Saturday, June 03, 2006

About Bamboo Yarn

I checked gauge as I was knitting my swatch. It appeared as if my knitting was getting tighter and tighter. It went from 6 spi to 6.5 spi. I was a full stitch tighter than the pattern gauge. Yet the fabric I was producing was very loose and holey. In my short experience as a knitter, 1 stitch looser or tighter usually means about 2 needle sizes. In this case, I would probably have to go up to Size 7 needles. I worried about what my fabric would look like. Probably not something I would like very much.

I decided I would wash, block and re-measure gauge before I decided on anything, but even this worried me. Usually, blocking tightens things up, right? Anyway, swatch has been blocked. I am at 6 spi. Pre-blocking - I was at 6.5 spi. And somehow the fabric looks tighter than pre-blocking. The yarn softened - which I already knew it would do. But did it bloom?

If my math is correct, I can knit at my current gauge and follow the 39" bust directions, and I will have a finished bust of just under 36" which is what I want. The in-between size problem has been resolved!

I am happy, but nervous. I am going to check gauge A LOT. Here I go - I'm casting on.


Batty said...

If bamboo is anything like cotton, I really recommend washing your swatch. Some patterns expressly call for this because the yarn blooms when it gets wet. I don't remember if this one did, but I'm going to wash and block my swatch anyway -- I'm a tight knitter and don't want to end up with a baby-sized tank!

Sophie_vf said...

agggh. I am now feeling stabs of guilt, because I'm basing my gauge on an unwashed swatch, which has already been disassembled and knit into my current work. After all your observations, I guess I'd better buckle down and do an actual washed swatch.

Are any of you worrying about swatching in the round vs. flat? Cause I don't really want to.

Betty said...

My stockinette was knitted back and forth, because the part that concerns me is the bust and that part is knitted back and forth.

Sophie_vf said...

excellent. That rationale totally works for me :)

Stilaholic Nartian knits said...

My friend that got me knitting is wondering if Sharon Shoji used the other SWTC Bamboo which is more tape-like and thus less "holey."

In any case, I cast on my 230 stitches and hoping for the best.