A few weeks ago I pulled some long forgotten cotton yarns out of my stash and thought I had better do something useful with them. Very quickly I realised why they were long forgotten – I don’t particularly like working with 4ply weight mercerised cotton! I decided that crochet would be the quickest solution, and spent some time looking out patterns.
The first yarn was actually one that I quite like working with, Rowan Handknit Cotton. It’s a lovely smooth cotton that falls somewhere between a DK and Aran weight. I found a pattern on Ravelry for crocheted washcloths in a really simple stitch, and managed to get two cloths out of one ball of yarn. They’ve gone into the Christmas gift box, probably to be wrapped up with some nice soap.
Next was another yarn that I quite like, but which is very splitty – Rowan Milk Cotton DK. I should have made things easier on myself and chosen a knitting project, but instead I went for crochet because it works up faster. I opted for a baby blanket, which was billed as an easy pattern using groups of treble stitches. Somehow I managed to mess this up, and my rectangular blanket started to look a bit triangular at the edges after only a few rows. I managed to recover the lost stitches however, and finished the blanket with a simple improvised shell edging. This is the hardest colour to photograph, a soft purple which looks brown in a lot of pictures. The blanket used all six balls of yarn from my stash, and is a decent size for a baby moses basket or car seat.
The final project was one which I regretted starting at times. I had a ball of Patons 100% Cotton 4ply and a ball of Sirdar Pure Cotton 4ply, both of which are mercerised cottons in shades of blue. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with them, but I knew that it had to be crochet in order to use the maximum amount of yarn in the shortest possible amount of time. Browsing through old issues of Crochet Now, I found the Storm Shawl by Annelies Baes. The original was knitted in a woolly yarn, but I thought it might possibly work in cotton. The first dozen rows of the shawl were quite difficult, and at several points I almost unravelled it all and gave up. However once the basic shape was established, the pattern was very intuitive and easy to follow. I omitted the last pattern repeat mainly because I couldn’t be bothered crocheting any more, and finished with the border row as set. I’m not sure how much I like the finished result – it’s a lovely pattern but I get the feeling that it would work better in wool than in cotton. It was a great stash buster though, and helped me develop my crochet skills.
After all that, I still had several other balls of Patons 100% Cotton yarn in 4ply and DK. I really couldn’t bring myself to make anything else with them, so they have gone to the charity shop. All in all, a successful stash bust!