5 Easy tips for knitting with velvet yarn.

Are you looking to knit a project using velvet yarn? Read about why I almost threw all of my velvet yarn away! Here I share with you my trials and the lessons I learned to help set you up for success before you cast-on so that you don’t experience the same challenges as I did. 

What to use velvet yarn for?

After reading the tips below, check out my 21 FREE Velvet Yarn Knitting Patterns post for pattern inspiration. This post includes patterns for many different projects, from beginner to intermediate, and what velvet yarn works best with each one.

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tips for knitting with velvet yarn

90s Fashion!

The 90s are back! I’m talking mom jeans, neon colors and plaid flannel shirts. I’m not a huge fan of mom jeans and crop tops on anyone over the age of 22, however, one 90s trend I can get on board with is the return of velvet. Especially when it comes to accessories and home décor. Velvet scarves, dresses, and those adorable velvet pumpkins, yes, please! These velvet yarn patterns are bound to fulfill your 90s dreams.

Getting Started with Velvet Yarn.

One day I was meandering through Michael’s, as any good crafter does when I spotted an entire center aisle display of Bernat’s Velvet yarn. There was baby velvet and crushed velvet galore! Obviously, I walked right over to it and started petting away. It’s seriously THE SOFTEST! After cuddling with a few skeins, I walked away to pick up the yarn that I had actually gone there to buy.

As I tried to leave, I was pulled back over to squish the velvet one more time. That’s when 4 balls just happened to jump into my cart. I didn’t have a clue what I was going to make with it, but I knew it had to come home with me. Does that ever happen to you?!

Pink velvet yarn. How to knit with velvet yarn.

Once home I proceeded to search google and Pinterest for knitting patterns that I could use my velvet yarn with. Not much came up. There were plenty of patterns for crocheting with velvet yarn but less than a handful of knitting patterns. After searching for a while, I felt like I clearly needed to just create my own knit pattern.

I have now since compiled a list of 21 FREE Velvet Yarn Knitting Patterns so you don’t have to search like I did.

Velvet Baby Blanket Pattern.

I settled on a knit baby blanket with tassels and began to swatch with different sized needles and a variety of stitches. Many swatch attempts later I discovered that this yarn was a little more challenging to work with than what I expected.

Car Knitting. Continental Knitting. Knitting with velvet yarn. Bernat baby velvet yarn. Free knitting pattern.

Why is this velvet yarn hard to work with?

After coming across this article regarding the author’s Love/Hate relationship with velvet yarn I understood a possible reason why. She was 100% correct in her findings that velvet yarn tends to “worm” when knit. This explains why I could find only crochet patterns as crochet creates a tighter fabric and therefore doesn’t have the same problems as knitting.

You can see from the photo of my baby blanket that the stitches do not look very uniform and some of them stick out and curve a bit. That is what they call “worming.” This yarn certainly looks better in crochet than knit but I was determined to find a way to make it work. 

So after working on my baby blanket for about a month on and off, I set it aside. I wasn’t sure that I even wanted to continue based on the way it was looking. After a few months, I finally finished the the Woolflower Velvet Knit Blanket and you can find the free pattern here on the blog!

Knitting with velvet yarn. How to knit with velvet yarn
This photo shows the way the stitches wiggle and aren’t straight which is also called “worming”

Can you hold velvet yarn double?

Flash forward 5 months and again I came across the velvet yarn sitting in my stash just waiting to be made into something super cozy. I decided to give it another go. This time my plan was to double up and use two strands at once. My goal was to make the project a faster knit, as well as, try to decrease the worming look of the yarn. This double stranding helped significantly in making the appearance of my knitting look cleaner and more uniform. 

The big frusteration and why I almost threw all my velvet yarn away!

Now here comes one big lesson I learned where I almost threw away all of my velvet yarn in a fit of frustration. After doing my swatch test holding two strands of velvet yarn together, I decided that I was going to knit a cozy velvet cowl scarf.

