Summer Silk Yarn Stolen Stitches

Join Us on Our Summer Knitting Journey PT 1 – The Joy of Silk Yarns

Do you enjoy knitting in summer?

I really enjoy knitting and wearing knits in the summer. Admittedly, my summer knitting doesn’t look the same as winter knitting, but I do like to have a variety in what I knit and wear. In our summer knitting series, I’d like to introduce you to some of my favourite summer fibres and why I like them.

I’ll pop a few tutorial links for techniques that will help when knitting with them and, of course, a few pattern ideas also!

summer yarn pascuali sole

The Best Yarns for Summer Knitting

Over the summer, I tend to use lighter weight yarns. When choosing your yarn, think of your finished knits. How much drape would you like? What would you like the fabric to feel like against your skin?

These 4 yarns are my choice for summer:

  1. Silk
  2. Cotton
  3. Linen
  4. Bamboo (but only as a blend as it grows)

Over the next 3 weeks, we are going to take a look at Silk, Cotton, and Linen as these are part of the Summer Knitting Series at Stolen Stitches.

Silk Yarn – What is it?

Did you know there is more than one type of silk?

Before I started researching silk, I had no idea how many variants there were out there!

Typically, when I think of silk, smooth, shiny, strong and heavy comes to mind. The best known, and most widely used silk is from the Mulberry silkworm, which produces a strong, luxurious silk.

The highest quality silk comes from the centre of the cocoon, this would be known as filament yarn. It is smooth, shiny and extremely strong. Sometimes this silk yarn is added to other fibres in a yarn to increase the strength while keeping it 100% natural.

One of my favourite types of silk yarn that I like for summer knitting is Bourette silk, sometimes known as raw silk. This comes from the outside of the cocoon and is completely matt, with a thick-thin quality. This is because there are sometimes partial bits of the cocoon in the yarn, which will wash out when used. This Bourette silk yarn creates a much lighter, airy type of fabric that’s perfect for summer knits.

One of the advantages of silk for summer knitwear is that it keeps you cool. It can absorb up to 30% of its weight in moisture without feeling wet, making it very comfortable to wear in the heat.

Our Top 5 Knitting Pattern Ideas for Summer Knitting

When it comes to summer patterns, they work best if you have lighter weight yarn and possibly even with a looser gauge. This will create a more open, draped fabric that will be cooler to wear in warm weather.

For this reason, I’ll often gravitate to more open knitting, like lace work or dropped stitches for my summer knits. These will naturally create a more open fabric that is cooler to wear.

Huevos Knitting Pattern by Carol Feller in Cotton Yarn from the summer knitting series

Huevos – suggested for both linen and cotton (2 samples in both Linen and Cotton)

Summer Drops Knitting Pattern by Carol Feller from the summer knitting series
Summer Drops

Summer Drops – Suggested for both Silk and Linen (samples for both)

Dusty Road Knitting Pattern by Carol Feller in cotton Yarn from the summer knitting series
Dusty Road

Dusty Road – Suggested for both Cotton and Silk (cotton sample)

person in white dress with watering can with blue lace scarf. The harkone knitting pattern from the summer knitting series
Harkone Scarf

Hakone Scarf – Ito Kinu/Asa combo (silk/Linen/cotton) or silk or linen

the Prunus Square from the Summer Knitting Series.
Prunus Square

Prunus Square – as for Hakone

Can’t choose what to knit next?

You can get an automatic 10% off if you purchase 3 or more items from the Summer Knitting Series Collection. Yes, that includes yarn kits too!

Helpful Tutorials for Working with Summer Yarns

When knitting with summer yarns, they are frequently less elastic and they will not feel like animal fibre.

Because of this, you won’t be able to join new yarn with a felted join. Instead, I’d suggest either Russian Join or the Fold-Over Join.

Russian Join for Joining Summer Yarns Together

If you are new to lace knitting and your summer knitting project has you working it, you may find some of our tutorials on working lace helpful! I’ll leave them here for you:

How to Read Lace

Increases in Lace

Silk Yarn FAQs

Over the years I’ve gotten a few questions about silk yarn so I thought I’d pop them here:

Does silk yarn block well?

Yes, it does BUT silk yarn is fragile when it’s wet. Be gentle when you block and wash your hand knits made from silk and lay them out flat to dry.

How do you soften silk yarn?

Silk yarn and hand knits made from silk yarn will soften as they wear. This is means that they can also grow a little over time as the yarn itself relaxes. Please remember this as you swatch for your knitting project and remember to wash and block your swatch as you would your finished knit.

Is silk weaker than wool?

Silk is stronger than wool when considering the amount of strength needed to break the fibres. This is in part due to the filament length of the fibre. If you’d like to learn more about the physical properties of the yarn you can pop over here.

If you have any questions about knitting with silk or anything we mentioned in today’s post, pop a comment below!

I’ll be back next week to chat about Linen yarn and all it’s wonders.

See you then!

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