So Sorry Silk

June 7, 2007

I bought some Sari Silk about a year ago off ebay and got a fantastic deal.  When I got it, I was in awe of all of the colors and how beautiful the yarn looked, trying to ignore the terribly musty and icky smell.

I thought it would make a neat clapotis or shawl.  So I casted on for the clapotis.  However, as I was knitting with it, I noticed how dirty it was.  (I have blog posted about this before.)  It took awhile to wind the yarn up into balls, so the thought of winding the balls into a hank and washing them just seemed a waste of my time.

As I would knit with it, my throat would feel scratchy and I would start to think about the possibility of getting some weird illness from dust or dirt from the other side of the world.  Silly, I am sure, but other people handled this yarn and it was dirty.  I would find fingernails and other odd things spun into the yarn.  Gross, but I tried to be open minded.  It is just yarn and these were probably nice people spinning it, but still…

So I put the clapotis down and told myself I will either frog it or one day finish it.

This was over a year ago.

A week ago, I decided that I needed to knit some of my novelty and misc yarns into scarves.  I have a few things I am doing soon where I will need gifts and thought big scarves would be perfect.  I will have to talk about the novelty yarns I used in another blog post.  It is interesting.  But that isn’t what I am posting about today.

I decided to try the Sari Silk yarn again and just make a simple garter stitch/drop stitch scarf.  Again, the yarn was dirty, smelly, and made me squirm.  I knit with size 17 needles and in less than 2 days I had a nice long scarf.  I bound off the scarf and threw it in the washing machine on gentle.

I had read that this yarn softens up real nicely after washing it.   I put it on a long soak.  The washing machine smelled like gasoline.  GASOLINE!  My scarf!!  How crazy is that?  Tony said it smelled like a tire store.  I thought it was gas.  Tony has a bad sense of smell and rarely can smell anything.

After it washed, I looked at it and there was a huge gaping hole.  Not only that, but the yarn some how sealed itself off, so I can’t find the ends.  I have thought of a few ways to fix it, like taking more of that yarn and trying to sew the hole closed.  I don’t know.  That would require me to touch the dirty yarn again.

I suppose I could wind it all into long hanks and wash it…

ps…it is pretty, isn’t it…even with the hole…



  1. silk and water do not play well together…I would have tossed it a long time ago!! I have some recycled sari silk that was brought back from India and it is lovely…it is a natural color and just waiting to be dyed!

  2. ooo. sounds icky weird. I would have tossed it upon finding the first fingernail.

  3. The Sari Silk I had was nice, butit had that funny smell Sari Silk tends to have-no dirt or fingernails and I just made a bag with it-so I didn’t wash it. It is pretty.

  4. I love the vibrant colours but all that icky stuff would have made me gag also…at least I don’t want to try Sari Silk now, thanks, Wendy.

  5. OMG I have to give you a ton of credit for working with this silk. I would have been too grossed out after finding fingernails. Although the colors are beautiful !

  6. I’d have tossed it. *shudders*

  7. You so did not find a fingernail in there did you? No, no, no! That just isn’t right! I’ve got the heebie jeebies thinking about that!

  8. yeah. i’ve got heeves just thinking about finding a fingernail. gack! ur a strong woman!

  9. Hi Wendy,
    I love your web site! Very cool!

    Wow, that is weird about the silk. I alway hand wash anything silk with dishsoap, so that’s a new one for me to hear about!

    Please email me, I would love to send you something for commenting on my contest! I will look forward to hearing from you!

  10. I’ve tossed lots of silk stuff in the washing machine without a problem (on *regular* even), but I’m guessing that the way this is spun allowed it to fray to bits, and the frayed ends tangled to hide the ends. The stuff I washed was woven and had the cut parts hemmed/zigzag stitched.

    Hanking and soaking the remainder of the yarn in dish detergent should make it less icky… but *fingernails*?!? Um… ew.

  11. Ack! The fingernail thing grossed me out, too.

  12. Fingernails?? That’s so gross! I can honestly say I’ve never had that happen, or I would never use that yarn again. It does smell a bit funny, but I figured that was just the way of things with that yarn.

  13. I’ve never been able to make friends with sari silk. I have a gorgeous ball of it that I can’t stand touching – for some reason, the feel of it between my fingers when knitting makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up. That being said, though, the colors on your scarf are gorgeous. Altho, I have to go with the majority here & say “ewwww fingernails” 🙂
    PS Thanks for the comment on my Starburst Beret!

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