The Pink Silk Burning Test

18 May

Ever since I started knitting actively, I’ve had the knitting magazine Novita delivered to me. Because I already had this one magazine delivered four times a year, I could hardly ever justify it to myself to buy other knitting magazines, and felt I was missing out on all kinds of cool stuff. Novita is concentrated on selling Novita yarns and contains little to no articles or other interesting things apart from an (admittedly) large number of patterns.

So this year, when it came time to renew my subscription, I simply didn’t, and instead subscribed to Interweave Knits – the magazine I’ve been most disappointed I couldn’t buy. One magazine costs over 12 euros. I could be using that money on yarn. Or, you know, food. Now I get 4 issues for just under 20 euros. Yep, that’s a no-brainer.

The first issue I got contained a piece on silk yarns and suggested doing a burn test to see if your yarn really is silk. As it happens, I was working with silk at the time…

I was knitting this shawl (In the Pink, Ravelry link), which I just finished today, but will blog more about later.

The yarn I used was Soft Silk from BC Garn, a 100 % bourette silk yarn in sport weight. It was so different from what I’ve come to think of as silk that I was pretty interested to do the test. It feels and acts like cotton, really, and it was interesting to knit a shawl with such an unforgiving yarn. All the little mistakes pop out… I wasn’t skeptical of the fiber content, but I just wanted to see, and also to burn things… What?

I read about bourette silk and think it’s awesome it’s made with “waste” silk – so that damaged cocoons don’t actually become waste. Considering that and the relatively low price of the yarn, the cottony feel and look are an acceptable trade-off.

The shawl is a gift, so we’ll just have to wait and see whether it has all the magical qualities silk is supposed to have. Again, not because I think this yarn is somehow bad but because I haven’t noticed that many differences between the qualities of different yarns. I know they’re supposed to be there, I just don’t see or feel them when I use the things I’ve knitted.

So anyway, I did the burning test, and yes, of course, the result is that the yarn is clearly silk.

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