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Focus on Fiber: Silk
Pilling and loose shaping on my silk jumper
Years ago, I chose some 100% silk as the yarn for the
first garment that I'd ever designed myself. It had a soft sheen and was
smooth to the touch and I had in mind a long-sleeved top, fitted at the
waist and body hugging.
I found out too late that there's a reason '100% silk' and 'body-hugging'
aren't often used together in the same sentence.
The finished fabric stretched, both sideways and lengthways, and there
was no elasticity to pick up any of the slack. My imagined figure-hugging
top hung from my body, while the waist-shaping flaired out unattractively
somewhere around the mid-hip level!
How did it go so wrong? Silk fibers are long, smooth and there's no crimp
in the fibers to give spring or elasticity. And, unlike wool, there no
scales even to provide friction against their neighboring fibers. When you
knit with silk you have to take into account that it will drape and stretch
with gravity, and stay stretched.
I had also hoped that it would be a garment that I could wear regularly,
but I didn't know that although silk is strong - in that you can't easily
break it - it is not very durable, in that it can snag and pill easily
(take a look at the picture).
It was an expensive way to learn that I had to know my fiber to know how
best to design with it.
Read the full article to find how to get the best out of silk...
New Yarn Review: Artesano Yarns Alpaca Silk 4-ply
Artesano Alpaca Silk 4-ply
Artesano Yarns Alpaca Silk has an attractive sheen and its soft feel doesn't disappoint either. The knitted fabric is fine and drapey, while the alpaca/silk combination produces a warm, insulating fabric. Simple cables look elegant, lace patterns show off the delicate haze, but knit and purl texture patterns are lost as the purl stitches relax back into the fabric, due to the lack of elasticity and bounce in the alpaca and silk fibers.
The yarn is soft and not prickly against the skin and would make a graceful shawl or cardigan to layer on as the colder weather arrives.
Read the full review...
November's New and Discontinued Yarns
Yarn Stories: Fine Merino and Baby Alpaca DK(Image © Yarn Stories)
Kimera - 100% Cotton - Sportweight
Berg�re de France
Miroir - 41% Acrylic, 41% Superwash Wool, 18% Polyester - Worsted - Sequinned
Coraline - 100% Corriedale Wool - Bulky/Chunky
Main Line - 75% Cotton, 25% Merino Wool - Aran weight
KFI Indulgence Cashmere - 70% Merino, 25% Nylon, 5% Cashmere - Sportweight
Ice Cream - 100% Acrylic - Sportweight
Phil Nounours - 100% Nylon - Super bulky/Super chunky - Faux fur
Galway Roving - 100% Galway Wool - Super Bulky/Super Chunky - Single Ply
Galway Sport - 100% Galway Wool - Sportweight - 2 plies
Toybox - 100% Acrylic - Worsted
Natural Aran - 100% Wool - Aran weight - Singly ply
Superfine Alpaca DK - 100% Superfine Alpaca - DK
Brimfield - 70% Merino Wool, 30% Silk - Worsted
Fine Merino and Baby Alpaca Aran - 70% Merino Superwash Wool, 30% Baby Alpaca - Aran
Fine Merino and Baby Alpaca DK - 70% Merino Superwash Wool, 30% Baby Alpaca - DK (See picture above)
Mosaic - 100% Acrylic - Aran
Andes del Campo - 100% Wool - Aran
Full Circle Bulky - 100% Wool - Bulky/Chunky - Single ply
Full Circle Worsted - 100 Wool % - Aran - Single ply
Arenas - 53% Superwash Wool, 47% Acrylic - Super Bulky/Super Chunky - Thick and Thin
Astrakan - 46% Superwash Wool, 54% Acrylic - Super Bulky/Super Chunky - Fuzzy
Kaya - 67% Merino Superwash Wool, 33% Alpaca - Aran
Taiyo Lace - 50% Cotton, 17% Wool, 17% Nylon, 16% Silk - Laceweight - Single ply
Boa - 84% Polyester, 16% Nylon - Heavy Worsted - Faux Fur
Koala - 45% Superwash Wool, 20% Mohair, 35% Nylon - Bulky/Chunky - Boucl�
Europa Tweed - 70% Wool, 20% Acrylic, 10% Rayon - Bulky/Chunky - Nubby/Tweedy
Marley - 100% Wool - Super Bulky/Super Chunky - Plied with a fine thread
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