Handspun cotton can be used to create cloth with a cool, silky drape or a project that is as warm and luxurious as cashmere. However, spinners often shy away from using handspun cotton for knitting. They may say that it doesn’t have the loft and elasticity of wool or that it is hard to spin into a consistent yarn.
As with all fibers, these challenges can be managed with practice and skill. My best advice is to experiment by spinning many different types of cotton on many spindles and wheels. Creating the best cotton yarn for knitting is a creative spinning challenge. As you become comfortable with cotton, you’ll discover its strengths and weaknesses as well as your preferences.
The Chameleon Shawl can be adjusted to suit different yarns and gauges, making it a perfect project to pair with your handspun cotton explorations. The pattern is designed as a formula that allows you to use your senses and intuition to guide shawl construction. I call it a “chameleon” because it can adapt to whatever cotton yarn you spin. Add as many visual changes as you want by changing yarn colors or stitch-pattern intervals.