Getting drape from cotton yarn (plus a free pattern!)

When I think drape I think silk, sea cell, or bamboo. I don't think cotton, especially the smooth, sorta stiff mercerized cotton yarn that's ubiquitous in  spring and summer knits.

But I'm thinking again because Kristin Ohmdahl and Eunny Jang, hosts of Knitting Daily TV, are here to show us all how to knit with cotton and get the drape we want. With the right shaping and pattern, you can get a great result.

The Clinton Vest, a free pattern from Knitting Daily TV

I have quite a bit of cotton yarn, which I usually use for baby projects; there's just no sense in knitting something non-washable for little ones, and cotton is long-wearing and long-washable. I've also used mercerized cotton to knit a tee-shirt for my mom. The cotton I used was a DK-weight and it had a sheen that's inherent in mercerized cotton, which I like a lot.

Anyway, I always thought mercerized cotton came in just one style, smooth and straight, like Tahki Cotton Classic or Knitting Fever King Tut. Then, at Interweave Knitting Lab last fall I discovered Tahki Ripple and I fell in love with it. It's the yarn used in the Clinton Vest, pictured at left.

Like Kristin says in the video clip, Ripple knits up with automatic drape because of the thick and thin nature of the yarn. The drape is great; add to that the interesting texture you get from plain old stockinette and this yarn is a real winner.

I have a few balls of Ripple in my stash, but I'm going to get more and knit that Clinton Vest. I love vests and this one is really pretty and simple. The color I have is a beautiful winter white—perfect for springtime.

Learn a bunch more about knitting with cotton, whimsical details, and interesting knitting techniques—download Knitting Daily TV episode 808 now!


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