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 Test for stretching?
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flicka
Seriously Hooked

867 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2012 :  1:31:26 PM  Show Profile Send flicka a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I have some La Soie yarn by Welcomme, which is a gorgeous silk. I would like to make it into a sweater but wonder if it would stretch, sag, or otherwise droop. Is there a way to treat a swatch in order to judge this before plunging into a big project? I was thinking of knitting a big swatch and pinning it to a hanger for a week or so, but if there are better ideas I'd love to read them.

flicka

Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1699 Posts

Posted - 04/17/2012 :  5:17:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I knitted a Moebius bag with a silk/linen blend. (You can see this on my Ravelry projects page; it's gold with a pocket on the outside for my cell phone.) Before I charged in, I knitted a swatch to see how much it would stretch width-wise, because that's the way the strap would run, and I didn't want the bag winding up at my knees. So I knitted a swatch with fairly small needles (I think I used size 2), and then stretched it HARD, because when stuff goes in the bag, it'll stretch the strap. Based on the number of stitches there were when stretched hard like this, I multiplied sts/in. times inches needed and cast on that many for the strap. I was not sorry for doing this. The bag works real well, and the strap is holding its length.

Your stretch issues are different, because the knitting (I assume) will stretch lengthwise, but it might be worth knitting a swatch and tugging on the CO/BO edges over a ruler. Anyway, that's what I can tell you. I have a silk noil cardi that I knitted and it has gotten longer. I am still trying to figure out how to wash it so it won't stretch all the more. I'm thinking the best way to do that would be to lay it atop a large piece of netting and then roll both together, then soak, let it dry some, and then unroll everything onto my drying rack where it can dry completely. Hmmmm, you might want to think about washing the garment first before you start knitting it!

Ceil
(Ravelry: ceilr)
Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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marjotse
Permanent Resident

Sweden
1018 Posts

Posted - 04/18/2012 :  12:27:58 AM  Show Profile  Visit marjotse's Homepage Send marjotse a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I checked the yarn on Ravelry and it seems to be a 100% fingering weight silk yarn. I feel that silk will stretch & grow, but since it is fingering it might not be as bad since the weight will be less. I would be very critical when choosing the pattern you want to use. If you make an item that needs a lot of drape anyways, it will not be so bad as when choosing a more fitted, stiffer item.

Marjolein

http://kantajour.blogspot.com
my photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/98299499@N00/
On Ravelry: Marjotse
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Momma78239
Permanent Resident

USA
4859 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2012 :  01:40:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit Momma78239's Homepage  Send Momma78239 a Yahoo! Message Send Momma78239 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That is exactly what I do with yarns that I feel may stretch out. I pin the swatch to a hanger and then mimic the weight of a sweater by clipping several clothespins to the bottom of the swatch. Leave it that way for several days and it will tell you how much stretch to expect.

-WendyM[IMG]http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v632/Momma78239/smallspindlepic.gif[/IMG]
And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen. Exodus 35:25
Knit, Spin, and Crochet at Yarnivore!
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Consuelo
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
582 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2012 :  04:51:16 AM  Show Profile Send Consuelo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you do all that is suggested above and it still turns out too droopy, you could knit with an additional strand of lace-weight linen to hold up the silk. I tried that when I made a small purse for my granddaughter and it worked out great.

Consuelo
"Perfect" is the enemy of good!
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cawelsh
New Pal

USA
3 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2012 :  05:13:41 AM  Show Profile Send cawelsh a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If I had some of this yarn, 100% silk, I might try a smaller project, maybe a light camisole you could wear under a shirt next to your skin, small needles. I haven't checked out the yarn yet online, but 100% silk, even 50% wool, 50% silk will not have the same memory, as silk has no scales like wool, hence no memory. A small shawlette, silk scarf, might be more appropriate for this yarn.

Someone suggested holding a strand of linen with it, that may work, but linen also has no memory. I would suggest a wool or perhaps very fine mohair with the silk.

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flicka
Seriously Hooked

867 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2012 :  09:57:57 AM  Show Profile Send flicka a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for all the suggestions. You warm my heart!

Wendy, how good to see a post from you. I have missed your posts and your treasury of info. I will try the "hanging swatch" trick now that it has been validated!

Ceil, your experience with the silk noil sweater is just what I'm hoping to minimize. In fact, I am seriously thinking about knitting a top-down sweater so it will be easier to shorten sleeves if they stretch beyond wearable length.

Consuelo and cawelsh, I happen to have almost 2,000 yards of this yarn so I'm thinking the "highest and best use" of this is a drapey cardigan. I have not had success in knitting two different fiber types together; the good qualities of the separate fibers disappear for me. I'm glad it worked for you, Consuelo.

Marjotse, those are my thoughts, too. I love the drape of silk.

flicka
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bettyjol
New Pal

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2012 :  10:13:31 AM  Show Profile Send bettyjol a Private Message  Reply with Quote
When I am worried that yarn will stretch, I wash and block the swatch until it is dry. Then I hang it on a hanger, but I clip clothes pins along the bottom of the swatch to simulate the weight of the yarn on the finished project. This has worked for me, and I have several times shortened the knitted length, then hung the finished garment on a padded hanger to allow it to "relax" into the length I wanted before I wore it.
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dkelgard@shaw.ca
New Pal

1 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2012 :  12:14:14 PM  Show Profile Send dkelgard@shaw.ca a Private Message  Reply with Quote
For some years I have been designing my own sweaters which allows me to buy yarn I like and then knit with it. I found some amazing Italian yarn constructed unlike anything I had ever seen and wanted to knit a sideways sweater for my sister but I knew that that construction could sag easily so I knit a whole ball in the stitch I wanted to use and pinned it to a hanger and left it for several months and was delighted to find that it sagged not one bit so made a stunning sweater that she wears with pleasure. A year might seem a long time to wait but like many other knitters I always have several projects on the go so can do other stuff in the meantime.
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flicka
Seriously Hooked

867 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2012 :  09:46:09 AM  Show Profile Send flicka a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks, bettyjol, it looks like there are several people who hang swatches so I will try that. Welcome to KR, by the way!

Dkelgard, you are my kind of knitter.
quote:
A year might seem a long time to wait but like many other knitters I always have several projects on the go so can do other stuff in the meantime.


I could totally see myself doing that. I am looking forward to reading more of your posts. Also, welcome to KR!

flicka
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