Finally finished: Mom's Silk Lace Scarf

This is a project that I’ve been fiddling with for quite a while. I finally got it finished up, blocked, pressed, and gifted the week before Christmas. The photos have been hanging out in the camera since then – finally, all the *other* holiday business is done, so I got a chance to fiddle with them.

I got to experiment with pressing silk lace with a steam iron – and I definitely like the effect!

This pattern is an adaptation of Susan Lawrence’s Branching Out. I had made a version using alpaca yarn that was much closer to the original guage; that was my first lace project. I decided that I wanted to make one in all silk, but with the much smaller yarn, I found that I needed to work on size one needles, so I doubled the pattern to make the scarf wide enough. I put a 3-stitch garter bar in between the two repetitions.

The yarn is a Tussah organzine from Habu Textiles – I think it’s the 35d12x2, but I can’t find the cone label to be sure of that. A nice shiny cream-colored yarn, about the weight of buttonhole thread, but not as tightly twisted.

It blocked out *beautifully*. The main problem I had was that there was no established standard for how big it ought to be – I found that the lace was very flexible, and could range from four to ten inches across, with corresponding differences in width. I eventually had to just pick a width of about seven inches and go for it. It’s a little shorter than I would have made it, but it hangs exactly like Mom wants it to, so that’s what matters.

I had read in Yarn Harlot’s blog, and a couple of other sources, about ironing silk yarn. I decided to give it a try. The results were excellent!

This shows one end of the blocked, but not ironed, scarf (below) alongside the ironed end (above, right) – you can’t really see the difference in this photo, but it makes the yarn much flatter, and improves the drape. It also looks like it will keep the lace in its shape better – the yarns are more difficult to pull out of pattern.

This is the un-ironed end. You can see that the silk catches the light, but it’s across the curvature of each bit of the yarn.

Here, the ironed end. Because the yarn is flattened out, the light catches more on the surface of the scarf, making the whole thing appear more shiny.

33 replies
  1. unluckymonkey
    unluckymonkey says:

    Gorgeous! I wouldn’t have the guts to wear it! I’d be afraid to snag it or have it fall in my pasta sauce and I’d have to hang myself with it. She must have LOVED it!

  2. admin
    admin says:

    honestly, I wouldn’t be able to figure it out. I worked on it in short bursts, and forgot about it for long whiles between. It was probably fifteen hours, maybe more?

  3. mstical1
    mstical1 says:

    WOW, I’m impressed. That is very pretty. I’ve been trying to teach myself how to knit. I’m a whiz at crochet, but knitting may not be my forte. I think I’ll get an instruction dvd to help me. Just looking at the photos in the book isn’t helping me much,

  4. admin
    admin says:

    If you look at, there are a bunch of short videos – I find them very helpful, because I can watch somebody’s hands actually go through the motion.

  5. usagiweaver
    usagiweaver says:

    OMG! That must hae taken forever! I’ve started that pattern in Koigu KPPM and can only work on it when other people aren’t interruptnig me… which means it isn’t getting worked on as of late.

    Your scarf is absolutely lovely!

  6. geodyne
    geodyne says:

    That’s just stunning – not least because, ironically enough, I’m knitting myself a tussah silk lace scarf from the branching out pattern at the moment as well – only I used henna-dyed tussah silk, which I spun to lace-weight. I’ve olny been doing a single repetition, but I’m immensely impressed with how good the double repetition looks. And the silk, as always, is stunning.

  7. haptotrope
    haptotrope says:

    so it is a little ways down the line… how has this held up? in the slippery yarn verus “keeping the pattern?”/definition arena.

    provided ofcourse that you have visitation rights…

  8. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Isn’ that the trippiest feeling when they get all vibratory on your hands? My bees are tucked up for the winter with boxes full of honey and a dose of menthol towelettes on the last 70s temp day.

    I will check them on windless clear days…and feed them some warm honey when it looks like they need it. Fingers crossed for spring!

  9. Renny
    Renny says:

    Your amazing result love it
    I have Bombay silk and a lightweight spindle so hope I can spin the fibre really thin

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Security Code:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.