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Cotton Fiber Yarn find Summer and Spring Love

There are many fiber choices out there when selecting a yarn for one’s project. With Spring and Summer on the horizon we turn our focus to the fibers that love these seasons the most. While there are many other fibers that you can use during the Spring and Summer months, cotton is one of our favorites. While we enjoy merino wool, we typically reserve these fiber for the Fall and Winter months depending on the weather where you live.

One of the reason that cotton is such a great fiber for Spring and Summer is that cotton is a natural fiber. Like many natural fibers cotton breathes. Because it breathes it allows the air to flow. The flowing air is typically a key component to wicking the body and keeping it cool during the Spring and Summer months. It is also a light and flexible fiber that is typically very soft. There are different quality cottons with Pima Cotton being one of the best, and yes Cascade Yarns always has a nice selection of Pima Cottons for us to choose from. Because of the varying qualities of cotton fibers each type of cotton has different benefits.

Pima Cotton is a little stiffer than other yarns, giving the yarn a body and form that most cottons can not offer. But, remember if you are looking for a highly flexible limp type yarn — typically Pima Cotton can not offer this.

Which project will you be working on during the spring and summer months? Who will it be for. Do you have a pattern yet? See ours.

Share your answers with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of information with your friends or family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

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Take the Biden 100 Day Mask Challenge

Biden has challenged US to wear masks for the first 100 days of his presidency. If you have been wanting a national pandemic plan, it would seem as if one is well on its way, beginning with this challenge. Before he even took office Biden was challenging Americans to take the 100 day Mask Challenge. How has your state dealt with the pandemic? How do you think a national plan may or may not help? Have you knitted or crocheted your own mask? Do you still wear woven masks?

You can Make your Own Mask & Learn about classes and our knit along…

knitted mask shidonna raven patterns and publications
MAKE A KNITTED MASK
knitted mask shidonna raven patterns and publications

Or get your Ergonomic and No Fog on Glasses Mask – Already Made

Share your answers with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of information with your friends or family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

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History of the Humble Granny Square

Shidonna Raven Garden and Cook Granny Squares

Source: Le Petite Saint Crochet
Feature Photo Source: Unsplash, Nasim-Keshmiri

Granny squares are timeless. They have the ability to be old fashioned and modern all at the same time. Some falsely believe the granny square was only popular in the 1970s but that is far from the truth. The first published record we have of the granny square is from the Butterick Publishing Co. from 1891. A description for how to make them was described in wonderful detail but with no written pattern, only a small engraving.

Although no one knows when the granny square was invented it definitely gained popularity in the Depression Era as a way for women to use up scraps of yarn. There are even descriptions of American frontier women who took sweaters and socks that were no longer useful and carefully unraveled them to crochet small squares. They were then given to the older women of the house, or grannies, as they were called, to sew them together.

There are many ways to give your granny squares an updated modern look by using a modern color scheme and modern yarn choices. Consider this yarn.

What will you make with your granny squares? Have you considered re-purposing yarn from items such as torn sweaters? Why? Why not?

Share your answers with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of information with your friends or family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

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Merino Wool – Sheep Breed

Source: Art News
Feature Photo Source: Unsplash, Anders Jacobsen

The fleece of Merino sheep is soft and fine, resulting in a wool that’s more pleasant on the skin than regular wool. It’s easy to see why these natural fibers are favored by knitters and crocheters, being an ideal material to turn into cozy, plush, and warm creations. Merino has been a long time favorite of ours too, so we understand. Below are a few of our favorite yarn picks for the knitter, crocheter and yarnie in you:

Pick out a pattern to work your merino yarn up in. Will it be for you or someone else? Will you win the free pattern comment and survey contest? We hope the lucky winner is you. View our previous weeks article to learn more.

Share your answers with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of information with your friends or family by sharing this article with 3 people today. As always you are the best part of what we do. Keep sharing.

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What is Pima Cotton

pima cotton

by Amy Ramos June 04, 2018 3 min read

We’re all about cotton around here, and for good reason. Breathable, durable, and oh-so cool to the touch, cotton makes for some crisp sheets that we just can’t get enough of.

But what about Pima cotton sheets?

We make our sheets out of Supima cotton (for a lot of really good reasons), but Pima cotton gets a lot of curiosity.

What is Pima Cotton?

Pima cotton is a higher-end type of cotton with a longer fiber than conventional cotton. It has a reputation for producing a smooth fabric that’s soft to the touch, wrinkle-resistant, and ultra-durable.

For those who like numbers, Pima cotton fibers measure between 1.4 to 2 inches in length, while conventional cotton fibers measure up to 1.1 inches long. Pima cotton fabric comes out softer and more durable than if it were made from a shorter staple cotton.

