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View Full Version : Need yarn suggestions - washable and warm?


isabeau
10-06-2007, 02:43 AM
So my mom has decided that, since I'm doing a bunch of knitting and all, she really wants me to knit her a tea cosy, for her teapot.

She likes the feel of a double-knit hotpad I just finished -- and thinks the double layer would be good for keeping in warmth -- but part of the fun of double-knit things is the reversible design, which you don't really get with a tea cosy. I'm thinking maybe a thicker yarn done on smaller needles, or something, but ... I don't know.

She wants it to be machine washable -- something that needs cold would probably be okay, but she'd be much happier with something she can just toss in. (And, er, that won't come out felted the first time she does :teehee:)

So, uh, any suggestions for what would be good? (Either general types of yarn, material/weight/etc., or specific brands/styles.)

Thanks in advance ^_^ :knitting:

MaleKnitter
10-06-2007, 03:06 AM
Well, I would suggest a cotton yarn. Since you are making something to fit over a hot teapot then acrylic may not be a great idea as it could melt. Cotton yarn can take heat very well, it is soft to touch, it will not felt in the wash, it doesnt stretch out of shape, and (my mom buys me soooo much cotton because of this) you can wash and dry it a million times. As simple as can be and it always comes out with nice even stitches and it's clean and ready to use again.
You can buy cotton (peaches & cream) at any walmart and your LYS is sure to have nice cotton in stock (i have only ever bought peaches & cream worsted weight so i know very little about the other brands)

Yarnlady
10-06-2007, 08:54 AM
I'd suggest a nice washable wool. Encore is a wool/acrylic blend. Cascade makes a nice washable wool. WoolEase is less expensive and is a wool/acrylic blend, too. Use a bit larger than called for needle, I would think. The more air (space betwen the sts) in the fabric the more it'll insulate. Lots of tea cozy's are ribbed, which adds the extra air, too as well has helping it fit the tea pot. Google some patterns and see what the yarn suggestions are.

Ingrid
10-06-2007, 08:54 AM
How about a felted tea cozy? http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring06/PATTteacosy.html

suzeeq
10-06-2007, 09:34 AM
Double knitting doesn't have to have a design; there's another kind that's two layers which could be made in different colors. Also, a teapot wouldn't generate enough heat to melt acrylic. I think it would have to be over 500 degrees to do so. It doesn't melt when used for a hot pad or in the dryer...

of troy
10-06-2007, 09:56 AM
warmth (the ability to insulate) comes from several sources.

the yarn (llama and alpaca yarns are warmer than wools, wools are warmer than cottons)

and how the yarn is worked--the stitch or the technique.

Insulation works in different ways
some block the transfer of heat by using materials that aren't good conductors (a glass thermos bottle is one example--)

but an almost as effective way to insulate is to trap air.
(air is both a conductor and an insulator!)

trapped air is why thin nylon stocking feel surprizingly warm.. unless is windy..
the mesh of the nylon traps a thin (very thin!) layer of air next to your legs (but on windy days, the air is blown away)

so to make a warm item (be it a garment or a tea cosy) think about deeply textured stitches that trap air.
and even lacy stitches can work.. if the lace has fine holes.

like the mesh of nylon, lace can work by creating pockets of trapped warm air... but that won't work if there are drafts! if there are drafts (or winds!) you need several layers to trap the warm air and protect it from air movement.

Ribbing works--(especially if it's not to stretched)
a variety of slip stitches work
simple double knitting works..(or any stitch/technique that creates layers--including fair isle, too!)

even lace will work--if the location isn't too drafty.
(which is why a super fine light weight shawl, (folded, to create 2 layers, can be so warm... (but lightly draped, not too hot!)

all these will trap the warm air and keep you (or your tea!) cozy.

Jan in CA
10-06-2007, 12:08 PM
There are quite a few washable wool yarns that would be good. The price varies a lot.

isabeau
10-06-2007, 03:53 PM
Thank you all for the suggestions :muah: I now have some (cold-water-)washable wool that's a heck of a lot softer/silkier than I expected... I'll see what comes out of it \o/

(And I considered a felted one, but felting scares me.)