Monday, June 18, 2007
Review: South West Trading Company’s Bamboo
Fiber content: 100% Bamboo
1 Ball Contains: 100g, 250 yds (228.6m)
Price: Mine was in a swap, but it retails for $11.50 to $14.00 American, around the same in Canada.
Label’s Gauge and Needle Size: 5 sts and 8 rows = 1″ st st on US6 (4mm) needles. Nothing listed for crochet.
My Gauge, Pre-Wash: 7 sts and 7 rows = 1″ st st. 27.5 sts and 32 rows = 4″ st st (this is why you should never trust what your gauge is for 1 inch. It’s never right.) In crochet, I used a 5.5mm hook (US I hook), and got 13 sts and 18 rows = 4″
Post-Wash: No change.
Colour Range: 36, according to their Website.
Washing Instructions: Hand wash preferable. As a note, I’ve read that it is not a good idea to put something made with bamboo yarn in the dryer. Since I don’t own my dryer, I didn’t test it, I let it dry flat.
This is the other ball of yarn that I received in a swap with Stitch-ay Woman. I was excited about this one, actually, but decided to save it and use Calmer first. I’ve been wanting to try bamboo yarn for months, but didn’t have the opportunity. I kept hearing about how great it was, how durable, how beautiful, how soft.
This first one, above, is with 6US needles. The colour, Plum, is beautiful, and makes a lovely fabric, even though I prefer it knit with larger needles. But it felt so rough. I can’t imagine wearing a shirt made out of this, unless it’s meant to go on over something and not touch the skin. Even after hand washing, it was still rough. So, I went up two needle sizes and tried it again.
I got the idea from looking through Stitch and Bitch Nation. There’s a tank/vest in there called Accidentally On Purpose, which is basically a drop-stitch pattern, something like the above. It’s not only great on top of another layer, it’s *meant* to be on top of a layer, unless you’re feeling a little risqué. It’s still rough, but not as rough as the first swatch. I think it'd also be good for making the Network hat in No Sheep for You.
The crochet swatch gave me another idea. Bamboo is durable, and there doesn’t seem to be much stretch to it. It would make a great handbag. Even in plain sc, it looks great. With the wide range of colours, you could do stripes, or a pattern in another colour, like a skull, heart, star, whatever. I think the spike stitch would look neat, but that just occurred to me, so I need to test it with another colour/yarn.
If anyone has knit or crocheted something in this yarn and didn’t find it rough at all, please, let me know! I want to be wrong about this. And for the record, I’m not giving up on bamboo yet. There are other brands to try, and there’s a brand called Crystal Palace Panda Cotton that sells a sock yarn with bamboo and cotton content. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m hoping the cotton makes it softer.