Sunday, January 18, 2009

Taj Mahal

finished - my first finished knitted piece for 2009.

Taj Mahal, by Gundrun Johnston, is a lovely pattern to knit. It's both well constructed and well written. The lace border at the hem comprises both a knitted on edging and cast of all in one, and the Persian lace (at the neck and first tier of the hem) is gorgeous.

I used Cleckheaton Bamboo, and although I love the drape and softness of the finished fabric, I found it a difficult yarn to knit with.

Firstly, it is by nature a very splitty yarn, having a loose twist construction much like strands of embroidery thread. I was aware that I would need to watch I didn't split the stitches, but I wasn't prepared for how closely I would have to watch every stitch. I knit this garment on 2.75mm needles, so as you can imagine, that's a lotta stitches!

Nevertheless, I was happy to persevere with it as the resulting fabric showed so much promise, and I'm glad I did. This will be a lovely soft garment to wear throughout summer.

However, what left me rather unimpressed about this yarn was the fact that out of 8 balls, every one had a knot in it.

I understand that sometime knots are inevitable, but the frustration caused when knitting in the round, joining in a new ball in a subtle spot, only to discover a huge honkin' knot just as you get to the very front-and-centre of your garment is HUGE.

The amount of tinking back I had to do was very annoying, to say the least. It's a shame, because I felt that it was something that could have been controlled better by the manufacturer, and it was an unnecessary flaw that let the yarn down.

Regardless of all that, I am happy with my new sun top. It's very summery and the colour reminds me so much of the ocean. I have no doubt I will get loads of wear out of it.


sue said...

The top is gorgeous. I have used the Bamboo too and found that I only had 1 ball with a knot. I also found that it tends to shrink quite a bit too, at least my daughter's skirt did.

PrincessPea said...

It's gorgeous! The knots sound like a total pain, but bamboo does drape beautifully, and you top looks great!

Bells said...

oh that is a shame - the results are spectacular though. I really, really like that.

woolie wombat said...

I had same problem with bamboo, and funnily enough its the same color, goes to show it wasnt just my batch but the whole range of that color that had the probs! I agree with you its cheap shitty yarn from china and obviously their quality control is no where near australia's!

I had eight balls and out of those eight 6 had knots and one was 15g underweight!

cher said...

Your Taj Mahal is gorgeous. I luv the color!
I think you've inspired me to start my own personal sock club as well.

Suse said...

The colour is divine, and very 'you'.

I just cast on for a sock, and after three rounds there was a join! NOT impressed.

2paw said...

Your top is beautiful and I love the colour. I don't like the news of splittiness and knots because I have about 20 balls in greens!!!

Tannia said...

*eeek* I have a heap of the lovely pink/orange bamboo...not looking forward to kntots and splittiness at all!!!!

Your top looks lovely though - you obviously overcame!!!