% wool). Does anyone have any other suggestions?

I'm interested in hearning about bamboo yarns or blends, too, as I have seen a few on eBay that look reasonably priced. I have felt ready-made bamboo fiber socks and they are quite lovely; however, I don't know anyone who has knit with bamboo.

Thanks in advance!

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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2008 10:40:35 PM »

You could try Lionbrand Cotton-Ease. It's fairly new, and comes in some nice colors. It's 50% acrylic/50% cotton. I haven't knit with it personally, but in the ball it feels pretty nice. I've seen it at Michael's.


I know you're looking for cotton, or bamboo, but I'm also going to suggest Bernat Soy yarn. It's 50% acrylic/50% soy and feels really soft knit up. My Michael's currently has it on clearance for $2.00/2.5 oz. ball.


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« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2008 06:56:48 PM »

You are clearly aware that it needs to be tightly spun: however, to stop cotton from stretching and sagging (irreversibly) it needs to be tightly knit as well. That will make the item heavier (and it would be heavy enough anyway as cotton is heavy, that's part of the reason it stretches itself out of shape so readily - beside its lack of elasticity).

I would ask him why he wants cotton: if it is because he finds acrylic scratchy, a soft acrylic or anything soft would be fine. On the other hand, if it's because he finds acrylic clammy, you would have to think about different options.

Remember that for a good match for size you only need the gauge to match the pattern's. You could use pure alpaca in the same gauge for a very warm jumper. Or bamboo for a 'jumper' for warm weather,

Yarndex.com is a useful index of many knitting fibres, might be useful, or if you are on or could join Ravelry you might find it useful to see what others like or have used for similar garments or for the same pattern.

Do be flexible: you are likely more knowledgeable about fibres for knitting than the boy is, so he might mean something different by 'cotton not acrylic' than literally cotton and no acrylic. Bamboo/cotton or bamboo/wool (preferably mostly bamboo and less 'other') are better substitutes IMO. But you and the boy are best qualified to decide.

I won't recommend anything as the brands you have available to you are not available to me in NZ, but I will add another 2 cents to say don't pay through the nose, whatever blend you prefer is most likely available at a reasonable price, you don't have to pay Rowan prices for example to get a good product.

I don't recall anyone saying that they disliked knitting with bamboo or the feel of it or the result etc. If you are looking at bamboo/bamboo blends you might also like to consider maize/corn/rayon/etc. (as well as the soy already mentioned).

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