Top Tips for Knitting with Silk Yarns

Silk: prized for its durability, strength, warmth, and delicacy - as well as its ability to take color beautifully. Knitting with silk yarns can be a challenge, but don't let it scare you! With the proper instruction and a few expert tips, you can begin stitching gorgeous silk-yarn knitting patterns.

Tip 1: Prevent Snags While Stitching

Silk is very strong yet can be fragile. If your hands are rough from gardening, put on non-greasy lotion before you sit down to knit. Silk will snag on anything, and your hands are likely candidates.

Tip 2: Watch Your Tension

While knitting with 100% silk your hands may cramp up after an hour or so. Silk is slippery and it's easy to put more tension in the workings of those stitches, even without realizing it. So, often shake out your hands and stop knitting for a minute to get out the tension.

Tip 3: Protect the Fibers

Handle silk carefully. Keep it protected from everyday life. Silk can pill easily, so avoid excess handling or fussing with it. Use a yarn bowl or another improvisation to prevent your yarn from life's happenings. Moreover, when you don't use the yarns, store them in a canvas or plastic bag.

Tip 4: Silk yarn v/s Rough Hands

If you have rough hands, put on some lotion before knitting, but make sure it is properly absorbed before you start, as you don't want to stain the silk with grease.

Tip 5: Choosing Your Needle

As a crocheted or knitter, the processed silk yarn is similar to cotton and can be silky (naturally), rough with textures, or tight and smooth. It is important to select the appropriate needles.

  • When working with soft or fuzzy silk yarns, use a metal or aluminum needle for best results.
  • The silk yarns that are similar to manmade yarns can be crocheted using needles that are less slippery, i.e., plastic or wood needles.

Tip 6: Silk Yarn Pre Wash

Silk is a very strong natural fiber, but loses up to 20% of its strength when wet. It may be advisable to pre-wash yarns prior to knitting or crocheting so read instructions available with your specific yarns.

Tip 7: Caring for Silk

To prolong the life of a pure silk hand knit, it should be washed with special care. Place the silk article in a basin of lukewarm water to which a small amount of a non-alkaline soap or shampoo has been added. Gently swoosh the article around in the water, and then rinse it in fresh water several times to remove the soap completely.

Washing Instruction for Silk Garments

  • Delicate cold water, hand wash
  • Do not wring or twist
  • Do not use hot water or vinegar
  • Iron on medium to low with garment inside out