Note: As far as I can tell, this yarn is no longer being produced.
Nashua Handknits is known for producing lovely yarns that combine natural fibers and creative designs. Their Natural Focus Ecologie Cotton fits right in as a naturally dyed cotton yarn that's super soft, easy to work with and lovely to touch and to wear.
- Content: 100 percent Pima cotton
- Yarn weight: Light
- Gauge: Ball band says 20 stitches and 26 per 4 inches on size 6 U.S. knitting needles; I got 21 stitches and 28 rows per 4 inches on size 6 needles.
- Yardage: 110 yards per 50 gram ball
- Color availability: 7 naturally dyed multis
- Color used in swatch: NFE.0080 (Chestnut)
- Care instructions: Hand wash cold, lay flat to dry. No bleach, cool iron when needed.
I haven't used a lot of Nashua Handknits' yarns, but I have liked every one that I've had a chance to use. The Natural Focus Ecologie Yarn is a beautiful cotton that's soft and silky (thanks to the long staple length of the Pima cotton that's used) and pretty easy to work with.
I did experience just a bit of splitting when working up my swatch with long-pointed plastic needles, mostly when I wasn't really paying attention to what I was doing. For the most part, though, this yarn produced extremely even stitches and beautiful stitch definition.
The subtle play of colors on the surface of the knit fabric is nice, and I didn't really experience any pooling in my swatch. The curl of the Stockinette Stitch went out almost entirely after blocking.
The yarn is nice and soft, with a feel a bit like rayon or silk even though it's 100 percent cotton. It feels nice against the skin and has a fair bit of stretch, which should make garments knit with it very comfortable.
Uses for Natural Focus Ecologie Cotton
I imagine using Nashua Handknits Natural Focus Ecologie Cotton for a summery sweater that could take the wearer into fall as well. It would be one of those durable but pretty sweaters that you want to throw on every time you're leaving the house.
The yarn would also be a good choice for projects for kids, but keep in mind that the care instructions recommend against machine washing.
While it's a beauty even in a simple stitch pattern, the great definition means it would be a great choice for cables and other textured knitting as well.
I found Ecologie Cotton online for a little less than $9 a ball. It's not what most would consider an inexpensive choice, especially if you're making a project for an adult or something with a lot of texture.
But any projects you make with this yarn are sure to stand the test of time and become favorites that you go back to again and again. And the use of natural dyes assures you that this lovely garment you've made also has less impact on the planet than the same project knit with a less expensive or less thoughtfully made yarn might.