Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Sari silk yarn? Yeah, right!

In this hot and muggy weather, knitting is a sticky business. Nevertheless, I did manage to play around with my recycled sari silk yarn on Sunday. Remember I got this little skein in my NZ Yarn Sampler box? Coincidently, I also got a huge skein from a very generous person who unstashed her yarn stash and left me this huge bag full of gorgeous and interesting balls of yarn. And as soon as the school holidays are over I'm going to call all the knitting homeschoolers in my area and have a wonderful and exciting yarny afternoon! There are some real treasures in there: merino wool, alpaca, hand-dyed yarn and of course this huge skein of recycled sari silk yarn.

The photo doesn't do it justice and it doesn't show how bright and vibrant the colours truly are. But that unfortunately, is about how far the good things of sari silk go. It's near impossible to knit. The yarn is stiff, don't even think of doing k2tog, and if you pull too hard, like when you're ripping back, it doesn't break, it just comes apart. Literally. Into little threads.

Still, I persevered and wanted to try and knit something with it. I thought a little heart would be cute. And for some reason knitting a swatch didn't cross my mind.

Anyway I thought I could knit a Love Heart which I designed for worsted wool. And that's where the problems started. I casted on and then kfb. Yeah, right! Ok, let's try something else. I ripped it out (and ripped the yarn), casted on again and did yo's instead of kfb. And everything seemed well until I got to the decreases. There is no way you can knit two stitches at once with sari silk. It's just isn't flexible enough. So I improvised and slipped a stitch over the one I knitted, either before or after, depending on how I wanted the stitch to lean. All good and well and then the last but oh-so-crucial bit of knitting: binding off. How on earth was I going to bind off? Normally I'd be doing a kitchener stitch to make the seam invisible. But I knew I didn't have a needle with a hole large enough to pull the yarn through. So I just used the standard bind off and as I feared it didn't look very good. It looks rather bumpy at the top.

But at least it does look like a heart.

So now I decided to have a look on Ravelry to see what others have knitted with sari silk. Don't ask me why I didn't do that before I started experimenting. It would have been the sensible thing to do. But I set my mind on something, sensible does not come into it. LOL

But you know what I found on Ravelry? There aren't many patterns or ideas out there for recycled sari silk. Mainly bags, scarves and shawls and more bags and more scarves and lots and lots of frogged projects. I'm not a huge fan of the shawls in sari silk. And bags? Well, it seems when you run out of ideas, you knit a bag. At least the bags looked ok. But hey, there must be more you can do with recycled sari silk than just a bag?

If anyone comes up with a good idea what I can do with my sari silk, I'd love to hear it! Seriously!


  1. I have a magazine (somewhere in my studio) that has a large shawl knit using sari silk. Unlike most of the Ravelry patterns This one actually looks rather good. The tricks the designer used to maximise the bright colours and minimise the knitting aggravations is, as far as I remember, to use a larger needle size and every few rows to to a wrap or yarn over that you dropped off next time around. It does, as I say, look pretty good, I will try and remember where I put it....

  2. Dropping stitches to make it more open and loose sound like a good idea. I hope you find the magazine!

  3. I bought one skein of this years ago because I was bewitched by the colors. I still haven't figured out what to make with it, so if you figure something out please share!

  4. Just came across this post and thought that I'd mention that it makes fantastic fingerless gloves that are so hardwearing

  5. Just came across a pattern in Positively Crochet by Mary Jane Hall that uses sari silk yarn to make a bolero. Not sure how comfy this yarn is for garments, but I cant wait to try it.