Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Crystal Palace Yarns - Bamboozle review and FOs

Crystal Palace Yarns generously donated a few skeins of Bamboozle yarn for me to test earlier this year. I'm slightly embarassed that it took me this long to make them, but I recently finished two pairs of socks with this yarn. (Second pair featured in next post.)

Bamboozle is made from 55% bamboo, 24% cotton, and 21% elastic nylon. It's fairly stretchy but not as stretchy as Cascade Fixation. This makes it much easier to work with than Fixation. The percentage of bamboo to cotton make for an extremely soft yarn, both on your hands, and on your feet! At an Aran (10 ply) weight, with 90 yds per 50 gm ball, Bamboozle is clearly much thicker than your average sock yarn. However, for the purposes of socks, it's possible to use a much smaller needle than the suggested 8-10 (US) and create a firm, soft, fabric good for cozy winter or boot socks.

Initially I had planned to make a single pair of socks using both colors but when the colors that arrived were slightly different than the ones I thought I was getting, I decided to use them separately and make a pair of cozy house socks for both me and my mother. I was also curious to see how much sock could be made from a single pair of skeins, especially given our larger shoe sizes (9.5 and 11). Based on other people's projects on Ravelry, I chose to use a size 4 US needle. I used a Knit Picks nickle Options with a 24" cable for Magic Loop. Both socks were knit toe-up for maximum trying-on-as-I-went with different stitch patterns.

This pair is made with the colorway Herb Garden, using a basketweave stitch pattern on the foot and leg, followed by a 1x1 ribbing for the last 7 or so rows. I used Judy's Magic Cast On for the toe, and a simple short-row heel. I cast off with a K2tog TBL to make the edge stretchy and easy to get on and off. As you can see, they reached ankle-length on my size 9.5 feet, and would be longer if you have smaller feet. I can see that with three balls, they would reach the length I normally knit the legs of my socks.

Overall, I am very happy with these socks. I wore them the other chilly day in the house and they were very cozy. Then I kept them on to meet up with my local knitting group and they were very comfy and not at all sweaty in my shoes. My only frustration was how splitty this yarn can be, since it is composed of many strands of yarn, all of which are 2-ply themselves. Once one of the individual plies was pulled up by mistake, it was nearly impossible to get it to lie flat within the yarn again. This makes me a little wary of wearing them on any wood floors that might have little splinters. However, once the yarn is knit up, it is very firm and not at all fuzzy. I look forward to making several similar pairs for myself for this upcoming cold winter.

Thank you so much, Dr. Laura at Crystal Palace Yarns!