I designed this top in the midst of a dreary New England winter, when it was hard to imagine actually wearing it outside. The coordinating color palette of Cotton Bam Boo sent me searching for two-color stitch patterns, and the two-tone lattice in Barbara Walker's "A Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns" reminded me of sundresses with smocked bodices. Since the lattice pattern doesn't have the stretch of real smocking, the upper back is ribbed for a snug fit.
Luckily, I did most of the knitting during a visit to California, where the warm weather convinced me that it might eventually be possible to go sleeveless back home, too. Once I got the hang of the lattice pattern, the knitting zipped along. The cotton/bamboo yarn is light enough not to droop, but substantial enough to create a cohesive fabric.
See more of Rebecca’s designs on her blog.
Cotton Bam Boo 52% cotton, 48% bamboo
Bamboo is a relatively new component in handknitting yarns. Bamboo is often compared to silk for its luxurious feel. And it’s strong--it wears well and is naturally antibacterial. When knitted, bamboo yarns make fabrics that are breathable, cool, and have wonderful drape and a soft sheen.
Another good thing about bamboo is that it’s derived from a renewable resource. Harvesting bamboo fiber does not result in the death of the plant; in only a few months, the same plants are ready to be harvested again. Bamboo yarn, or bamboo mixed with another natural fiber, is biodegradable. When combined with cotton, as in CEY’s Cotton Bam Boo, it makes for the perfect summer yarn!
The faux smocking on the bodice of Rebecca’s design is easy to work. The technique is a simple combination of two-row stripes, purled texture, and slipped stitches. This stitch pattern is fun to work and the finished product looks likes it requires a lot more effort than it actually does!