When produced using conventional methods, cotton fiber (whether for yarn or T-shirts) is one of the most environmentally intensive fiber products out there. Lots of pesticides and fertilizers are typically used on cotton, so it's not a great choice for people who are interested in the health of the environment.
But organic cotton yarns are becoming ever more popular, both in garments and in yarn. Galler Yarns has produced an organic cotton, thick and thin yarn available in the natural color as well as a range of colors dyed with low-impact dyes to produce a greener yarn that knitters will love to use.
About the Yarn
- Content: 100 percent organic cotton
- Yarn weight: medium
- Yardage: 140 yards per 100 gram skein
- Gauge: Ball band says 4.5 to 5 stitches per inch on size 8 US (5 mm) knitting needles; I got 4.25 stitches and 5 rows per inch (17 stitches and 20 rows per 4 inches) on size 8 needles
- Color availability: natural ecru and 14 solids colored with eco-friendly dye
- Color used in swatch: Aloe
- Care instructions: hand wash, dry flat, do not bleach; low iron is OK
Before even winding this skein I knew that I was in for a treat with Inca-Eco. This yarn is really soft, and not just compared to the other cotton yarns you've knit with. There is no trace of this yarn's kitchen cotton cousins in the squishy hand of this yarn.
It's a thick and thin yarn, when means that the stitches are naturally going to be uneven and bumpy. There's only one part, right in the middle of my swatch, where a stitch came out excessively big that annoys me; otherwise I think it's a nice effect. The rows have a slightly wavy quality that's nice, like rippling water.
This yarn is really easy and nice to work with and knit up quickly and without incident on my aluminum needles. It showed little curl in Stockinette Stitch.
I didn't measure it, but it seemed to me like the swatch got a lot wider after I washed it, so make sure you treat your swatch the way you'd treat your finished garment before you decide what your gauge is.
Uses for Inca-Eco
This yarn would be a great choice for any summertime garments you might be planning. I would love to use it to make a Child's Cotton Shrug, or to upsize that garment for an adult. It would also be great for simple tank tops of T-shirt style knits for kids or adults.
I could also envision using this fun yarn for a simple striped baby blanket for a summer baby, or if you really wanted to go all out, as a colorful and eco-friendly picnic blanket.
It would also be great to use for accessories like bags. Or try it in a simple cowl to add a little fun to any outfit.
Galler Yarns Inca-Eco is a pretty, soft, easy-to-work with yarn that's also easier on the environment than the vast majority of cotton knitting yarns out there. This lovely yarn would be a great addition to your stash and a wonderful yarn to use for a variety of projects.
As of this writing, Inca-Eco was retailing for about $12 a skein (you can find retailers that stock the yarn on the company's website), which would make a basic sleeveless top for a medium-sized woman run about $60. That's pretty steep, but you'd love knitting that project and wearing it for years to come. (And a project for a child would be a lot less expensive, of course.)