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Classic Elite Newport Cotton
Classic Elite Newport Cotton

Yarn Profile: Classic Elite Newport Cotton

First Impressions
Bound just like utility string from the hardware store, this heavy worsted-weight mercerized cotton is strong and resilient. But unlike utility string, Newport Cotton has a cool, smooth, silky texture and comes in 28 typically vibrant Classic Elite colors.

Knitting Up
The yarn's cable-like spin is composed of four two-ply strands. On both knit and purl rows, my needle kept splitting the cable and pulling only half the strands through.

I switched to a pair of dull-tipped Addi Turbo circulars and the snagging subsided somewhat, but I had to be careful.

Snagging aside, stitches appeared even and consistent. The clear stitch definition in this yarn makes it ideal for complicated stitch work.

Blocking / Washing
The swatches behaved like soggy rags in the wash. After rinsing, they required a fair amount of prodding, tapping, and general straightening out to return to their original square forms -- rather like working with unruly bread or pizza dough.

Stitches tended to lean against one another in uneven waves, and edges didn't want to straighten. The yarn softened and expanded only slightly, and there was no bleeding, fading, or stretching.

The cable spin and mercerized treatment make this an extremely strong yarn that's almost impossible to break by hand. Because it's Pima cotton, it also happens to be pleasantly soft.

After a moderate amount of wear, however, the swatches began to pill. Extensive rubbing caused the stitches themselves to blur and lose their surface definition.

I can imagine that a heavily worn sweater in this yarn would carry you through just one season before showing its age.

The slinky heft of Newport Cotton makes it appropriate for summer garments. It has a silky sheen to it that reflects a rich, dappled light.

If you can get the snagging under control, the yarn knits up at a breezy pace of 4 stitches per inch. Combine that with Classic Elite's gorgeous color selection, and you've got yourself a good warm-weather yarn.

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Reader Comments
"I don't remember splitting problems but I used blunt circulars. I knit a semi-lace summer short-sleeved sweater (a Classic Elite pattern) out of it and was delighted with the result. The sheen of the cotton and the crispness of the stitches made the whole project better than I had hoped. I would never spend this much on a yarn for a heavy-wear sweater so pilling is not a problem." cdenehy, 10/01/01

"Why would you knit with a yarn when the samples do not wash well? I think that my choice for cotton for knotting is the Brown Sheep Cotton/wool blend. This is soft, washes well, and lasts -- also their color selection is great!! As this is only 20% wool it's enough to overcome the natural problems of cotton, but not enough to allow the knitter to reap the benefits."  Barbara F., 3/10/01

"For a more durable cotton by Classic Elite, I prefer Provence. It is not as soft, but crisp, has beautiful stitch definition, and doesn't pill. It comes in 100g skeins for $11.50. For the extra $.50, I'd go for Provence."  Laura T., 3/08/01

"I agree with you 100% on the Newport Cotton. I made a summer sweater in a brocade pattern from their book and the sweater started to pill after the second washing. I would never knit with this cotton again and it's a shame since the outcome is so nice."  Ana, 3/08/01