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!