To prepare, I pulled out my ball winder so that I could split my one large ball of velvet yarn into two separate balls. I wound up one cake and then the other.

I began to use the center pull balls to cast on and knit around and that’s when the first problem happened. One of the center-pulled strands of yarn got completely stuck. Like pulling as hard as I could, nothing moving. I assumed that a knot must have formed while I was winding it (I was a little distracted with helping my kids with homework and giving the baby a snack). So I quickly went to re-wind it and start over.

cozy knitting with velvet yarn.

I casted on again and began knitting with both strands coming out of the center of each cake. Not more than a row or two into the project the yarn got stuck AGAIN! Ugh! I was trying to have a relaxing hour knitting alone with no kids while watching my daughter swim and this velvet yarn was ruining it! I slammed the entire project back into my bag and decided it needed a break.

When I got home that night, I was so annoyed that I almost considered throwing this yarn away and moving on. What good was yarn that got stuck every time you tried to use it and made strange sloppy stitches?! After getting ready for bed and calming down a bit I decided to try one last time. This time, I was going to use the outside strand of the yarn cake instead of the center pull in hopes that the sticky nature of the yarn was the reason it kept getting stuck.

Velvet yarn free knitting pattern. Beginning knitting pattern.

To sum it up, here are my

5 Tips to Knitting with Velvet Yarn.

  1. Double up – Knit with two strands together to help hide the worming effect of the yarn. This will give you an extra cozy fabric too.
  2. Needle down – Using a larger needle will cause your stitches to be looser which will magnify the worming tendency of the yarn. Instead go with a needle size one or two sizes smaller than what you typically would use. 
  3. Don’t use center-pull balls/cakes. I recommend either using the yarn straight from the skein/ball as is or winding it into a ball but using the outside strand to knit from. The nature of this yarn is that it sticks together easily and can become tangled.
  4. Don’t use detailed stitch patterns. – Velvet yarn doesn’t have great stitch definition and a stitch you see created with wool yarn will look completely different in velvet. Therefore, test out your stitches in a swatch first to see if you like the look of it.
  5. Handle with care. – I saw a recent post on Facebook where a woman spent hours creating a beautiful blanket using velvet yarn. After washing the blanket, she found huge holes in the center of it where the velvet yarn had broken and started to unravel. In using this yarn I can see how this could happen. It’s basically a thread with fuzzy fibers attached. I know the tag says machine washable but I would caution you to only handwash your finished item unless you want to run the risk of holes.

Where to Buy Velvet Yarn

Here are some of my favorite velvet yarns to use and where you can buy them.

  • Lion Brand Vel-Luxe Yarn – you can find it here or directly on their website here.
  • Bernat Velvet Yarn – find it here
  • Bernat Baby Velvet Yarn – find it here

Free Velvet Yarn Knitting Patterns

I hope sharing my fails knitting with velvet yarn helps you to feel confident in using it for your next knit project! To get you started check out these FREE velvet yarn knitting patterns.

Seed Stitch Cowl Knitting Pattern - Free Pattern

42 thoughts on “5 Easy tips for knitting with velvet yarn.

  1. I got a great deal on this yarn today. After reading the “Love Hate Relationship with Bernat Velvet Yarn” article, and now your comments, I completely understand why it was such a great bargain. Even though I love a bargain, I hate being frustrated. Knitting is supposed to be my happy place. I am glad that I came home and did my research before beginning a project. I both knit and crochet; however, I wanted to knit with this yarn.

    1. I completely agree and am happy that my feedback helped you! I hate being frustrated as well and feel like it’s such a waste to buy yarn that I won’t ever use.

      1. Thank you for sharing.
        I was very excited to knit a baby blanket with Bernat Baby Velvet yarn. I am very frustrated with it though. The yarn twists as I knit through each row. Having to untwist the the yarn with each stitch takes a lot of time and is very frustrating.

        1. Hi Kathy, that sounds very frustrating! Are you having to untwist the ball or the actual strand of yarn? I’m thinking due to the texture of the yarn I simply knit with it slightly twisted instead of making it flat and straight each time.

