close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Seedling to Sprout

It's 55 and sprinkling, so it's obviously time to discuss cotton yarns!  I want to tell you about a few very nice organic cottons from Classic Elite Yarns, Seedling and Sprout.

We have carried Sprout in the past, and I even used it for my Tiny Baby Hat pattern.  It's back on our shelves in more and even better colors.

This is a bulky weight cotton, working up at about 3.5 stitches per inch on a US10.  At first, I was unsure about the whole idea of a bulky cotton.  Once I started working with it, I was really impressed at how easily it knits up, and I think the interesting texture of the yarn has a lot to do with it.

Normally, my hands get a little crampy if I knit with pure cotton for too long, but I haven't had any trouble with Sprout.  The sproinginess of the yarn seems to create a little more give than a flat mercerized cotton yarn.  Sally also pointed out that the texture really keeps you from worrying about how even your stitches are, because any irregularity really disappears in the knitted fabric.  It also stays light and lofty, rather than getting heavy like you might expect from such a bulky cotton.

The Classic Elite site talks a bit about the kind of organic cotton they use for these yarns, and they also note that the lack of processing causes less stress to the fibers, making the yarn more absorbent and the colors more intense.  Maybe the loftiness and bounce can be partially attributed to this low-stress processing, too.

Seedling has a similar texture, just a lighter gauge, knitting up at 4.5 stitches per inch on a US7, basically an Aran to worsted weight.  Check out the pretty colors.

This yarn is calling out to be knitted into blankets and kiddo sweaters.  The pattern books for these yarns have a few promising designs for the adults, too.

Harbor features four designs in Seedling, which are all quite wearable: Jetty, Mizzen, Marina, and Starboard.

This little shrug is my favorite one in the Sprout book, Surf.  Half of the sizes only require two skeins of Sprout!

I am making Agnes, a simple bulky top-down raglan with cute little side pockets.  I am basically hoping to create a comfy gray pullover that looks a little classier than my mom's Iowa Sate University sweatshirt I have been wearing since high school.  Ahem.  So far, this sweater seems to be knitting itself.  I started it last week, and I'm done with the body already.  Sleeves and pockets, here I come.  I need something to throw on for this crazy weather!

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