A Radiant (Cotton) knitting experience

We’re in for a treat this week! If you like working with cotton, and you want an affordable, quality cotton, you’ll want to come along for the ride! We’re working with Fibra Natura Radiant Cotton, a smooth, double knitting weight cotton yarn.

I’ll only be working with the 3 skeins on the left this week. The green, blue, and red will be featured in an upcoming issue of A Needle Pulling Thread.

Radiant Cotton is made from Egyptian cotton, which is known for its luster. It’s spun in Turkey. The twist isn’t really tight, but it is well suited for long wear and durability. It’s also affordable, at about $10 US per 3.5oz [100g] skein.

Many cotton yarns are worsted weight, with a tension of 20 stitches to 4” [10cm] on 7 US [4.5mm] needles. Double knitting weight gives a tension of 22 stitches to 4” [10cm] on 6 US [4mm] needles. The recommended tension for Radiant Cotton is the same, but with 5 US [3.75mm] needles. I was able to achieve it with my trusty 4mm needles, but you use whatever works for you. Remember: it’s not the size of the needle that’s important, it’s getting the gauge!

Ball bands give plenty of information in a very small space!

Dishcloths are often made with worsted weight, cotton “craft” yarn, however I find them to be too bulky and hard to wring out. I find that double knitting weight yarn is just a little bit lighter. They wring out a little more easily, and they dry a little quicker, too.

As we’ll see later this week, Radiant Cotton makes beautiful dishcloths, but it is capable of SO much more!  The color range is lovely. The photo above shows 6 of the 24 available colors. In addition to the Calypso (coral), Good Night (black), Blank Slate (white), Lucky (green), Sky Blue, and Ruby sent to me, there are 18 other brilliant and neutral colors to choose for your project.

If you like brights, there’s aptly-named Crocus, Grape, Fuchscia, and Lime Green. If neutrals are your thing, how about Cobblestone, Silver Hint or Steel Gray? Any of these are going to make a gorgeous summer cardigans or twin sets, racer back tank tops, or Ts.

And let’s not forget home decor! Cotton IS the fabric of our life, after all, and it’s a most durable one. Pillow tops, lap robes, baby blankets, play mats and even ottoman covers can all be tossed into the washer and dryer and will wear for years.

Radiant Cotton comes in a hank, or skein “put up,” which is a challenge to knit from. My next post gives a tutorial on winding skeins. Join me tomorrow.

This is part 1 of 6 in this series.

Go to part 2: How to wind skeins of yarn using a yarn swift and winder

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