Manufacturers say that Pima cotton has a 50% longer life expectancy than other cotton products. It’s also great for people who have sensitive skin!

Staple (length and quality of Pima)

Where is Pima Cotton Grown?

Pima cotton is primarily grown in three different areas:

  • The southwestern regions of the United States
  • Australia
  • Peru

Pima cotton originated in Peru, but it gained its name after the Pima Indians, who helped raise the cotton in the United States.

Myth Bust: High Thread Count ≠ Better Quality

How to Spot Pima Cotton

Unfortunately, the biggest problem with Pima cotton isn’t its quality, it’s that the market has been saturated with a TON of fakes. Similar to the issues with Egyptian cotton (90% of Egyptian cotton is fake), there are many instances in which manufacturers are saying something is Pima cotton, when in reality it’s maybe a 20% Pima cotton blend.

You pay a premium price, and you get the short end of the stick — Pima cotton sheets that aren’t really Pima cotton sheets.

Why We Love Supima

These issues with quality control in Pima cotton sheets are EXACTLY why we love Supima cotton. Supima cotton has a similar quality to Pima cotton, if not better, but it actually gets verified by a third party.

What’s even better is that all Supima cotton is grown right here in the US and verified by the Supima Association. This insanely luxe cotton produces a fiber that’s just as soft and durable as Pima cotton, but with no fillers allowed. Supima cotton sheets are crisp, cool, and the most luxe on the market.

The result? You get awesome sheets, with none of the finger-crossing, hoping and praying.

Supima Cotton
Pros:
Verified authentic by the Supima® Association
Makes insanely soft and cool sheets
Grown ONLY in America
Consistent quality
The softest and most durable cotton available
Cons:
More expensive than Egyptian cotton
Egyptian Cotton
Pros:
Very soft and durable (if it’s the real thing)
Smoother than cheaper sheets
Good quality (if you’re getting the real thing — but there’s no way to know)
Cons:
90% of Egyptian Cotton is fake
Grown in China or India more than Egypt
Expensive for cotton of questionable origin
You’re paying for the label, not necessarily quality
Pima Cotton
Pros:
Very soft and durable
Smoother than cheaper sheets
Generally good quality and often grown in USA
Cons:
May be grown abroad
Not monitored by 3rd party organizations
Not as smooth as Supima cotton
May be blended with cheaper cotton

Source: Authenticity 50

At Shidonna Raven, we know that the projects you knit and crochet are priceless. So, we explore here options like Pima Cotton that give your projects the longevity that your love ones will treasure for years. Shop our Patterns & Publications and begin a project your family and friends will treasure for years to come. Have you tried Pima Cotton prior? What do you think? Share your answers with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of information with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today.

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Washing vs Blocking Wool

wools shdionna raven patterns and publications

As you probably know, one of my students completed a beautiful baby blanket for a new addition to the family. She purchased beautiful wool yarn from Cascade Yarns. She asked me about blocking the blanket and then told me she had washed it, which are too different things. Cascade Yarns has a beautiful selection of yarns. Some of their wools are even washable: superwash. So, I thought, let me give it a little more information. Before we get too far, there are a couple of ways to block:

  • Steam Blocking
  • Spray Blocking
  • Wet Blocking

If you would like to learn more about the differences, just ask or leave a comment and expect a reply. The important thing to remember whenever blocking or washing wool is”

  • Be careful with the water. Just use as much water as you need. Less is more in this area.
  • Be careful not to agitate the wool. Normally agitation is good in washing because that is how the dirt gets loosen. Again, in the case of wool, less of this is more.
  • Be careful to keep the temperature as cool as possible.

All of the three proceeding things done too much will encourage felting, which is totally different than your traditional wool fabric as you know. This applies to both blocking and washing wool. So, what is the best way to wash wools:

  • Fill a clean sink with lukewarm water
  • Add wool detergent
  • Squeeze your wool gently and allow to soak. Do not wring your wool as this will cause damage to your fabric.
  • Once the wool is clean lay it out on top of a towel. Roll the wool up into the towel and press the water out into the towel.
  • Lay your wool out on a new dry towel and allow to dry. Bobbles or pills will appear in small amounts on your wool due to agitation. This is natural. Use a shaver or comb to remove any bobbles or pills.

Would you like to learn more about blocking? Great, just ask or leave a comment. How long have you been crocheting or knitting? What is your favorite blocking method, why? Share your answers with the community by posting them below. Share the wealth of information with your friends and family by sharing this article with 3 people today.