    2. I agree! I bought this yarn to make a baby blanket because they were out of Bernat Blanket in a similar colour. If this yarn can’t stand up to machine washing it’s pointless to use it for a blanket. Thanks for the tips!!

    1. It’s a baby blanket pattern that I was designing but have since decided I may not publish it.

  2. Could you do this same stitch/pattern on straight knitting needles? Or would it probably not turn out?

    1. The stitch pattern would change slightly on straight needles. You would cast on the same number of stitches and simply K1, P1 across on both sides. Hope that helps!

  3. Do you have any tips on “fixing” the worming on a completed project other than a lot of patience??

    1. I haven’t come up with anything that solves that yet. Mostly due to the fact that you don’t block this yarn. I would say either live with it or rip it out and try a smaller needle size. Sadly it’s not very forgiving. Good luck!

      1. I’m in the process of ripping out a sweater I started. This article has helped a great deal. I’ll go down a needle size and try again. The yarn is sooo cozy I’m determined to have a sweater.

    2. I read another article that said that increasing tension beyond what you would normally ever use, helps with worming a lot. I’ve been researching because I have skeins of the Bernat velvet plus coming in the mail. Now I’m nervous. The velvet plus is way bigger and calls for a US sz 50…which I have. But now I don’t have the ability to size my needles down because I’m using circular needles. The next size down I have is 15. Which obviously won’t work. So I guess we will see how this goes. I typically use a tighter tension anyway because the first ever yarn I worked with was the bernat blanket. Which can also worm…but not as intensely. Fingers crossed. So I’m just going to try using a way tighter tension than I normally do. I’m thinking that it will be tight and difficult but it will loosen a bit as I’m stitching which should put the tension around the normal zone. Or those are my hopes.

      1. That sounds like a great tip! I hope it works out. I did recently knit something with Bernat Velvet and used a size US 10 needle and it didn’t worm as much so maybe that is a good size needle to try for that yarn.

  4. I read a good deal of posts that are interesting here.
    You spend a lot of time writing, Thanks for sharing!

    King regards,
    Thomassen Henneberg

  5. I just finished a lapghan with this yarn. Knitted the piece then tried my hand at crochet for the first time by crocheting a border around the whole piece. Had 3 small balls left. NEVER AGAIN will I use this yarn. OMG! It is RIDDLED with worms!! I started “fixing” by just threading some of the leftover yarn onto a large eye blunt needle and overcast stitching the worms onto the fabric, weave through 2-3 stitches then tie off and cut. It’s not ideal, but at least the yarn is fuzzy enough that it’s not extremely noticeable … if you don’t get up close and personal with the piece. Found 30 on ONE SIDE. Turned it over, and decided to heck with it. There’s just as many on the other side. I did notice, like you say, the crochet edge had absolutely NO worms! I’m not undoing the whole thing and single crocheting another laghan. It just is what it is. I’m done with this yarn. Wish I had seen your blog or the article you referred to first; I probably wouldn’t have bought it, even though it was less than $3/skein!

    1. How frustrating! I want to love this yarn but I think I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s great for crochet and not so great for knitting. It’s too bad because it’s a great price and feels so soft! I’m sorry to hear about your lapghan!

      1. Your blog was very helpful about velvet yarn. I am trying to knit an adult Afghan.
        I have doubled the yarn and am wondering if a double seed stitch pattern would work. We need more knitting patterns for this yarn.

        1. Thank you! I’m happy it helped. I would think a double seed stitch pattern would work very well for your afghan. I agree that we need more patterns for velvet yarn. I see so many for crochet but not many for knitting.

    1. I have not tried blocking velvet yarn yet but would recommend knitting up a small sample and testing it first. I’m thinking steam blocking may work best for this yarn.

