how i knit to stay sane

January 25, 2008

Finished-Up Friday

Filed under: Uncategorized — K @ 11:29 am

Remember my disastrous “Stripey?  Oh no!” post?  The run-down, I’d knitted four balls of Bernat Natural Blends Bamboo up in a stockinette frenzy one day.  Unfortunately, I didn’t pay any attention to dye-lot when I purchased my yarn.  Bad Kelly!  The first two balls were one color, and the second two were another, leading to a very obvious stripe that was too close in color to call it a design feature….  I found enough yarn to make the sweater in one dyelot, but had to start over.  Turned out to be for the best, anyway — when I got the original striped mess off the needles, I realized it was more of a baby-elephant sized tube top.

See the stripe?  Horizontally right through the middle….

Well, it came out so big because my gauge swatches are always lying liars who lie.  So the best thing that came of needing to start over was that I had a really… big gauge swatch!  I played with the material a little, went down a needle size to get a tighter fabric, and drastically reduced my number of stitches.  I made the bulk of the sweater on our weekend away, and finished it up at my knitting group’s next knit night.  Unfortunately, I tried it on, sans sleeves, and it was, well, tight!  Really, really tight — just through the chest but unflatteringly so.  Our illustrious uncoordinator, Genia, said it would be okay, to just finish making the sweater.  She is the Yarn Whisperer, I’m convinced of this…..  She just knows things.  Everything, apparently.  She did say it wouldn’t block, so not to waste my time, but to go ahead and wash it and lay it out to dry.  I did, and I’ve worn it several times since.

Review:

I used #8 Harmony Options, 9 balls of Bernat Natural Blends Bamboo in the lotus colorway, and the Bernat Four Seasons pattern book, the “Bamboo Top”.

Needles:  I love these needles, I cannot say that enough!  They are just a dream for me.  ‘Nuff said!

Yarn: I enjoyed using the yarn — it’s VERY soft, and felt great to my fingers.  I think this is filling a niche for casual knitters on a tight budget who’d like to experiment with fibers, but can’t or don’t want to budget for a sweater’s worth of pure bamboo yarn.  I purchased the yarn during one of Michael’s plentiful sales, and spent a total of $27 on the yarn for the sweater.   The downsides — despite a small inclusion of acrylic, the yarn is not made to be washed and dried in the laundry.  I did wash in the machine on a delicate cycle and then lay flat to dry, but handwashing would be preferable based on the amount of pilling that occurred from laundering.  Also, the yarn does seem prone to pilling — I have “strings” of pilled tufts that have gathered anywhere that gets wear — the sides of my waist from my jacket, the top of my shoulder from my seatbelt and purse, etc.  No noticeable bald patches or anything, but I’ve had to pull off the stringies.  The bamboo has quite short drafts, so the yarn was prone to losing tufts here and there while I knitted.  Nothing that affected the wear, but it was like a constant fluffy reminder that I wasn’t working with a truly high quality yarn.  Judgment:  Worth the price, depending on the use.  Definitely more for adult wear than for children because of the washing instructions.

Pattern:  I altered the pattern a fair amount in order to knit in the round instead of seaming the sides after knitting.  I like the fit in general, and the basic shaping in the pattern does give a great base pattern.  The one disappointment I have regarding the pattern is that I followed the neck line shaping strictly, as the cowl neck was a feature that really drew me in.  While the picture in the book shows a softer slope to the neck, my neck has a more structured neck, with an obvious “V” design allowing for the neckline to become larger.  It’s really not unattractive, and I’ve gotten several compliments on it, but it wasn’t what I expected, so I was a little annoyed about it.  However, it doesn’t stop me from wearing the sweater and being proud of my work.  Judgment: Well written pattern.  Enjoyed working it.  Would use it again and recommend it, although I’d show a friend my sweater so she could see the “V” and decide how to deal with it.  If I were to make it again, I’d experiment first with how to accomplish the increases so they weren’t so visible.

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1 Comment »

  1. It came out great K!!!

    Comment by Patty — January 25, 2008 @ 9:00 pm


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