Introducing Berroco Summer Silk

Our new spring yarn, Berroco Summer™ Silk, is whisper soft to the touch and delightful to work with. A blend of 45% silk, 43% cotton, and 12% nylon, this yarn is destined to become a favorite part of your spring and summer wardrobe. The beauty of this yarn is its chainette construction, meaning that instead of being plied as traditional yarns, the individual strands are sort of knitted together to form a lightweight, lofty yarn with loads of drape. Traditionally, silk and cotton fibers are not really known for their stitch definition, lacking the bounce that wool and many other animal fibers have. So while you could always work textured stitches in silk or cotton yarns, you’d likely find that the fabric was droopy and grew lengthwise, because it was too heavy. By spinning Summer Silk in a chainette and adding just a little bit of nylon, we have a yarn that is lightweight and shows off stitches like nobody’s business.

Want to see? Take a look at Catarratto (shown above), a sweatshirt-style pullover with dropped shoulders that is worked in an allover stitch pattern, like a henley.  This sweater, for the largest size, calls for 11 balls of Berroco Summer Silk. Each ball weighs 50 grams, so the largest-size version of Catarratto would weigh about 550 grams, or about 1.25 pounds. That’s crazy lightweight! For reference, if I was to knit this sweater, I’d choose the 52″ bust and that would weigh approximately 450 grams. I checked the numbers on a sweater I knit in a 100% wool yarn, and it weighed 625 grams.

Another reason this yarn is so remarkable is that it gets a whopping 240 yards into those 50 gram balls. That makes larger projects a bit more affordable. Take this giant shawl, Grenache, for example. Grenache measures approximately 84″ along the top edge after blocking—that’s 7 feet wide! It requires about 1,200 yards of yarn to knit this shawl—but that’s only 5 balls of Berroco Summer Silk.

We have another shawl in Berroco Summer Silk that shows off the beautiful drape of the yarn when knit in a plain fabric. Airenwas designed by Donna Yacino, who at first was underwhelmed by this yarn. Here’s her story:

“When we were swatching Summer Silk I thought, ho hum another chainette yarn. And I only did a few rows on that swatch. The other ladies in the design dept were gaga over it. We received our sample kettles and we were off and running with designing for the spring season.

I was assigned a shawl. I wasn’t so crazy about the yarn, but I wanted to make a pretty, simple piece, so I started my swatching. Well, I fell in love with it too! I had no direct path to this shawl. No math. It was all knit and worked out on the needles. After a few inches, I had idea pretty well worked out where I wanted to go with this. I took it with me on vacation. We had a long car ride to Virginia Beach. I worked on it in the evening while sitting on the balcony watching the ocean. As hot as it was at the beach, this was a perfect yarn choice for the weather. I finished up about half way home and by then I didn’t want to stop knitting with Summer Silk. Back at Berroco, my shawl had a bath and spread out on the table to dry.”

The other pieces in booklet #384 Berroco Summer Silk are just as dreamy as these three. You’ve got Maccabeau, a seamless tee knit first side-to-side in a gorgeous cable and lace stitch; Semillon, a knitted that also shows off how well this yarn works for cables, and is so soft and light to wear; and Chenin, a top-down cardigan with a simple lace pattern along the front edges.

If you’re itching to try the yarn but don’t want to commit to buying a pattern or pattern book yet, check out Finally Spring, a long stole with a cable and mesh pattern that mimics the first shoots of flowers in the springtime. 

Or take a look at Alison Green’s Thysania in the spring/summer issue of Knitty. This sumptuous shrug is a rectangle worked in an open cabled stitch pattern and slightly seamed to form the arms. Deep ribbing at the armholes and front edges help ensure it stays on, but it’s so lightweight you’ll forget you’re wearing it!

Want to try out this great yarn for yourself? Head to our Store Locator to find the store nearest you that currently carries Berroco Summer Silk!

14 thoughts on “Introducing Berroco Summer Silk

  1. Just swatched this yarn and LOVE the feel of it. Ordinarily, I don’t knit with cotton because it seems to cause hand fatigue in a way that other fibers don’t. No problem here! Super soft.

    1. If you follow the link I posted, you can purchase and download the pattern directly from our website. You can also find it in Ravelry, if you’re a Ravelry user, and purchase it that way to save it in your library.

  2. I’m trying to start the Grenache pattern. I need help! First off, I don’t understand what I’m knitting first. Can you tell me where on the shawl I’m beginning? And how do I do the very first row, Yo, k1. How do I start with a yo, then k1?

    1. Hi Amira,

      As stated in the note before the instructions begin, and the beginning of the pattern, you’re working the center triangle first. Once that’s established, you start working stitches for the lace pattern. So you’re starting at the center top of the shawl—it’s the garter stitch section that’s around the model’s shoulders in this photo. And here’s a video to show how to work a yarnover at the beginning of the row: http://newstitchaday.com/start-row-with-yarn-over/ Hope this helps!

    2. To YO at beginning of a row you place the yarn over the right needle and then place a finger on it to hold it in place and then k1 as usual. If this doesn’t make sense to you check out a you tube video. It is pretty simple once you see it. Good luck

  3. Thanks. It’s hard to know the overall shape of the shawl because I can’t see a clear picture of it, even though it is beautifully draped about the model’s shoulders. But your explanation helps, as does the video.

  4. I am currently knitting a tunic with this yarn & it is just dreamy!!!! Everyone that touches it ohs and awws! I will be knitting with it again, I like the sweater you have pictured, Im so glad you have patterns with this uber soft yarn (not that I need more yarn OR projects) Haha.
    Berroco does such a great job with patterns (and updating corrections) and yarn. Keep up the great work!!

  5. I am loving the Grenache Shawl and picked up some yarn to get started!! If I were to make the wingspan less wide, at which part do I modify the pattern?

    1. hi Jo Ann,
      What I would suggest is to make the Center Triangle and begin the Lace Pattern exactly as written in the pattern. Then simply work fewer vertical repeats of the chart. The pattern has you do 14 repeats, then work Rows 1-8 once more, so you might consider just doing 8 or 10 repeats. The important thing will be to end on Row 8 as the pattern specifies, so that you can work the end of the shawl as written.

      Hope that helps!

  6. I think Summer Silk is beautiful! Have been working Grenache pattern and no I am starting Maccabean. Please elaborate vis a vis slipping stitches to waste yarn. What is the purpose and how is it done?

    1. Hi Carol! So happy to hear you’re enjoying working with Summer Silk.

      When you slip stitches to waste yarn (or to a stitch holder), you’re keeping those stitches ready and waiting to be used at a later point. I’m guessing you’re at the point where you’ve divided for the front and the back of the yoke in Maccabeau. The pattern is asking you to put those front stitches on waste yarn so that they’re not connected to the needles you’re using to knit the back—it just makes it easier to wrangle all of the stitches and the cord that connects the needles. You don’t have to move them to waste yarn, but it will make knitting the back section a little bit easier.

      What I would do is thread a yarn needle with some waste yarn (smooth cotton works the best in general, but any yarn can be used), thread them through the front stitches as they’re on the needle (as though you’re inserting a lifeline), and then removing the needle from the stitches while keeping the waste yarn in place. Later the stitches will be placed back on the needle to work the front, while the back stitches will be moved to waste yarn.

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