Biased!

The diagonal knitted top is finished! Overall, a neat little problem in 3-D construction; solved, even though I say so myself, quite well.

Creating a flat diagonal fabric is easy – just one step up from knitting a long rectangular scarf. All you need to do is increase at one edge and decrease at the other edge every alternate row. This creates a parallellogram – when held up, the bottom edge is at a 45 degree angle to the horizon.

To get a horizontal bottom edge, you start with a tiny number of stitches. Say 2 or 3. Then increase at each edge every alternate row to create a triangle. When one of the edges – designated as the bottom – is as wide as you want the bottom of your fabric to be, you continue increasing at one edge but start decreasing at the other to create vertically straight edges.

This pattern goes beyond that last step: as you can see, it consists of chevrons, created by working two mirror images of what I described in the last paragraph.

But did I change the pattern? What a question!

First off, I changed the stitch pattern itself to 4 rows stockinettte, 1 row reverse stockinette. When blocked out, this produced delicate texture stripes which complemented the pretty, shimmery fabric better than the broad welts in the pattern.

I also added bust ‘increases’ along the sides by just not decreasing several times. For armhole BOs I distributed the extra stitches between the 3 BO rows.

I also made the top longer, measuring against another t-shirt as described here.

Eventually, I was seriously running out of yarn and knitting faster and faster did not solve the problem. In the end, I finished the neck with applied icord, ‘applying’ it to one live neck stitch and then doing one round of icord to create eyelets.

Specs:

Pattern: #26 Diagonal Knit Top

Yarn: Farmhouse Yarns Bonnie’s Bamboo, ‘Blue Lagoon’, 3 skeins

Needles: 3.5mm

A word about bamboo yarn: I love the supple heavy drape of the fabric. 100% bamboo is cardboard-like when wet, but miraculously cool and slinky when dry.  Bamboo fabric is often touted as an eco-friendly alternative to other traditional textiles, a claim I find quite misleading. ‘Bamboo’ yarn is almost always rayon – plant materials dissolved in chemical solvents and forced out through tiny holes to create filaments. Caustic soda and sulphuric acid are used in its production, and I don’t see how that makes it more eco-friendly than the pesticides and chemical fertilizers involved in, say, cotton production. And globally, textile industries are among the worst polluters of freshwater. However, as long as we are dependent on textiles, we owe it to ourselves to be fully informed about what we’re buying.

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One thought on “Biased!

  1. I LOVE bamboo yarn; I’m a little disillusioned though, now that you’ve explained how it’s made. I didn’t think I’d need to feel ‘responsible’ for the environment when I purchased the yarn. Bamboo yarn is so light and airy, I love everything about it. The perfect material for all seasons, especially summer, when we usually wear less. Thank you for the article.

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