Wednesday, December 26, 2007

the bamboo quandry

(one of the only American blogs in existence that doesn't mention presents from yesterday? Yup!)

When bamboo fibers and yarns came out a couple of years back as this great new product, I was confused. I wanted to like this renewable resource--I bought some bamboo fiber, and spun it. It spun up fine but I didn't enjoy it. It had enormous tensile strength, thus making it completely unnecessary to ply it. It was a little hard to spin evenly. When I finished the sample, I used it to tie up tomatoes, and for other twine-like repairs. (it is biodegradable) It's anti-microbial properties and great drape seemed lost on me. I liked ingeo, cotton, and even that clumpy soysilk better.

Flash forward to this past September, when I knitted a ribby shell out of Madil Eden Bamboo yarn. Hard on the fingers, and, alas, not as nice looking as good ole mercerized cotton. Strike #2. However, I am always a yarn optimist, so when I got sent Classic Elite's new Cotton Bamboo yarn to swatch, I rushed to see it worked up. It knits on size 5 needles, and it shows stitch definition well. (I used a zigzag pattern and a textured rib) It wasn't as hard to knit as the Madil Eden, and it didn't unravel quite so much as I knit it. It has a nice luster. Downsides? It is a droopy yarn. Nice drape, but if you made a tank top with this, you'd best make it tight, with a textured stitch., or the armholes would be, umm, at your waist.

Next came SWTC's Terra. I loved this stuff, or at least, I liked it as much as I can get myself to like anything that is mostly inelastic. I knit it up at 6 sts to an inch on a size 5(3.75mm) and it felt like my favorite summer option? mercerized cotton. Great body, interesting coloration in the dye, and oddly, much the same fiber content as that other yarn, above. Another example of the endless variations available to knitters these days. Really interesting to see the differences. This swatch is in the form of a sleeve, so I did ribbing at the cuff, and a fern lace pattern which really looked good in this yarn. Terra has good potential for summer knitting projects!

Yesterday's big adventure was a trip to our favorite Chinese food joint. What's the traditional thing for Jews to do on Dec.25th? Chinese food and a movie! I didn't make it to a movie, there wasn't anything in the theaters here I wanted to see, but took a long nap instead...still fighting these weird occasional fevers. We did enjoy how quiet things were, aside from the multiple arguments on the street. It seems that when folks here have domestic disputes, they do it outside. Holidays are a big time for this. Usually under our bedroom window, at 2 AM...except for the older gentleman and his adult daughter, outside in their pajamas, arguing this morning on a main road. I noticed this while we were out walking the dogs, at 9 AM. (yes, I am pushing myself to exercise again, and while it is tiring, I think I need the stimulation) I find these public arguments a real mystery, especially when everyone is talking about "Peace and Goodwill!" Do you suppose they were raised to "take it outside!?"


Blogger Liz said...

We also skipped the movie. Had really excellent Chinese food. And I knit. Almost finished the body of my purple sweater and did the neckline of a top down set-in sleeve sweater.

No gifts, no angst, just a lovely time with the husbandy thing

December 26, 2007 at 11:18 AM  
Blogger Donna D said...

We usually go to the movies on Christmas, too. Didn't make it this year because mom wasn't feeling great so Dom and I decided to just stay home and veg. We had mac & cheese for dinner, and I knit 4 repeats on my new lace stole project!

Oh, and I didn't blog about presents today either. I am beginning to think that you and I must be some kind of weird cosmic soul mates.

But I do have a tree in my living room, and I have some photos of my cat hiding in it that will make it onto my blog soon. Alas, you are a dog lover, so I guess we aren't true soul mates after all.


December 26, 2007 at 11:59 AM  
Blogger weebug said...

the terra looks lovely! we had a smidge of snow yesterday and the whole house smelled of evergreen trees and apple butter. it doesn't get much better than that.

December 26, 2007 at 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you come here, there's a local Chinese place that's supposed to be THE place to go 12/25, with stand-up Jewish comedians as well as dinner.

December 28, 2007 at 7:55 PM  
Blogger Romi said...

I didn't mention presents either. ;)

Happy New Year!!!

December 28, 2007 at 11:12 PM  
Blogger Where fibers meet mud said...

We had dinner conversation about Chinese Food and a movie as Single Mom with two children took in Sweeney Todd on 12/24. Too funny -

I was raised in Cleveland I completely understand and when we moved to VA I forgot that the neighborhood would be closed because of the lack of ethnic variety!

LOVED the swatch stories... Bamboo - glad you had the same experience spinning it as I did - I am not a spinner as my patience and tense hands do not allow for spinning!

December 30, 2007 at 10:04 AM  

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