Friday, April 21, 2006

The Look, The Feel
of cotton. i've been thinking about wool lately and what my relationship is to it. and then i started thinking about cotton. i think it is because i have been reading about other people and their love of a perticular fiber (and i wondered why they were so passionate about it? am i that passionate about wool?). but this thinking of mine does not reflect in my knitting (and no, i'm not allergic to wool-- or any fiber). i have a lot of cotton on the needles right now, and have plans to do a lot more (part of this dilemma started when i realized i had spent most of the cool, wet, wintery months cranking out projects made out of cotton. i thought i'd better cast on a wooly project before the sunshine is too hot and my hands become sticky and sweaty with wooly fibers.). and i don't think it is the spring warm (well, make that hot: unseasonally hot temperatures are in bloom these past weeks with little rain. the mountains are starting to show more of their purple majesty.) i am very comfortable with cotton yarn and cotton blends. but a lot of people i meet do not like to use cotton. they remark about it's lack of "elasticisity", the mild imperfections that do not block out, and lack of warm and/or softness. but not me.

my cotton stash rivals my wool stash. i am drawn to cotton (and it's family of blends) again and again. i almost always knit baby items with cotton. i make scarves, and wash clothes and all sorts of odds and ends with cotton. but why am i drawn to cotton over and over? Is it the look? The feel?

It dawned on me this morning! I learned to knit with cotton yarn. my very first project (and then my second and third) were simple garter stitch dish cloths. made from cotton. it was trusty, hearty, cool cotton that ran through my fingers as i learned to hold the needles, wrap the yarn, and complete one slow row after another. and of course (!) is showed the imperfections, but what the hell, it was a dish cloth to clean dirty dishes! sure, i moved on to lovely bulky wool soon enough and made my first pair of mittens. but when the third new item to knit was selected: baby hats, i choose a cotton yarn. much nicer than the dish cloth version, but cotton nonetheless. and so my hands returned to the crisp earthly fiber.

i think it was the early lessons that set the foundation. same as knitting english style will always feel more comfortable to me. cotton, in it's many forms will always be that trusty reliable for me. it's not too expensive, it's easy to care for, and knits up beautiful-- to me.

love them sheep as i do, my relationship with cotton is a long and kindred one. Maybe my blog needs a different name?

No. I'll keep it. Because i love the sheep/knitting symbolism.

2 comments:

Tom said...

The touch, the feel of cotton, the fabric of our lives...
barring the headaches of my needles going through plys, sheesh, the indignity of actually having to LOOK at what I'm knitting...

Jenifer said...

And my favorite inexpensive cotton yarn ... bernat cotton tots. Did you make that Good Bias shrug last year? I'm using cotton tots for it right now ...