amy's thread · inspiration · make this · yarn

Amy’s Thread: The New Construction of Summer Knitting

I have a great big yarn crush on chainette yarns right now. I may even be a little obsessed. For years I’ve had a personal struggle with cotton yarns – I love (LOVE!) to wear cotton sweaters in the summer but I find knitting with cotton less appealing than wool. 


Cotton and cotton blend yarns are constructed of shorter fibers and these are tightly spun to create a strong thread. These threads can be plied together or they can be knitted to created a stronger thread.



A good way to think about this would be to compare the yarn construction to fabrics. The plied yarn is similar to a woven fabric – like denim or chambray – it’s strong and wears beautifully but it has no give.



A chainette construction yarn is just like a knitted i-cord. The yarn behaves like a knitted fabric. So, much like a jersey t-shirt,  it stretches and gives and will usually recover its shape. The texture of fabrics knitted with chainette yarns is lighter and often softer than a traditional plied yarn, but it retains that crisp characteristic we love with cotton fibers.


Chock from Norah Gaughan Vol 14
Chock from Norah Gaughan vol. 14 knit in Maya



Berroco Karma is a great example of this. Garments knit in this yarn work up quickly at a gauge of 3 stitches to the inch. The resulting garments are wearable, like sweatshirts – they’re cozy without being too heavy or too warm.


Karma- Shade 3463 "Prussian Blue"
Detail of Clem knit in Karma


Berroco Maya is a unique yarn. The super soft pima cotton has been combed with a bit of alpaca to give it a subtle halo that adds a little warmth without obscuring the stitch definition. It’s as versatile to knit with as it is wearable. You can use it as a substitute for any project calling for 5 stitches to the inch, which makes it an especially good alternative for any patterns using Berroco Linsey or even Ultra Alpaca if you’re looking to summer-ize a wintery pattern.


Mallow from
Mallow from


6 thoughts on “Amy’s Thread: The New Construction of Summer Knitting

  1. I’m a big fan of Weekend because it creates such a strong fiber and it’s machine washable with that acrylic/cotton blend. I also loved Versa and just knit up a tee in it that I adore. So sad it is discontinued 🙁

  2. I knit several shawls using the berroco yarns. They all came out looking great and I gave them to my female relatives. I enjoyed working with the pattern and the yarn

  3. Where is the pattern for that fabulous “baby blue fringed Cowl” from your May 12, 2014 blog?

Leave a Reply