April 01, 2024 3 min read

The evolution of yarn construction is a fascinating journey. I remember back around 2010 when I first saw a modern construction yarn and thought, "What the..?"  Mirasol Ushya, a super bulky chainette yarn, was like nothing I had ever seen, and I was not at all sure I was going to like it. 

Fast forward 14 years, and it's become one of my favorite yarn types.  There are so many different ways chainette yarn can be created.  The size of the fibers knitted into cord, the number of stitches, and  the tightness of those stitches of the stitches create wildly different yarns.   

Why do they do this? What is with all the innovation? Let's talk about it. 

Why Chainette? Unraveling the Magic

Chainette construction yarn, characterized by its unique i-cord structure, is at the forefront of modern yarn construction  Unlike traditional plied yarns, chainette yarns are knitted into a tiny, tubular form you’ll love. While there are lots of variations, here's a rundown of their general benefits.  

  • Great Yardage: Chainette yarns, being hollow, provide more yardage per gram. This means you get more yarn for your money (and fewer ends to weave in).
  • Lightweight Garments: With more yardage per gram, garments made from chainette yarns are physically lighter in weight, making them nicer to wear in warm weather.
  • More Stretch: The knitted tube structure gives chainette yarns a natural elasticity. Chainette’s stretch factor is less pronounced in cotton than in wool, but it really helps make plant based fibers much nicer to knit.  .
  • Reduced Pilling: Chainette yarns tend to pill less than their plied counterparts, keeping your garments looking great for longer 
  • Breathability and Coolness:  The tubular structure of chainette yarn allows air to circulate freely, keeping you cool - especially nice in the warmer months, or when you're having a personal summer.. It's like a breeze through open windows.

The beauty of Rowan Cotton Revive

It’s not too early to be thinking about a fun new project for summer, and for those of us in the Mid-Atlantic, cotton can be a perfect breathable year-round fiber. I’m excited about Rowan’s new yarn, Cotton Revive. This yarn is a beautiful addition to their spring summer lineup, combining the seasonless appeal of cotton and the benefits of chainette construction.

A sport-weight cotton blend, Cotton Revive brings all the goodness of cotton to the table in a yarn that’s pleasant to knit and cool and comfortable to wear every season.  

Martin Storey, Lisa Richardson, and Chloe Thurlow have put together a collection of patterns for Cotton Revive designed to be layered of worn on their own, giving you gorgeous capsule wardrobe pieces you’ll enjoy all year long.


models wearing knitted garments and skeins of Cotton Revive yarn

You’ll also love to know that Cotton Revive is eco-friendly. Made from 100% recycled fibers, Cotton Revive helps keep tons of scrap fabric and used garments out of landfills.  

I’ll be doing a Cotton Revive review on YouTube this week, and will be chatting with David MacLeod, Rowan Brand Manager, about the benefits of chainette yarn and the story behind this environmentally conscious fiber later this month. 

In the meantime, you can have a look at the collection here, and the yarn here.  Tell me in the comments which design you like best and what color you would knit it in! 

Looking forward to seeing you soon.  



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