View Full Version : silk questions

06-28-2008, 01:48 PM
I bought my very first ever silk (Fiesta La Luz) through this forum, actually. Wow, wow, wow, is it gorgeous! I'm making this:


with some differences. I've never used silk, and about all I knew about it was that I needed non metal needles or I'd cuss a lot! I'm about 50 miles from a LYS and have size 4 and size 13 (I think, big, anyway) bamboo needles. The silk came with a pattern for a simple shawl that called for size 15 needles, so I decided to play with the needles I had and see what happens. I have some older-than-the-hills plastic circs, probably a size 9 or 10 and they work great.

After swatching and measuring and way too much math, I cast on and started. It's looking great, but I found a weird thing in the pattern. It says 7 stitches = 4 inches, which is way wrong. I got 14 sts to 4 in. Anyway, I really, really like the silk a lot, really love the pattern, including the story, but I have questions.

I've read silk stretches - does that always happen? My shawl is pretty open as it is - don't want stretching.

The skein info says dry clean only - will that keep it from stretching?

How do you block silk? I'm totally clueless about this one! I've only blocked alpaca/silk blend and cotton.

Please, any and all input is more than welcome...especially if anybody has any ideas as to where to find affordable silk - I'm loving this stuff, but can't make hundred dollar tops!

06-28-2008, 03:08 PM
I'm guessing nobody here knows much about silk yarn; I asked a question about it recently and no one has responded. So I asked on Ravelry and got some help there.

Yes, silk does stretch. I can't tell you about blocking, sorry, but I washed my swatch in baby shampoo, shaped it, and carefully laid it out to dry. I'm going down a needle size and will have to adjust everything, but the important thing I think is to be sure you wash your wash just as you plan to wash your garment before you start knitting so you can see exactly what the silk will do and how much it will change.

Sorry I can't be more help! I really love the look and feel of unplied 100% silk, but it does have its drawbacks. I think from now on I'll be sticking to silk blends . . .

06-28-2008, 04:38 PM
Yep, your post about the stretching led to some of my questions! Boy, I sure would love to learn more about silk - love the way it feels and looks, but it's a lot to invest in something I can screw up as soon as it comes off the needles! Yowza, that's scary!

06-30-2008, 04:07 PM
Just got my book order from KP and remembered your post about silk. The Knitter's Book of Yarn says that yes silk will stretch and eventually won't block back to the original shape which is why silk will sometimes be blended with wool or other fibers with more elasticity.