I'm not a big cotton fan. I always have to go down at least 2 needle sizes to get gauge with cotton yarns. This isn't such a big deal - I mean the number of stitches you are knitting on, whether you are using an 8 or a 6, is the same. But what makes it less-than-enjoyable for me, is the pain I feel in my hands when I'm knitting cotton on a small needle. And now that I've hit my mid-40's I'm feeling every ache and pain. Why give myself more pain if I can avoid it?
But I was in the shop after Christmas and I was looking at some of the new yarns we've received for spring. I pulled a skein of each of the new hand painted Seedlings from the shelf, and was amazed at how soft they were! For some reason, I always thought this yarn had a rougher feel to it. I was so wrong!
We used to sell some similar looking cotton yarns with nubbly textures like this and they were, indeed, rougher to the touch. That must have been what I was thinking about when I was "imagining" the hand of the Seedling. Luckily my imagination has now been replaced with a wonderful reality. This is some seriously smooth and soft fiber.
I pulled a copy of the new Yankee Knitter Baby Sweaters, Hats & Blankets #31 pattern and grabbed 3 skeins of color #4566 Lei. It's fun combination of pink and orange with a hint of avocado green thrown in! From the pattern, I chose to make the sweater: a super simple top down raglan cardigan. The thing I liked the best was that when you finished the yoke, the pattern tells you to work the sleeves FIRST, before the body. What's so smart about this? Well, it eliminates stitch holders, for one. And two? You can work the entire piece on a straight needle. Smart thinking!
I whipped up the size 3-6 month sweater in no time, and was pleased to discover that to get gauge, I only had to drop one needle size. My hands are pain free, too! I started the hat this morning and it should be finished soon.
And... if you like hand paints, there are some great colors from which to choose: