Give Knitting for Babies a Boost with Bamboo Yarn
Who doesn’t love knitting for babies? It’s so much fun. It’s fast. It’s ridiculously adorable. (I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been knitting a baby hat and been accosted by someone saying “awwww that’s so cute!”) When knitting for babies – in fact, for any project – it’s important to match the yarn carefully to the purpose of the project. For instance, while acrylic yarn is a great choice for indoor hats, booties, sweaters, and toys, it might not be the best choice for blankets (at least, not blankets for overnight sleeping – cuddling and naps should be fine) or outdoor wear (hats, jackets, or mittens). That’s because acrylic is neither flame resistant (on the contrary, it has an alarming tendency to melt when it is too close to a flame) nor able to stay warm when wet. On the other hand, if you use wool or wool blends, you also need to be careful, because you don’t want to dress baby in something scratchy or otherwise uncomfortable. And let’s face it, not all wool is comfortable close to the skin, especially for babies. Cotton has a different problem: it tends to produce heavier garments and blankets, so it should be reserved for small items like booties, hats, and toys. One type of yarn doesn’t seem to get mentioned as often for babies, and that’s bamboo yarn. It’s not as common as cotton, wool, and acrylic, but it’s a great choice for baby knits.
Why Bamboo Yarn Is Great for Baby Knits
Here are some of the qualities of bamboo yarn that make it ideal for babies: 1. Bamboo yarn can hold 3 times its weight in water, so it’s a great fabric for summer clothing — it will wick away moisture nicely. 2. It is the rare fiber that will not only keep you cooler in the summer, but also warmer in winter. 3. It’s hypoallergenic, perfect for a baby’s sensitive skin that may not appreciate wool. 4. It also offers UV protection when used in garments, again making it a great choice for summertime wear to protect babies’ sensitive skin. 5. Finally, it has antimicrobial properties. Enough said! Bamboo and bamboo-blend yarns are available in just about any store that sells yarn, from big-box craft stores to local yarn shops. I have personally used Jo-Ann Sensations Bamboo & Ewe (a merino/bamboo/nylon blend) and really enjoyed it. I’ve also used Patons Silk Bamboo yarn (yes, it’s a bamboo/silk blend) and it was magnificent; such a soft, strong yarn. It has a gorgeous sheen to it, too. Naturallycaron Spa was another great bamboo-blend yarn; it has unfortunately been discontinued, but if you happen to find a few skeins, snap it up! So if you’re in the market for a great baby yarn, you should definitely take a good look at bamboo yarn!