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Knitting swatches with Cotton Supreme Speckles | French Knitting with DK

by Cindy O'Malley

This week, I’m working with Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Speckles, which is a sumptuous worsted weight 100% cotton that is incredibly soft and perfect for summer garments and accessories. To complement the brilliant pops of Fruit Punch colors that decorate the creamy base, I’m also using a solid color of Cotton Supreme DK in Lavender.

Yesterday, I mentioned that Cotton Supreme Speckles is rated as a worsted-weight yarn, but I consider it more of an Aran weight based on the recommended gauge. I’ll put that to the test today, however, my main objective is to determine what needle size I’ll use for my projects. I won’t actually be knitting with Cotton Supreme DK, at least not in the conventional sense. I’ll be using this yarn for embellishing my projects, including using the French Knitter for corking.

As mentioned yesterday, the recommended gauge for Cotton Supreme Speckles is 17sts x 23rows = 4” [10cm] using a US8 [5mm] needle. I’ll begin there.

Cotton Supreme Speckles swatch with a US8 [5mm] needle.

Swatch using US8 [5mm] needle yielded = 18sts x 23rows = 4” [10cm]

My results yielded 18sts and 23rows to 4” [10cm] after blocking, and the fabric was luxuriously soft with wonderful drape. A garment made with this would be like wearing pyjamas.

My experience with 100% cotton knitwear is that it tends to go from square to rectangular unless blocked every time. I often go down a needle size when knitting with cotton to help keep its shape. So, I’m using a US7 [4.5mm] needle for my next swatch.

This time, my results are 19sts x 25rows to 4” [10cm] after blocking. It’s still incredibly soft but I prefer the fabric at this gauge, which is closer to a worsted weight gauge. If I were to knit a sweater with this yarn, I would use a US7 [4.5mm] needle. Based on my results, I guess it is a worsted weight, not an Aran weight.

Cotton Supreme Speckles swatch with a US7 [4.5mm] needle.

Swatch using US7 [4.5mm] needle yield = 19sts x 25rows = 4” [10cm]

Now for playtime. I made the following swatch using two different needle sizes; a US6 [4mm] and a US5 [3.75mm] in both stocking stitch and in an open mesh pattern.

Cotton Supreme Speckles swatch with two different needle sizes - US6 [4mm] and US5 [3.75]

Swatch using US6 [4mm] needle on the lower half and US5 [3.75m] on the upper half.

I didn’t increase the number of stitches on my swatch from that of my previous two swatches, which is why my gauge numbers are over 1” and 2” instead of 4”. My results are as follows:

US 6 [4mm] = 5.5sts x 7.25rows in stocking stitch

US 5 [3.75mm] = 10.75sts x 15rows in stocking stitch.

The results were very similar, but the tell for me was the mesh. Based on my chosen projects, I’ll use the US5 [3.75mm] as the fabric seems denser. Now I can’t wait to get started, but first, I need to relearn corking.

French spool knitter with additional pegs and a hook.

French Knitter (aka Corker) with additional pegs and hook.

It comes with two different sets of pegs; one set of 6 for thicker yarns and another set of 12 for thinner yarns. Since I’ll be using a DK weight yarn which is medium weight, I opted to use 6 of the thinner pegs.

I started off with scrap yarn to relearn the technique. I found the hook that comes with the French Knitter to be too pointy as it kept splitting the plies of my yarn. I then went into my knitting tool kit and found a small cable needle that worked better for me. Before long, I was 7 years old again and corking away. It’s amazing how quick and easy it is. Instead of using DPN’s and knitting I-cords, I can use the corker.

Now that I’ve relearned corking and determined my needle size, it’s time to get started on my projects.  Yesterday’s sneak peek revealed our beach attire and accessories. I hope you join me tomorrow as I begin with the sun hat using Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Speckles.

Universal Yarn Cotton Supreme Speckles and Cotton Supreme DK, French Knitter, Soak

Cotton Supreme Speckles in Fruit Punch, Cotton Supreme DK in Lavender, a French Knitter and Soak.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: Hot fun in the summertime with cool cotton

Go to part 3: Knitting a sun hat that is cool and breezy


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