Delving into Cotton on the CSM…

posted Thursday, April 23rd, 2009 by Sarah

On a whim (and inspired by a thread on Ravelry) I decided to try some 8/2 cotton weaving yarn I had purchased some time ago that has just been sitting around.. and to my surprise, run with a strand of very fine lycra/nylon yarn, it makes very nice socks!   I knit these on my Legare 400 with a fairly tight tension on my 72 cylinder.  I think this yarn (or even some 10/2) would produce a nicer fabric on an 84 slot cylinder, but I don’t have one.

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They’re a little loose right off the machine, as shown above, but once washed the cotton fulls nicely and the lycra activates, drawing in the knitting a considerable amount.  I estimate they shrank about 15% when I washed and dried them.  I didn’t actually expect them to shrink so much, so the foot is almost too short on these.

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Then I tried some 8/2 Cotlin (50/50 Cotton and Linen) also with very nice results.  This stuff shrank more than the 100% cotton, so even though I added extra rows to the feet, the finished size is about the same (though I did knit the leg shorter on these).  I didn’t take a picture before washing, but these socks looked looser and more gauze-like right off the machine, but they too washed up very nicely.  You can see how stretchy they are comparing the unblocked sock to the one on the blocker (my second blocker went MIA sometime yesterday.. I still have no idea where it is – thanks, kids)

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Since I have a LOT of 8/2 yarn in my stash from my abandoned attempts at learning to weave, I forsee a lot of these socks in my future – the knitted fabric is slightly thicker than I’d prefer compared to storebought socks (for me anyways.. they’re thinner than the socks my DH wears and thinner than wool socks), but the toes on these are seamless, which more than makes up for being heavier, since my #1 gripe about almost any sock is the seam over the toe – it’s uncomfortable, and too bulky even on the thinnest socks since to save money/time the toes on commercial socks are usually serged rather than linked or grafted.

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