• Add description, images, menus and links to your mega menu

  • A column with no settings can be used as a spacer

  • Link to your collections, sales and even external links

  • Add up to five columns

  • May 01, 2023 4 min read 1 Comment

    What kind of yarn is best for summer?

    As we move into the warmer months, it's time to start thinking about summer knitting and what yarn to use for a summer sweater.  We want something that keeps us nice and cool, so that means fibers that are light, absorbent, and moisture-wicking.   The best yarn for summer is either cotton or linen, or a blend of those.  

    • Cotton yarn is light and absorbent, so it tends to be a favorite summer tanks and tees. 
    • Linen yarn is even lighter than cotton and is moisture-wicking which means that it carries moisture away from the body to the outside of the yarn where it can evaporate. 
    • Silk is also a nice fiber for summer when it’s blended with either cotton or linen. 

    Why is it so hard to knit with cotton and linen

    Cotton and linen are great to wear, but they’re not the easiest to knit. 

    • Elasticity – Unlike wool, cotton and linen yarns lack elasticity, which means they don’t bounce back.
    • Tight twist – Cotton fibers are shorter than wool fibers, so they must be twisted more tightly to keep them in place.  That tighter twist gives the yarn a harder feel in your hands.  The better the quality of the cotton, the less tightly it needs to be twisted, but even quality cotton has a fairly tight twist. 
    • Hard finish –  Many cotton yarns are mercerized. This process allows the cotton to take the dye more deeply and give the yarn a shiny effect.  Mercerization also makes cotton yarn more durable and shrink proof. But it also makes them stiffer and more challenging to knit.  
    • Stiffness – Linen yarn, in addition to being inelastic, like cotton, can be stiff.  This makes it harder to knit.  I love linen, but I think 100% linen is the most challenging of all yarns to knit.  

    Knitting with cotton and linen is not the same as knitting with wool, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.  In fact, depending on your climate, you may want or need to knit exclusively with cotton or linen yarn.  Living in the Mid-Atlantic, I knit and wear summer sweaters all year round, so I’ve learned quite a bit about working with these fibers.  Here are a few tips and tricks to help you.  This post is mainly about cotton yarn, but the same applies to linen and other non-wool yarn.

    What summer yarns are nice to knit?

    Summer yarns have come a long way in recent years.  There are modern yarn construction methods that add elasticity and fiber blends that give these yarns a great hand. Here are a few of my very favorite lightweight yarns for  dk or sport weight summer garments:

    • Rowan Summerlite DK - This yarn is brushed after it’s been spun to give it a nice soft hand.  Remember how I talked about cotton yarn’s hard finish? Summerlite DK doesn’t have that.  It’s beautifully soft to knit and wonderful to wear. DK weight
    • Queen City Coleman - If I had to pick just one summer yarn to use for every garment in my wardrobe, it would be Coleman. A rare blend of 65% silk and 35% linen, Coleman is silky smooth and lovely to use.  It’s cool against the skin, washes beautifully, and looks wonderful all year round.  DK/sport weight
    • Noro Kakigori – A blend of cotton and Cotton and silk, Kakigori is light and lovely to knit and to wear.  DK/sport weight
    • Kelbourne Mojave - a lovely 60/40 cotton/linen blend in juicy brights, Mojave is a gorgeous yarn that’s nice to knit and comfortable to wear. DK/sport weight
    • Rowan Softyak DK - I always say that this is the cotton that knits like wool.  Its chainette construction gives it the elasticity of wool while 76% cotton makes it cool and lovely to wear.  An additional benefit is15% yak for luxurious softness. 

    Worsted weight summer yarns

    Prefer heavier yarns?  These yarns are not as light weight, but every bit as soft - maybe event softer than their lighter weight sisters. 

    Noro Akari -- This single ply is a lovely soft blend of cotton and silk.  Feels amazing in your hands and against your skin. You'll love the colors of both Akari and her new solid sister, Akari Solo

    Rowan Creative Linen -- Beautiful and hardwearing, Creative Linen combines the best of both linen and cotton into a yarn that's durable, but still nice to knit.

    Juniper Moon Cumulus-- A brushed chainette cotton with a touch of nylon, Cumulus is soft as a cloud. Perfect for all year round garments

    Galler Inca Eco -- Soft organic Inca Eco is a thick and thin yarn that gives every project beautiful texture

    Rowan Four Seasons Cotton -- a bouncy blend of cotton and microfiber, this yarn makes for quick and comfortable knits. The cotton is absorbent while the microfiber is moisture wicking.  

    Summer project ideas and additional info about summer yarns

    Tips and tricks for knitting with cotton yarn

    Summer yarns to keep you cool

    Sweaters to knit for summer

    Cool Summer sweaters that look great

    Summer tops to knit from Berroco

    Cool summer tops

    Summer knitting with Noro Asaginu

    1 Response


    May 02, 2023

    Worsted weight linen and linen-blend yarns are not numerous. Another one to let your readers know about is DanDoh linen yarn. 100% linen in a worsted weight.

    Leave a comment