I am a new knitter having only made simple scarves. I am now working on a poncho with beautiful hand dyed cotton (expensive) yarn and have come up with a problem that someone identified as “worming”. How does that happen and how can I avoid it? Shall I rip it out and start over? I’ve finished about half of the poncho and am not liking it. HELP!

I found this on the Lionbrand website referencing chenille’s tendency to worm: “If you find the yarn is worming, try knitting at a very tight gauge. Sometimes it helps if you knit from the other end of the skein. Also, use stitches such as garter and seed stitch rather than stockinette stitch.”

Is the cotton yarn you’re working with a chenille? I had a worming problem a couple of years ago on a chenille scarf and knitting on a smaller needle didn’t help. My friend also had the same problem (yarn was called something like Sinsation - ?rayon chenille). Since she liked the feel of this yarn so much, she made yet another scarf, felted it and she said that solved the worming problem. However, I had a couple of chenille sweaters (purchased!) a few years ago - one wormed even after putting it in the washer and dryer and the other (smaller gauge) is okay - so I don’t know what the answer is.

A lady at the LYS told me to knit the chenille with another yarn to solve the worming problem. I didn’t try this.

Good luck.


The yarn I’m using is actually rayon/cotton and linen blend. It is Cherry Tree Hill brand. I’m wondering if I should try taking the poncho apart and start over again even though I am half finished. But I’ve been told that the yarn will probably worm again. I won’t be using this type yarn again even though it is lovely. Thanks for replying.

anybody got a pic of this phenomena? I went to the lion site and looked up worming and didn’t get a match…

Hi Binkycat:

Try the second pic on this page http://string-or-nothing.blog-city.com/project__worming_harlekin_cardigan.htm

You got me so curious I had to find out for myself!!!


:shock: I checked out the picture–(just curious.) This picture and the whole worming horror would make a great horror film for knitters—just add some equally terrifying music with great thuds, pauses and screams—and it’s a wrap. eek!

:heart: Great emapathy for the knitter of half completed poncho :crying:

left a lump in my throat! no chenille for me ever!


OOOOO, that’s worming… :shock:
I had a pair of those super small gloves, you know… the one’s that stretch to fit any size hand… that were made of “chenille”. I washed them and they did that very same thing. However, I have 3 chenille sweaters, store bought, that never did that at all. they shed more than anything but never wormed. wonder if it depends on the fiber content or the way it’s made? :thinking:

This is why I never knit with chenille.


Chenille is pretty, but such a fussy yarn. Be it handknit or store bought. Worming, shedding, I’ve even had one (store bought) sweater that practically disintegrated after one wash and had to throw it out.

I’m with Silver. Every chenille sweater I’ve had has developed holes from shedding. The only thing I’ve made with it is a Christmas hat for a coworker and one for the cat. :rollseyes:

Wait a minute, fellow knitters. It is not chenille that has caused this problem unless the combination of rayon/cotton/linen blend is what chenille is made of. I appreciate your kind words of sympathy. The store owner where I purchased this yarn is insisting that it is my technique that is causing the worming. Why, then, has this never showed up before in the seven scarves that I have previously knitted? She has no answer but continues to insist it is something I’m doing wrong. OH Woe! I am $52.00 down the drain on this project!!

Oops. Somewhere we got the idea it was chenille, I guess. The only thing I can think of is to be very careful with each stitch to make sure it snugs up as you go.

I’ve only heard of chenille worming. It’s very weird that it’s happening with a plied yarn. :??