Yarns made with recycled content are a relatively new but growing segment of the yarn manufacturing world, and Lion Brand's offering in the category is Recycled Cotton, a blend of recycled cotton yarn and acrylic fiber that's soft, easy to work with and lighter on the planet than other cotton yarns.
Cotton is one of the most pesticide-intensive agriculture products out there, and while recycled cotton doesn't keep those chemicals from being used, as least it keeps waste from T-shirt production out of the waste stream.
- Content: 74 percent recycled cotton, 24 percent acrylic, 2 percent other fiber
- Yarn weight: Medium
- Gauge: Ball band says 18 stitches and 24 rows per 4 inches on size 8 US knitting needles; I got 16 stitches and 34 rows per 4 inches on size 8 needles.
- Yardage: 185 yards per 3.5 ounce (100 gram) ball
- Color availability: 7 multicolored yarns
- Color used in swatch: Sunshine
- Care instructions: Machine wash cool, lay flat to dry. Do not iron or bleach.
From the look of Lion Brand's recycled cotton yarn, I had certain expectations that it would be a little rough and maybe hard to work with, like a more traditional kitchen cotton sometimes can be. But I was pleasantly surprised from the beginning working with this yarn.
It is very soft and nice to work with, producing relatively even stitches and a fabric with a slightly silky feel thanks to the added acrylic fiber. The yarn has a pretty nice drape, doesn't curl much in Stockinette Stitch and produced very little splitting when worked with aluminum needles (the yarn is made of nine strands twisted together).
The colors of this yarn are very interesting as well, with four different colored threads twisted together. Lion Brand says it separates the remnants it receives form T-shirt factories into different colors and blends them into the yarns, minimizing the amount of dye that is needed in the process and producing lovely tweedy yarns.
Uses for Lion Brand Recycled Cotton
While I was knitting the swatch for this review, all I wanted to do was knit dishcloths and baby bibs. But the softness of the yarn means it would be great for less utilitarian projects, too, such as baby clothes (especially in this cute yellow color) or anything you want to knit for summer.
You might even consider throws or summery shawls and accessories like grocery totes knit from this yarn (thus causing it to serve double-green duty if you use a knit bag instead of a plastic or paper one).
As of this writing Recycled Cotton was retailing for around $4.50 a ball, which is not bad for the yardage it contains. A project like a sweater for a child might be completed with just two balls, giving you a great gift or a useful garment for your own child for less than $10.
This versatile yarn is sure to become a favorite among people who like to knit with cotton but want to lessen the impact of their knitting choices on the planet. The colors are great, the knitting is easy and the finished results are lovely.