      1. I knit a baby blanket with this yarn after pulling out 2 blanket attempts.
        I made mine using the same pattern to make cotton dishcloths.
        Cast on 4 sts.knot 2 then yo knit to the end. When I get the width I want I know 1 knit 2 together to knit 2 together

        Less worming. I also used 5 mm needles

          1. For my cowl pattern I use 2 strands and for my blanket pattern I use one.

  6. Do you have any tips for joining this yarn, especially when knitting double stranded? In the love/hate article Cintia states that the ends are very difficult to weave in. I need to join my next 2 balls to the large throw I am knitting with a broken rib stitch, double stranded, tight tension on size 9 (5.5mm) Chiaogoo needles.

  7. This yarn seems frustrating as fiber flex yarn when I wanted to throw away. I tried many many times to work with fiber flex. This seems not worth the hassle with either one.

    1. I have not tried the fiber flex yarn but will agree that it’s almost not worth the hassle. I do love the way it feels though so I keep trying!

  8. Ok, so glad I stumbled upon this blog post! I picked up your baby blanket pattern and the yarn as a project for my 14 isolation and let me tell you I had ALLLLL the problems. I’ve restarted 3 times and spent a FULL day untangling a knot that appeared in my ball. I think if the yarn wasn’t so pretty I would have really lost my mind…

    I hadn’t heard of “worming” before, but that’s an excellent description of what happens. Anyway, I decided to slow down, take my time, and really focus on each row and stitch. So far so good – nearly done now (after about 10 days with not much else to do) and it looks beautiful! Did you double up on the yarn for the blanket pattern? Not sure if I’ll be able to give it away though- this baby blanket might sit with me instead. Thanks for the read!

    1. I’m so happy it helped! I didn’t double up on the yarn for the blanket pattern and found that the stitch pattern helped keep the yarn from worming so much. I actually ended up keeping my velvet baby blanket as well because it’s so soft and snuggly! I’m happy to hear you like it!

    2. Thanks for the tips! After finishing my first ever velvet yarn project, which is the first of my commitment of 4 (!!!!) bridesmaids’ boleros, I knew I would find someone who has experienced this frustration and might have some tips. The yarn does tangle easily, does not feed at all from the middle strand of the ball, is very difficult to un-knit (tink) if you have to back up for a mistake. And if you do have to tink, the yarn really suffers as the velvet fuzz pulls off the core thread. So it is slow going. I resorted to using markers to force several stitch counts in each row. I simplified the pattern where possible. I won’t use a sewn cast off as that requires repeatedly drawing the thread through stitches, denuding the core. That said… if my daughter the bride loves the result, I’ll be cranking out a few more of these, but with a more clear idea of how the yarn works. Thanks for the help.

      1. I’m so happy it helped! The bridesmaid’s boleros sound beautiful! I hope they all work out!

  9. I can understand the temptation to buy this yarn. Even though this year was supposed to be my stashless year, (I have a small yarn store’s worth of yarn) I bought a skein of Yarn Bee Velvety Smooth in the teal green colorway. It was so soft and squishy. I wanted to take it home and swatch it to see if I could knit something. I don’t crochet so if I couldn’t knit with it I only wasted a few bucks. I knitted a swatch and it seemed be coming out nicely. I want to make a knit a oversized sweater. Of course when my daughter saw the swatch, she wanted one too. I don’t seem to have the “worming” issue but I have only knit a few inches so far. One issue is that there is only 80 yards per skein, so I will have to do quite a few joins

    1. An oversized sweater in velvet yarn sounds like a dream! Yes, it’s so soft and squishy I continue to purchase it myself. I look forward to hearing about your sweaters!

  10. The Bernat Velvet yarn (vs the Baby velvet) is an entire weight heavier, and I think that makes a big difference in how it tangles and how easy it is to maintain the correct tension (while crocheting, at least)! I’d definitely recommend giving the standard version a try, although this time around I am re-winding the ball instead of using the center-pull provided (that was a tangled mess).

  11. Do you think a baby blanket using the reg. seed or moss stitch will work using Bernat Baby Velvet yarn? Thank You

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