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Yarn Review: Knit Picks Simply Cotton


First, the facts:

Yarn: Simply Cotton Sport

Company Knit Picks

Type: Cotton

Simply Cotton Sport Heathers
Fiber 100% Organic Cotton
Yardage: 164 yards/50 grams
Weight: Sport Weight
Gauge: 6 sts = 1″ on US #2-4 needles
Care: Machine Wash/Tumble Dry Low

Simply Cotton Worsted Heathers
Fiber 100% Organic Cotton
Yardage: 164 yards/100 grams
Weight: Worsted Weight
Gauge: 4.5 sts = 1″ on US #2-4 needles
Care: Machine Wash/Tumble Dry Low

The In-Depth Look:

When Knit Picks asked if I would like to review some of their yarns, I was delighted. Of course I would! Except … I’ve never actually written a review for yarn before, and was a little nervous. I know what I like in a yarn, but what if you didn’t agree with me? And heaven knows I can’t compete with Clara Parkes’ reviews over at Knitter’s Review. But then I realized, my opinions on yarn are just as valid as my opinions on books, right?


The irony is that the first sample they sent was 100% cotton, and I almost never knit with cotton. And by almost never, I mean that it’s been, oh, 3-4 years since I did, and even then I picked one that was spun to have a little extra spring to it–since one of the reasons I don’t usually like cotton is because it lacks the springiness that wool has.

The “Simply Cotton” yarn is not exactly new at Knit Picks, but the colors are. Originally, there were just four, neutral colors, but they’ve just added a spectrum of shades. Blue, red, purple, green–20 new colors. They are all slightly heathered, but the variation is very slight, especially in the Mandarin Orange I had to swatch with. Looking at the colors on the website, some do seem to have more “heather” than others.

I’d forgotten how soft good cotton yarn can be. Just running my fingers along the skein of yarn was a comforting as holding my favorite t-shirt. I usually think of cotton yarn as being harder, stiffer, and am already wondering if I’ve written off cotton too easily.

Knitting the swatch … well, that took a couple of tries. First, I grabbed a handy 16″ needle and started knitting only to get frustrated with the needle, remembering quickly why I prefer not to use 16″ needles–the length of the actual needle is too short to comfortably hold. Also, the needle was an Addi Turbo, too large for the sport-weight yarn sample, so the stitches slid and looped around the needle like children out for recess. Clearly, I needed more control.

I switched to a pair of wooden needles in size 4 which kept the slipperiness under control, even though for my notoriously loose knitting, the needle size was still a little large. For my own knitting, I would have been better off using a #2, but still, the swatch moved along smoothly.

And, yes, there is definitely a difference from the last cotton yarn I knit with. No, this 4-ply yarn does not have the springiness of wool (because, of course, it’s not wool), but it’s very “knittable.” I wasn’t frustrated by the lack of give like I have been in the past, and it felt soft and comfortable to my finger tips. It was a little splitty as I knit, but not too much. Since I knit mostly with animal fibers, I was surprised at what a nice drape the swatch had, too. As a responsible knitter, I did wash the swatch, though I didn’t notice any change in it between knitting and washing it.

All in all, a nice, basic cotton yarn. It’s not trying to mimic other fibers or be anything it’s not by adding nylon or microfiber or playing with the spin-structure to make it seem springier than it is. It’s just happy being cotton, and it can, of course, be purchased at Knit Picks.

This skein was kindly donated by Knit Picks. Thank you!

My Gush: Soft, durable, and with a lovely drape.

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