Do I want work in cotton or Bamboo

I'm looking for some advice from the more experienced--in knitting that is...

I have decided that my next project will be the :"Ben Sweater" from the pattern booklet by Mags Kandis, "For Him and Her" I love the design of the sweater so I ordered the pattern but not the yarn. The pattern calls for Misson Falls 1824 Wool and I don't want a wool sweater. I want something I can wear walking down Commercial Street in P'Town on a cool summer night.

I'm thinking of doing the sweater in the recycled cotton by Lion Brand, but I have never worked with that yarn before and I can't find it inany of the stores locally so that I can check it out. So, before I go and order it online, is there anyone here who has worked with it and what can you tell me about it?

My other thought was to do the sweater in a bamboo blend or maybe just play it safe and use the Misson Falls 1824 Cotton tricolor. I'd be happy with any advice you want to offer.

I think you can see what the sweater looks like if the follow the url below:


bobshome's picture

Hi - I've worked with both and the sweater might keep growing in length with the cotton. I find that form fit is ok (some ribbing or other gathering type stitch) works well with cotton. I have used bamboo and it is my favorite. It's a very soft yarn, often mixed with your favorite other fiber (mine would be silk). The results are usually as light weight and warm as wool, so you need a cool evening on Commercial. Nice sweater pattern!

Iacobvs's picture

Thanks, Bob. I hear all the concerns about cotton and the stretch factor. I think I may lean more toward a bamboo, wool blend.

Chris Vandenburg's picture

I've worked with cotton but not as far as doing a worn garment. I understand the appeal of cotton but have also heard the tomtoms beating that it tends to stretch out of shape particularly if there is ribbing around the cuffs, collar or sleeves. Some advocate knitting along with elastic thread to alleviate this problem. So if you are following me, I'm no expert, just relating what I have heard.

Now I do have three balls of bamboo/silk in lace weight that I am killing to knit up once I finish a couple of WIP's it's soft and strong. As in, it doesn't break very easily.

All in all I'm waiting to see what your experience is with either.

Best from Texas,


"If a man has cream at home in the refrigerator he won't go out looking for 2% butterfat"
............Erma Bombeck

Iacobvs's picture

Thanks, Chris. I may just make the sweater with wool, or may try one of the bamboo wool blends, but I will let you know how it turns out.

raydio's picture

I've knitted cotton and bamboo, and the bamboo is more like silk or rayon: very nice hand.

Cotton and other yarns of low elasticity can "grow" in the wearing, as bobshome says, but you can counteract that a good deal by planning for it.

I would swatch a nice big piece, then pull it lengthwise to simulate the sagging that the garment's weight would produce, take a gauge measurement and see what that means in term of the patterns sizing.

Naturally there will be differences in the drape you get vs that you'd have in wool, but it might just be the ticket.

Kerry's picture

Nice sweater.

scottly's picture

I might suggest Cascade Sierra, 80% Pima Cotton/20% Merino Wool. It feels like all cotton but the 20% Merino make it behave better then cotton. It's also not that expensive. I've used this before but not for a sweater. It was great to work with and comes in a great array of colors.

albert's picture

Blast it, Scott- I'm trying to de-stashify and you're dangling this in front of me!!

Iacobvs's picture

Thanks for the tip. I will check it out.

New York Built's picture

I would recommend Rope Light by Punta Del Estes Yarns. !00% linen, but a knitted, hollow yarn in worsted weight. In 18 solids and 14 hand-painted colors, if memory serves me. Knits up soft and mellow right off the hank...all the benefits of linen and none of the problems.

If I have a little extra money, I buy yarn, fiber books, and knitting supplies. I get food with what's left over.

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.