Knitting with Bamboo Yarn: Perfect for Lace

Soft and Lightweight Yarn for Shawls and Scarves

half-granny square shawl
half-granny square shawl | Source
close-up view of knitted lace stitch pattern
close-up view of knitted lace stitch pattern

Why Use Bamboo Yarn?

Bamboo may seem an unlikely source for knitting yarn, but it only took one skein of Caron's SPA yarn to make me a believer. This yarn is part polyester microfiber, part rayon fiber made from bamboo. I discovered this yarn at my local fabric and craft store. When I shop for yarn, I shop by feel; if I plan to spend hours knitting or crocheting with a yarn, it had better feel nice against my skin. I expected bamboo to feel like the sturdy cotton I use for dishcloths, but found instead it felt like a kitten's fur! Why should you try bamboo yarn?

Bamboo Can be Silky and Soft

Bamboo is an affordable luxury fiber. It is not as expensive as luxury fibers like alpaca, angora or silk, yet it produces scarves that look very expensive and beautiful. It feels nice against the skin, so it might be a good choice for knitting caps for chemotherapy patients or items for a baby's layette. Rayon was the first synthetic fiber and is still the best, since it is based on natural cellulose from trees or bamboo!

Bamboo is a Green Option

Bamboo is a renewable resource. It grows quickly, so there is no guilt when we harvest it. While my yarn was blended with a synthetic, petroleum-based fiber (polyester), there are many brands of yarn with bamboo content. Bamboo silk is one I really want to try--as soon as I find a good sale!

Bamboo Comes in Sophisticated Colors

Several manufacturers offer bamboo blend yarns in a palette of soft patels and deep, muted hues. The yarn has a soft sheen that is not shiny, not flat, and not neon. Scarves and other accessories from bamboo yarn will become instant wardrobe favorites.The colors are vibrant, but not gaudy.


A Lace Cowl Pattern

I knit this lace pattern into scarves and cowls.  Bamboo yarn is soft enough to wear next to your skin.
I knit this lace pattern into scarves and cowls. Bamboo yarn is soft enough to wear next to your skin. | Source

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Comments 13 comments

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

I love the yarns with bamboo in them--so silky. Your scarf is lovely!

Voted up.


craftarrific profile image

craftarrific 5 years ago from California

I haven't picked up my knitting needles in a while. After reading this post I just might!


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 5 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I am totally inspired to try my hand at knitting. I like bamboo. Thank you for the great photos. What a talent!

Voted up.


Kristen Walsh profile image

Kristen Walsh 5 years ago from US

I'm an avid knitter, but I haven't tried bamboo yarn before. I'll have to give it a try. Did you find any negatives to the yarn?


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA Author

The only negative I've found is the tendency for the SPA yarn's plies to separate. Using a needle with a more blunt tip, e.g plastic, works best for me. My favorite teflon-coated turbos tended to go between the plies instead of picking up the stitches in their entirety.

I hope you all knit scarves and post pictures! Bamboo yarn is so soft I caught myself absentmindedly stroking a skein once as if it were my cat.


Kristen Walsh profile image

Kristen Walsh 5 years ago from US

Thanks for the feedback. That's what I was afraid of...splitting. I'll still be on the lookout for some nice bamboo yarns to try though.


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Bamboo is a most versatile product. It really can be used for most anything. This is a great find. Thanks, Hyph.


PWalker281 5 years ago

I think I have a skein of bamboo yarn somewhere in my stash that I haven't used for anything yet. Your hub makes me want to take it out and give it a try, especially to see how it crochets. Thanks for the inspiration. Rated up and useful.


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA Author

It crochets even better than it knits, since knitting needles can sometimes split the plies. The Caron Spa yarn is so soft I never want to stop knitting!


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 4 years ago from North Carolina, USA Author

I gave some bamboo scarves for Christmas presents. Now to see what else I can do with this beautiful yarn...


Rhelena profile image

Rhelena 4 years ago

Even though I hardly ever work with it, I love bamboo yarn. As you said, it feels great on the skin.


kschimmel profile image

kschimmel 4 years ago from North Carolina, USA Author

Rhelena, what have you made with bamboo? I'm wondering how the Spa yarn would do in lace socks. It's so soft I think I might use something sturdier like Kroy for the heel/toe/sole and save the lovely babmboo for the part that doesn't get walked on.


Rhelena profile image

Rhelena 4 years ago

The only things I have made myself are a tank top a few years back, some eye masks and some fingerless gloves. The only bamboo yarn that I have ever worked with is Bernat Bamboo Natural Blends. It feels good against the skin, but it shrinks a lot in the dryer.

The spa yarn looks nice and I am sure it would work well for lacy socks. I like your idea of switching up the yarn in order to save the bamboo.

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