It's Hot, Hot, Hot! (to quote the Merrymen of Barbados)
Many of us don't stop crafting just because it's hot outside. However, we're more inclined to work with thinner yarns made from plant fibers, because they're lighter and feel cool to the touch.
Here are some things to keep in mind when working with plant fibers:
1. Plant fibers are inelastic. This doesn't mean that they don't stretch - anyone who's ever worn a 100% cotton sweater can tell you that it grows several inches over the course of the day. Inelastic means that it doesn't bounce back. If you need some hug in your cotton/linen/rayon project, you'll want to either use one with a bit of elastic built in, like Cascade Fixation or CoBaSi, or add some elastic after the fact, using elastic thread or narrow elastic cording.
2. Heavy weights of cotton are as hot as - or hotter than - wool! If you want to stay cool, use DK weight or less and knit/crochet/weave loosely! Rayon is the coolest-to-the-touch of all plant-based fibers (rayons include tencel, modal, viscose, and silky-feeling bamboo). Linen (from the flax plant) and other bast fibers (banana, and cotton-feeling bamboo) are cooler than both cotton and wool, but not as cool as rayon.
3. Drape is your friend! If you want to stay cool, make and wear garments that don't sit too close to your skin. Loose garments let air flow better and help keep your body cool.
If you're looking for a way to use these fibers, Nancy M. found the Pastel Gemstones Shawl by AbbyeKnits ($7 in-store, on Ravelry, or on Abbyeknits website). We like it with Theodora's Pearls Cotton Candy, Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy, and Universal Yarn Unity.
The Pastel Gemstones Shawl is a great way to learn new skills, too. It has some beginner-friendly sections (stockinette or garter with simply yarn overs) and ends in bobble and lace sections. Need help with this pattern? Schedule a private lesson with Nancy and she'll share her handouts for each section. They'll help you keep track of stitch counts and break down the more complicated steps into easier, repeatable stitches.
Be well, be safe, be kind!
-Caryn & the Yarnivore crew
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