Reuse, Recycle, Rep From *
With spring on the way, I can’t think of a better time than to be knitting with lightweight breathable fibers. In Creative Knitting magazine, we showcase a variety of yarns that are not only ideal for warm-weather knitting, but are organic too. You’ll find yarns that are recycled and some are made with alternative and sustainable fibers. To get a feel for some of these yarns, I decided to let my needles do the talking and start swatching with just a few of the following:
Be Sweet Bambino
70% organic cotton/30% bamboo, 50g/95 yds.

Be SweetBambino is a soft worsted weight cotton blend yarn. The top swatch below is worked on a #7 US needle as the label recommends. To explore this yarn further,  I decided to drop down to a #6 US, which produces almost an unnoticeable difference in density, as the middle swatch illustrates. The thick and thin qualities produce a rustic, uneven knit stitch that would lend itself nicely to a casual tunic or cardigan. With all the bright colors available, this would also be perfect for children’s garments and accessories.

In my experience, 100% cotton yarns seem to create a stiffer fabric with less memory and have less drape than I would prefer. As it turns out, this yarn is super soft, which I think is due to the addition of the bamboo. Overall, this yarn has a fluffy loft and beautiful drape.

Still not being completely satisfied, I decided to jump down to a #5 US, as shown in the bottom swatch below. I prefer the denser, tighter feel that knitting every row produces. And in my opinion working in garter, or a stitch with a bit more density does the trick.

Be sweet Bambino swatches worked on a #7 US, #6 US and #5 US needle.


Rowan Purlife Revive
36% recycled silk/36% recycled cotton/
28% recycled viscose, 125 m/137 yds.

Next up is RowanPurelife Revive. This DK weight yarn slid effortlessly through my fingers, and worked up perfectly on a #6 US as the label recommends.

Upon inspection of the ball, my initial thought was that this yarn would behave similarly to a 100% linen yarn. But because of the blend of silk, cotton and viscose, I discovered that this fiber has a soft hand and a flexible drape, making this the perfect fiber choice for an elegant summer skirt or shell.

Rowan Purelife Revive works up perfectly on a #6 US needles.

I didn’t feel the need to continue swatching with a smaller or a larger needle, because Rowan was right on the money with a #6 US, as you can see from my swatch above. The knit stitches were even and of the right density for my taste.

SWTC Therapi
30% bowlder, (jadeite fiber)/50% wool/
20% silk, 50g/100m.

I found Therapi, a worsted weight yarn by SWTC to have a happy, springy feel, that creates very even stitches. I would recommend a #7 US needle as noted on the label. This yarn is a bit heavier than the two mentioned above, so I think it would be suitable for creating an open work shawl or wrap.

SWTC Therapi creates even and springy knit stitches on a #7 US needle.


3 Responses to Reuse, Recycle, Rep From *

  1. Leana says:

    I am rather new to knitting, but eager to learn. What are the ‘edge stitches’ mentioned in the article about gauge? I also see it on the swatches above.

    • Kara says:

      Hi Leana,
      The edge and bottom stitches are worked in garter stitch. (Knit every row) What I do is, knit the first 2-3 stitches, and then knit the last 2-3 stitches on every row, with the stitches in the middle worked in stockinette. This helps the swatch lay nice and flat after blocking, This avoids the edges from curling, which is common when working in stockinette stitch.

      Hope this helps!

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