my favorite summer cottons plus free shipping!

April 15, 2022

This was a popular post last year and I decided to update it a bit and bring it back. I positively love knitting with cotton and over the years I have tried many and naturally have my favorites.  If you don't often knit with cotton because you think it might be tough on your hands, I hear you. I don't like that either. The yarns that I recommend below are gentle to knit, promise

My favorite cotton yarns are from Rowan who manufacture the finest cotton yarns available to the hand knitter. Rowan is a British yarn brand best known for their beautiful wool, but their cotton yarns selections are fabulous. This weekend, April 15-18,  Rowan is offering free shipping on all your orders--no minimum! 

Here are my yarns in LOVE order with project and links to yarn and my Rav page.

Rowan Handknit Cotton is by far my favorite cotton yarn. The handle is soft and easy on the hands, machine washable (I even put it in the dryer), the colors are gorgeous and it is value priced and long wearing. My sweaters knitted many years ago are still in rotation--and they look great. I have knit 21 garments with Handknit Cotton and am not done. This is a cool cotton and I can wear it on a warm day. Below are three of my Handknit Cotton sweaters.


Love Note


Rowan Softyak DK is wonderful in every way and is my favorite DK weight yarn ever! It is also my 4 year old grandson's favorite yarn. It is soft obviously or he wouldn't like it, and for the knitter, this glides though the hands like a silk stocking and loves any needle you throw at it. The stitch definition is divine and perfect for anything from stockinette to cables and lace. Garter stitch holds up well in this too. It is not particularly value priced, but definitely not an overpriced yarn. My earlier sweaters knit with this continue to look beautiful, and children's garments hold up well and can be passed on, even after a season of hard wear. The colors can be muted because of the yak fiber, but there are quite a few brights and some lovely pastels as well. I have made 28 garments out of Softyak DK and many more to go! I love it for hats and children's garments, but I knit garments for me as well. This is an all-season yarn for our climate and while I cannot wear this on a warm day, it works great for a chilly summer evening. I would love to see this in a fingering weight. FYI, I can get a gauge of 20-22 stitches per 4 inches depending on my needle size. The fabric is pretty for 20, 21, or 22, so do a test swatch to see what you like. I hand wash and flat dry my Softyak garments, but it's not a disaster if they end up in the washer and dryer, but they will last longer if hand washed. Below see some of my Softyak DK garments. 

Alaskan Pullover

Silver Birch

Vinicunca Hat

The Golden Hour

Rowan Summerlite 4 ply and Summerlite DK are perhaps the finest of all hand knitting cotton yarns due to the excellent quality of the cotton plus it's very well priced for such quality. It feels like well-behaved silk when knitting and wonderful when wearing. Summerlite is soft yet sturdy. The yarn can go in the washing machine, and I also put it in the dryer using some precautions, see below. I've knit 7 garments with Summerlite so far. Summerlite comes in both DK and 4 ply weights and the colors are gorgeous with a good mix of neutrals, pastels and brights. Summerlite feels cool when wearing and I can wear it on a warm day. For the DK cotton I can knit a pretty fabric from 21-23 stitches per 4 inches depending on my needle size. I feel the 4 ply can work from 24 to 29 stitches per 4 inches and still have a good, firm fabric. Below are a few of my knits using Summerlite. 

Tulip Romper



Rowan Creative Linen is a 50/50 blend of cotton and linen. With so much linen in the mix it is amazingly easy on the hands. The linen gives this cotton yarn some muscle and it will work up into anything beautifully--shawls, tees, cabled cardigans, you name it. The finished garment has a cool feel next to the skin and I can wear this on a warm day. This is a well-priced yarn, not exactly value priced, but the yardage is excellent and the garment will be long wearing and would be a great choice for something summery. The colors are clear and bright and the white is a beaut.

Lila Top Down


Rowan Cotton Cashmere is a gorgeous yarn that is mostly cotton with a touch of cashmere. It has wonderful tactile appeal because it feels so tender and soft in the ball. It is easy on the hands and feels almost suede-like while knitting and the fabric too comes off with a bit of a smooth, suedyish feel. The colors tend to be soft. It makes a good transition sweater as it's one of the warmer cottons to me. I have knit five garments with this yarn and I can wear them in spring and fall and also on cooler summer nights. 

White Horse



I've added links below to the Rowan site so you can read descriptions, get yardage, see colors, plus shop with free shipping starting today and ending on Monday,  April 15-18.

Click here to view all Rowan yarns 

Handknit Cotton

Softyak DK

Summerlite DK

Summerlite 4-ply

Creative Linen

Cotton Cashmere

As for care, you should always follow ball band directions, but I'll confess I often don't. I'm comfortable putting my knitted cotton garments in the washing machine (inside out, in a mesh bag with the setting on gentle with cool water) and sometimes even pop them in a dryer on the lowest setting. The sweaters last longer if you hand wash and dry flat, but sometimes I'm in a hurry. Also, I find a 10 minute pop in a low dryer fluffs the garment back into shape and then it can finish drying flat.  

Hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite cottons. Please let me know your favorites. If you'd like to make a comment, please scroll down or click here.

Happy summer knitting, 


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