Ever since I did the interview with knitwear designer Nikki Gabriel, I’ve been thinking about what she said: “Knitting is generally associated with wool. As the book shows, there are 80 other fibers that can be knitted with.” This was such a fascinating thing to learn. Of course, I knew that the wool is not the only fiber out there, I always loved knitting with plant fibers, but the only ones I tried are cotton, linen and silk. But if to think about it there are so many more types of fiber and fiber blends. I decided I want to experiment more and see how other fibers work. Of course, it’s a comforting feeling to know how your wool sweater will behave, when you know exactly if the stitch pattern is going to work, if the garment is going to stretch. But it is equally amazing to break the pattern once in awhile and try something new.
I’ve had these skeins for almost two years now. I remember looking for the yarn on my last trip to Russia and I wanted to try something new. First thing that attracted me was the color. There is something so noble and classy about it.
Then I touched it and couldn’t let it go! I’ve never touched the fiber like that before, I looked at the label – it was 100% bamboo. I took them home, put them aside and forgot about them. It just didn’t feel familiar and I wasn’t quite sure what to make with it. As I mentioned before, I am taking part in 12MK16 MKAL (machine knit along) – 12 machine knitting projects in 2016. After finishing Ocean dress, I thought I had to cast on something else now to keep up with the MKAL. After rummaging in my stash I found these skeins and decided to give it a try.
I really wish the photos could convey yarn’s softness! The drape that is created by bamboo is inexplicable!!! After trying the first swatch, I realized I want to wrap myself in it from head to toe! This is the best fiber that I’ve ever tried to wear next to my skin! It has such a smooth and luxurious feel. Pima cotton that I tried was very soft, but nothing compared to it. I would even dare to say it is softer than silk, some compare it with the blend of silk and cashmere. I did a research before trying anything and this is what I found out (you can read the full article here – Properties of Bamboo Fiber):
- Bamboo has much better moisture absorption and ventilation than cotton. Moisture absorbency is twice than that of cotton with extraordinary soil release.
- Natural antibacterial elements in bamboo fibre keep bacteria away from bamboo fabrics.
- Garment of bamboo fibre can absorb and evaporate human sweat in a split of second just like breathing. Such a garment makes people feel extremely cool, comfortable and never sticking to skin even in hot summer.
- 100% bamboo yarns show a great elasticity i.e. nearly 20%. Even in 100% bamboo woven fabrics a remarkable elasticity can be obtained wherein the use of elastomeric fibres like elastanes may be eliminated.
- Bamboo fabrics need less dyestuff than cotton, modal or viscose. It seems that the absorption of dyestuffs is remarkably better. Bamboo absorbs the dyestuffs faster and shows the colors better.
- Anti-ultraviolet nature of bamboo fibre has made it suitable for summer clothing, especially for the protection of pregnant ladies and children from the effect of ultraviolet radiation.
- Product of bamboo fibre is eco-friendly and bio-degradable.
(Information source – www.fibre2fashion.com)
As you can see bamboo makes a perfect fiber for summer knitting! What swatch told me for sure is that the textured stitches are definitely not going to work in bamboo. Good old stockinette is the best way to go.
I am thinking of making a very loose oversize light sweater in simple stockinette, maybe with some lace at the neckline. I am not sure yet really, I will experiment and will share it with you here!
As for other projects I am more than half done with Green Snowflakes. I finally found my rhythm of fair isle knitting and it is going like a breeze. The fabric is till not perfectly smooth, but I hope good blocking will fix it. As I am knitting with slightly thicker than recommended yarn, my progress is much faster and I think I will need 6 pattern repeats instead of 9 to finish it.
I find the wrong side of fair isle equally delicious!
I hope you are enjoying you craft projects! I am joining Yarn Along for some inspiration!