Elafonisos island, Greece, summer

Summer crochet – your ultimate bikini yarns guide. Part I.

Summer crochet – your ultimate bikini yarns guide. Part I.
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intro
So the summer is approaching – and by that I mean the time to make summer things is upon us! As anyone who makes things themselves – a crocheter (a hooker for short) or a knitter – knows well, creating something with your own hands takes more time than to go and pick a pile of clothes from a store. It is so much more fun though! And one of the most enjoyable garments to make for the summer season is a swimsuit. It is small, quick and leaves a lot of room to imagination – shapes, cuts, edgings, trimmings – you can make one in every style possible. As someone who likes to experiment and doesn’t shy away from a challenge, I’ve undertaken a super serious mission to determine what kind of yarn works the best for swimsuits and if it is fully functional. By “fully functional” I mean it is possible to swim in it, that it won’t fall off, thin out and ruin your fair maiden reputation.

Here are the yarns I have tried to make bikinis with:
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cotton light

Cotton Light by Drops Garndesign

All about it

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Let’s see what the manufacturer says about this yarn. “DROPS Cotton Light is a lovely soft yarn made from 50% cotton and 50% polyester micro. The micro fibers are thinner than silk strands and they do not take up moisture. This, combined with cotton, gives both summer and winter garments that breathe, have good shape stability and high durability”. They also indicate that due to its silky texture Cotton light tends to split, which I can confirm, although it isn\’t an issue once you get used to it. It is easy to work with (apart from that splitting), doesn’t require an overly small hook size (worsted weight) and comes in a variety of lovely colours. Nice! Initially I bought it with no intention of turning it into a bikini but then I decided it was a fairly good yarn to learn how to make one and I went for it. It took me one and a half skein for an S size swimsuit.

Shower crush test

Now about the most important question – what about the moisture. What about it? Well, as you can see the manufacturer reassures us the yarn doesn’t take up moisture. I tested the yarn in the shower to make sure that even if it disappoints me, it wouldn’t be a very public disappointment. That and it’s still too cold to go for a dive in the sea. The result is not quite what one would expect after having read such a description because the yarn does take up moisture and thins out too. So whilst it is a great option for summer garments as well as bags, it will not do for a fully functional swimsuit. Alternatively it can be used for a top crochet in the single crochet stitch with a smaller hook (3 m instead of 4) in all the areas that you want to cover. Bikini bottoms are definitely out of question because they simply fill up with moisture and start falling off almost as soon as they touch water.

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crochet bikini wet Cotton light by Drops
crochet bikini wet Cotton light by Drops
As you can see, this is how it thins out when it is soaked

Katia cotton stretch

Cotton Stretch by Katia

All about it

For some reason it is absent from the site of the manufacturer but it is a Katia (Spanish brand) yarn and it is a 87% cotton 13% polyester thread for 3,5-4,5 mm hooks. I would say that it is definitely for a 3 mm hook, because everything above that makes it too holey and we don’t want that for a bikini, do we? It is indeed stretchy but otherwise feels like a 100% cotton thread. It doesn’t split, lovely to work with and there is enough length in a 50 g skein for an S size bikini done in the double crochet stitch with scalloped edges.

Shower crush test

As you can imagine, I did test this one too. Good news – it doesn’t want to fall off your delicates once it is soaked. Bad news – it thins out quite a bit so you can forget about winging a bikini in 2 hours in double crochet. It will take a bit longer in single crochet (all the parts you don’t want to be transparent) and I would still suggest making it on the tighter side, because just like any crochet/knit garment it stretches after having been worn for a short while. Otherwise this yarn works for a functional swimsuit all while consisting almost entirely of natural fibers. Bravo, Katia and thank you!
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crochet bikini wet Cotton stretch Katia
I hope that it is visible that the yarn thins out a bit, but not as much as the previous one. Plus, it is stretchy and doesn\’t fall off once soaked.

Diva Plus by Alize

All about it

[fancy_link title=\”Alize Yarns site\” link=\”http://www.alizeyarns.com/index_eng.php?is=urun-detay&id=230\” target=\”\” style=\”1\” class=\”\” download=\”\”]

For those of you who are not familiar with this name, Alize is a Turkish yarn brand. They have a big (really really big) choice of all kinds of yarns, which are mostly more than 50% synthetic blends. That is being said, their yarns are inexpensive and though not exactly natural, are easy to work with. I don’t normally work with yarns that have less than 50% of natural fibers in it because they just don’t feel the same and though they are cheap, I don’t think it is quite worth my time and effort. But that’s my personal choice. I got this particular yarn because while doing my research about “swimsuit” yarns, I came across a lot of videos featuring swimsuits made with Diva Plus. Also there is an opinion that 100% acrylic yarns – and it is 100% acrylic microfibre – aren’t as treacherous as cotton if being soaked. They don’t take up moisture and consequently don’t try to escape from your body if you decided to swim in your freshly crocheted bikini made with this kind of yarn. They are supposed to dry up faster as well.

Diva Plus comes in 100 g/200 m skeins. I can say that it is by far not the worst yarn to work with providing that you use correct tools. First of all, no plastic hooks. The yarn is so plastic the it simply doesn’t slide on your plastic hook (life in plastic is fantastic!!) and it makes it very difficult to work with it. A well polished smooth wooden hook or, better yet, a metal hook would be your best option. I used both 3 mm and 4 mm hooks with Diva Plus and they work well – fortunately, the yarn doesn’t split. Secondly, you need to remember to crochet in as many ends as possible because the yarn is so damn plastic that it is no mean feat to make it stay sewn in – you’re warned. I have tried to melt the ends and I won’t recommend doing it: the smell is goddamn awful and it doesn’t fix the problem at all. Just don’t do it. Just. Don’t.

On the bright side it comes in really beautiful colours including dazzling bronze and rich olive oil colour.

Shower crush test

Turns out that this non-soaking moisture thing is mostly true – I could see water droplets on the bikini’s surface as if it was partially waterproof. It does soak up after a while, of course, but doesn’t become very heavy or quite fall off nor thins out. What is not good about this yarn is that it gets fuzzy. Yes, imagine a fuzzy bikini – and that what you get with Diva Plus. I didn’t expect that and was properly surprised to see fuzz on this sleek thread. Other than that (hairy bikini, hairy bikini!) This yarn mostly does what’s promised and even dries up faster than other yarns mentioned in this article.

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20210309_133054
Diva Plus keeps its thickness but if you look closer (the spot under my finger) you can see THE fuzz.

That\’s not the end of it!

These are the yarns I’ve managed to get my hands on so far. The testing got me so excited and curious that I decided to try all the yarns possible. This means that I will be making bamboo, cotton-linen, viscose and a 100% bamboo bikinis too, test them and enlighten you (save you from the obscurity of not knowing about bikini yarns, duh) about the results. I hope this post was useful to you and helped you to navigate the huge world of yarns and threads in search for your perfect bikini yarn. Enjoy, subscribe to Galazio newsletter and receive more interesting information about crochet and fibers, as well as the new patterns announcements!
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