Working with 100% silk fingering weight

Hey guys. I am working on a khata for spiritual director of mine. I bought some 100% silk for it. I have had trouble from winding up to the knitting. Has anyone else on here had issues with it. Its not a tight spin on the yarn. Its very loose, however its only white I could find.
Its very difficult to wind as well. I had to actually cut some of it on the winder as it got pretty knotted up. I tried going slower so it would not be too tight, but when I did that it started coming loose and wrapping up on the pole. When I went too fast it was very tight and make the yarn thiner than what i wanted. As I was getting to the end I had to adjust the pole several times to keep from it dropping off.
On the ball it is very hard to control it sometimes simply sluffs off getting knotted again. In the actual knitting I am not having any difficulty there. however my needles do not have a sharp point to them and the lace pattern I am using helps a bit on that.
This is the second time I've encountered difficulty with these kinda a yards. Another time it was 100 % soy based, it was simply too slippery to put on the winder so i had to do that chair thingy and wind it up in a ball on my own(it took forever)
Any good advice on this?


Crafty Andy's picture

I usually like to buy 100% silk on cones, instead of skeins. It is a lot easier to deal with.

CLABBERS's picture

I have never worked with silk that thin. The khata will look beautiful though, especially if it has a silken sheen to it. I'd enjoy seeing it when you get it done.

Tallguy's picture

Silk is beautiful and quite wonderful to work with. but not all silk is the same! There is silk and then there is silk! Those of us that have worked with different breeds of wool know there is a difference, and silk is much the same.

If you are working with reeled silk, you will have trouble. It is lovely, to be sure, but a real pain to work with if you don't know what to do. It is a whole new experience!

I'm not sure how you are winding the silk, since I am not familiar with the mechanism you are using, but I think you need to wind it by hand if it is reeled silk. And you need to wind it into an egg-shaped "ball" fairly firmly, otherwise it will just explode and make a tangled mess!Those of us that have used it before know all about this! A nostepine works well for this.

I really don't understand how a yarn can become thinner if you wind it tight! That seems an impossibility to me, but then again, I can't really see your yarn.

Soy is really a rayon, and it will also have the same problems as does reeled silk. You will need to handle it differently. It is NOT wool!

You may need to use silk spun from broken cocoons, rather than reeled. It is carded and spun in a similar method to wool, and has a lot of shorter fibres, and therefore is not as smooth and shiny. It will grip to things better, and won't get away from you that easily. It generally has a softer feel whereas reeled is very shiny and can feel very smooth.


Thanks for the comments. Unfortunately only one yarn shop here in town has silk and they do not sell it in cones . I had bought some heavier weight silk about a year ago(worsted weight) I was able to use the winder I have to do well with this . I had bought some silk prior to this that was in-between finger weight and DK. It too was difficult even for the shop to wind it for me.
Good thing is at this weight one skein will probably give me quite a bit, even with the loss of the knotted pieces.
Tallguy one thing I have noticed is some silk is spun tighter than others, if its duponti it tends to be looser. Thats what this is. If you use a think pointed needles on it it would separate the yarn very easy. One reason I use large needles on it.
The first silk i used didn't have much of sheen to it. You might say it was almost raw silk. I also have used textured ones and have good results
Thanks for all the advice I appreciate it. Mark I hope to have a pic on here latter when I am finished.