pattern is free on Ravelry. I didn't want wool, because let's face it, menopause and wool in the summertime just don't make for a good match. I looked for worsted weight bamboo, but the store didn't have any. I'm not crazy about knitting with cotton, and the hemp? Meh. I opted for, Rowan's Summer Tweed. It's 70 percent silk and 30% cotton.
About 1/3 of the way through the cast on edge, I noticed this yarn has a peculiar, funky and bordering on nasty smell. In the nursing biz, we call that malodorous. As though saying something has an odor isn't enough, we have to add the prefix, mal, to distinguish the smell as being particularly offensive. One should be able to say, it smells like shit, and any other nurse should have complete understanding, but no, we are a group compelled to add a little literary flourish to our otherwise drab charting: the patient had a large, malodorous stool. It's still shit, but now it reads better on paper.
Back to the silk. I've used one out of 8 skeins so far and can't bear the thought of returning the remainder of the yarn to the store yet. The odor encountered while holding the beginnings of this sweater in my hands was enough to stop me from continuing. Not wanting to give up, I've tossed a second skein of the silk into a basin full of scorching hot water and soaked it in Eucalan for nearly an hour. Of course I read the instructions not to soak this fiber. Why do you ask? I lost a little color with the use of hot water, but what the heck, it's that or nothing. For the rinse, I added a splash of white vinegar (no citric acid powder on hand). The skein is hanging out to dry now, and so far, so good. It smells like vinegar and eucalyptus and believe me, that's a lot better than the stench I first encountered.
I've not knit with silk too often, and what I have knit and spun has had no odor, probably due in part to the fact that the silk was not the predominant fiber in the blend. When I googled stinky silk yarn, quite a few things popped up. It's not as stinky as dog though, so maybe it'll be OK and there are some sites where knitters have stated the smell goes away after a couple of washes.
Have you encountered stinky silk before? How did you manage the smell?