Monday, July 30, 2007

Convertible Yarn Info

Every month I get a couple of emails from people who are thinking about knitting Convertible asking about the yarn (Bambu, from Blue Moon Fiber Arts). I've been answering them all individually (rewriting the same information each time), because the first few times I didn't realize I might ever want that information again, and then I was lazy. But someone's asked again, so I'm writing it up here (the time I save will allow me to knit more, right?)

Convertible Close Up

So, here's the story. My impression is that BMFA was going to release Bambu widely, but then Socks That Rock took off and Bambu was set aside (or maybe it wasn't, and I'm visiting the wrong yarn stores?). Anyway--it's not as widely available as it might be, and it's not that well known. Not unexpectedly, it's 100% bamboo, with many loosely twisted plies (10 or 12, as I recall). Knit up, it's silky soft and very drapey--the fabric feels almost liquid, and I always want to say it feels heavy but I don't think it actually is, just very drapey.

I've never wet-blocked my Convertible, although I was sure I'd need to. It looked like an egg carton while I was knitting it, but I steam blocked it and it flattened right out (I don't think I even had to pin it--I just steamed and patted). And it's stayed flat. It reminds me of silk in that way--it has memory, because it's stayed blocked, but no elasticity. Maybe?

The ball band said the yarn would knit up at 8 or 9 sts/inch, but that would have been very dense--it looks more like a light worsted weight to me. If you subbed in a sock yarn for the Bambu but knit at the listed gauge, I think the solid areas would be a lot more open, unless it was very fuzzy sock yarn.

The size Convertible I knit (16X56 inches, although it's gotten longer and narrower because as it turns out I mostly wear it as a decorative scarf) too almost all 800 yards in the 2 skeins. The leftover wasn't enough for another repeat and edging--I knit another repeat and had to rib back when I ran out of yarn. A complete skein made a center-pull ball about the size of a large orange, but the leftover bit is noticeably smaller than a golf ball. Maybe two grapes? Anyway--I weighed it, and mathed, and it used a little more than 700 yards (of 800 in the two skeins).

And I think that's everything people have asked. If you've found this because you do have a question and I missed it, ask away! And I'd love to see your finsihed Convertible!


Christina said...

Thank you for this! Tonight I finally wound the Bambu I bought for Convertible nearly two years ago.

Are you satisfied with its final size or would you have knit it wider and shorter, knowing that it grew lengthwise? I will knit it to wear as a stole/scarf.

Thank you for such a beautiful pattern!

Archiknist said...

Hi Christina,

I'm not sure if you'll see this here (I'll also post the info as a new entry), but I'm happy with the size of my convertible for a scarf--I don't usually/ever wear it in the other styles. If I was going to wear it as a stole, I don't think I'd want it to be shorter--but wider might be nice, if you have enough yardage.

Christina said...

Hi Rebecca,

Your comment went to my inbox -- thank you!

I have the same type and amount of yarn that you used (two skeins of Bambu) so will just make the same size since I want the length as well.