I was recently given the chance to try a 3-pack organic cotton yarn set from Appalachian Baby Design; I chose the "Woodland" color set of Silver, Doe and Natural to knit a modified version of the Hill and Holler Baby Cardigan.
It's been a while since I've knit with cotton yarn, mostly because some of the other brands I've tried have been stiff and really hard on my hands. I've found that the better quality of yarn, the easier it is to work with, and this yarn was nice and supple, as you would expect from an organically-produced yarn.
But that's not the only reason you can feel good about using this yarn: the folks at Appalachian Baby Designs work with small-scale U.S. sustainable family-owned cotton farms, sheep ranches and family-owned mills to produce each ball of yarn. They know the producer’s name and farm for each bale of cotton that they purchase, and the fibers are certified organic under the US Department of Agriculture National Organic program.
That's pretty impressive when you consider the fact that organic cotton represents only 1% of the global cotton production, which means that conventionally-grown cotton is the norm. Unfortunately, conventionally-grown cotton is extremely hard on the environment, employing tons of pesticides, herbicides, miticides and petroleum-based fertilizers. (You can learn more about their organic cotton here).
Getting back to my project, I wanted to knit a two-color baby sweater and decided to make the smallest size of the Hill and Holler Baby Cardigan. I ended up using up every bit of the main color of yarn (Natural), making just a few modifications along the way such as using the contrast color for the sleeve cuffs and shawl collar, and shortening the sleeves a bit overall. I think the resulting sweater is adorable, and the short sleeves kind of work (babies do have short, chubby arms after all!). I was also pretty thrilled to find the perfect buttons in my stash to put the finishing touch on this project.
I didn't have a chance to wash the sweater just yet, but I love the fact that this yarn is both machine washable and dryable - and I am sure that whomever I gift this to will feel the same way!
Click here to check out the Appalachian Baby Designs Site - they also have some adorable project kits and other fun patterns for these extra-special yarns!
You may like to know: I was provided free product in exchange for this blog post. All opinions & ideas are my own!