All Access Exclusive

Four Ways to Use Your Handspun Cotton

Tried your hand at spinning cotton, but not sure what to make? Check out this inspiring collection of swoon-worthy cotton projects to weave, knit, and crochet.

Spin Off Editorial Staff Jun 19, 2024 - 5 min read

Four Ways to Use Your Handspun Cotton Primary Image

Use your handspun cotton to weave this colorful, sturdy blanket with bold stripes and a soft spot-lace texture. Photos by Matt Graves unless otherwise noted

Whether you’re new to spinning cotton, or you have a stash of cotton yarn that you’re not sure what to do with, have we got some ideas for you! As this month’s bonus, current All Access subscribers can log in below to instantly access instructions for four sensational projects that use cotton.

Diamonds & Rust Scarf by Rachel Simmons

Create this wearable work of art on a rigid-heddle loom using natural-colored cotton. Photo by Caleb Young

Weaver Rachel Simmons admits to rarely using cotton unless she’s making kitchen linens. But she tasked herself with creating cloth using undyed, minimally processed natural-colored cotton, in a surprising natural range of color, and created a scarf with a mix of freeform and structured weaving to evoke an earthy feeling of growth. According to Rachel, “The fabric woven from this cotton is soft and light, perfect for a cool spring day before the heat of summer takes hold.” Clasped weft with overshot on a rigid-heddle loom using natural-colored cotton in dark green and dark brown; finished size: 14 ¼" x 67 ½", with 4 ½" fringe.

Mademoiselle Riego’s Slip-Stitch Crochet Gloves by Nancy Nehring

Crocheters will recognize the basic elements of this 1854 crochet glove pattern, but subtle differences distinguish it from today’s patterns.

A vintage 1854 pattern, featuring slip-stitch crochet, provides the stretchy structure for Nancy Nehring’s charming crocheted gloves. As is typical for the nineteenth century, the gloves use laceweight yarn; are worked entirely in slip-stitch crochet, which was common then but is rarely used today; and come in only one size. Nancy’s gloves use an 80% cotton/20% Merino blend and are shown in size small, which fits a hand circumference of about 7" (18 cm) and hand length, including cuff, of about 6" (15 cm)—but suggestions are included in the pattern on how to change gauge or add rows to obtain medium and large sizes.

Berry Harvest Blanket by Malynda Allen

Mix a combination of drool-worthy colors to create this gorgeous woven blanket.

Inspired by the backyard berries that Malynda Allen’s family enjoys picking in the summer, this sturdy cotton blanket features bold berry-colored stripes, pinstripes for leaves and foliage, and a soft spot-lace texture reminiscent of berry seeds. Plain weave with warp floats on a rigid-heddle loom in six colors; finished size (after wet-finishing, assembling, and hemming) 59 ½" x 59 ½”, though instructions include steps for creating a reduced-width version.

Clematis Lace Project to Spin and Knit by Melvenea Hodges

A lace centerpiece design from the early twentieth century knitted in handspun cotton.

Not long after Melvenea Hodges began spinning cotton, she found an unusual cotton sliver at a fiber festival and wondered if she should try to spin the luxurious fiber into a fine thread. Upon spinning the 300 yards of cotton laceweight, she sought out a project to use it right away and settled on this Clematis Lace knitting pattern, based on an original pattern by early-twentieth-century designer Christine Duchrow. In addition to the pattern for the knitted doily, Melvenea shares her spinning notes plus tips for sizing the yarn before or after knitting to help combat wear and tear.

We hope you’ll enjoy this collection of cotton patterns in this All Access exclusive. We’d love to see what you create! Share photos of your finished piece on any social platform using #spinoffmagazine, or send them to us via our email address.

Happy spinning!

Access the Diamonds & Rust Scarf, Mademoiselle Riego’s Slip-Stitch Crochet Gloves, the Berry Harvest Blanket, and the Clematis Lace Project.

Enjoy this collection of cotton patterns in this All Access exclusive.

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