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Wool versus Cotton in warmer climates?

Dear SweaterBabe,

I live in southern California, so I've knitted with primarily cotton blends. There are gorgeous yarns containing alpaca and wool.

What are the pros and cons of these fibers especially for someone that lives in an area that stays warm throughout the year?

-- Minerva, from the SweaterBabe.com Knitting Club

Dear Minerva,

I think that yarns can be such a personal choice... what feels good to knit with, what feels good against your skin when wearing, how much time you have to care for your knitwear, etc.

I live in Los Angeles, as you may already know, and the weather has been so warm this year! I do wear my non-cotton items, but not as much as I'd like because I work from home (vs. the offices I used to work in that would be so heavily air-conditioned that I could wear scarves and wool sweaters almost year-round!).

I choose to knit mostly with alpaca blends, merino wool blends, etc. because I personally don't find many cottons that feel good to knit with. Cotton does not have as much elasticity as wool and it makes my hands ache after a little bit of knitting, whereas I never have that issue with wool!

I also like the look of alpaca and wool blends. They look more expensive to me and therefore make my finished knitwear more luxurious. . . but that is my own perception.

What do you think?

The other thing about cotton is that it is often a bit heavy compared to the lightness of alpaca and merino. Totally depends on the blend, of course, but I like lighter sweaters.

I'm sure there are opinions across the board on this topic!  Please chime in! 

-- SweaterBabe

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