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Sampling with Clean Cotton Big yarn

by Cynthia MacDougall

Yesterday, I introduced Clean Cotton Big yarn by Universal Yarn and Knitter’s Pride basix birch circular knitting needles. Because the yarn is big, so are my needles!

Knitter’s Pride basix circular needles have smooth birch wood tips, and black cables.

Starting with the needles, the cables on the Knitter’s Pride basix are sturdy. I store my circular needles in a hanging rack I made many years ago. I designed it for the Summer 2016 Issue of A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine.

I like it because the needles are easy to sort and pull at a moment’s notice, and the cables stay relaxed, just the way I like them.

Knitted Organizer for Circular Needles pattern from A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine Summer 2016

Out of the package, the cables on the basix are pretty good, but if the cable in the photo below is still too kinked up for you, you can hold the cable (just the cable) in a basin of hot water for a few minutes. Don’t get the needle tips or the metal ferrule wet – the ferrule is glued on to wood and the wood is apt to swell.

Out of the package, the cables on the basix are pretty good

As with any new yarn, I begin with a swatch. I want to do a gingham, which will require the intarsia technique. From reading the ball band, I learned that I’ll likely get about 8 sts and 12 rows to 4” [10cm] because I’m using the smaller of the recommended needle size: 15 [10mm]. Thankfully, both are a multiple of 4 so, technically, I should be able to get 4” squares in my alternating gingham blocks. Here goes!

I want my knitting to grow right out of my cast-on, so I’ll cast on in my colors.

In order for my “gingham” squares to “grow” from the very beginning, I created color changes in my cast on.

Don’t worry about the short ends – I have a very neat trick to neaten those up that will be in my next post!

I use the long tail cast on, it’s kind of my go-to, so my cast on also becomes my first row of knitting. Therefore, I have to remember that my first row after the cast on will be my wrong side row, in this case, a purl row, if I want my knitting to ‘grow’ up from my cast on. If I don’t do this, I’ll get a garter ridge on the bottom of my work – yay!

A word about the needles: I’ve seen oversized circulars that have tips that are far too short for me. I knit using the throwing method to knit, and I really appreciate the length of the tips on the Knitter’s Pride basix!

Before beginning the weaving in process, the ends of the yarn “lean” toward the adjacent color block

When you’ve finished 12 rows of knitting, cut the ends with slightly longer ends than what you left in your cast on – about 4” [10cm].

Because I needed 2 green squares at the base of my knitted gingham and I only have 1 ball of yarn, I wound off about ¼ of the ball (there are 57 yds in the ball, so ¼ of it is roughly 14 yds or 12m).

Interestingly enough, and you might want to know this for future reference after I finished the first section I had 8 yds left in my ¼ ball. This tells me I used 6 yds [5.5m] to make one gingham section and probably a bit of that went into the cast on.

For my next section, the marled yarn/ combination color (Tropics, in this case) will stack on top of my green (Beach Resort) squares, and the peach (called Guava) will sit over the center section.

Twelve rows later, I’ll revert to my original pattern to complete my gingham 9-patch, if I may borrow a term from quilting.

On that repeat, I’ll work only 11 rows, because my cast off will form my last row to bring my knitting to the right height. And, because it will naturally be a purl row, I’ll cast off purlwise, just to keep my bumps on the back of the work.

When knitting intarsia, the key to a neat finish is to make sure the stitches at the color changes have the same tension as the stitches in the rest of the knitting.

In my next post, I’ll show you a way of weaving in the ends of a bulky yarn that will prevent adding even more bulk.

So far, it feels good to knit with Universal Yarn Clean Cotton Big yarn using Knitter’s Pride basix birch knitting needles!

Universal Yarn Clean Cotton Big yarn so soft, clean and big!

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: It’s Clean. It’s Cotton. It’s Big. It’s Clean Cotton Big

Go to part 3: What to know about weaving in ends with Clean Cotton Big yarn


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