Tuesday, August 9, 2011

they're here! mawatas!

They came in the mail yesterday - my silk hankies or "mawatas" from Sunnyside Ellen! And they are so flat out incredible that I feel a bit paralyzed about how to proceed.

First, I've had a look around the internet to see what kind of tutorials are available. There's a very good article here with step-by step pictures and descriptions of how silk hankies are made from cocoons. Imagine, each thin little layer is the silk from one cocoon!

Now, where to go from here? Knitty has an article that explains how to draft and spin the silk from this hankie form to yarn. Towards the end of her article, Amy Singer reports that you can knit the roving once it's drafted without spinning it at all. And she recommends that you do just that to get a feel for it and whether you're happy with how thick or thin you're drafting it.

Unspun silk roving from mawatas - that's what the Yarn Harlot used for her mittens blogged here. I'll admit, I'm really tempted to go this route. It's certainly sounds easier than spinning it all. But then Amy Singer says this "Personally, I like this stuff best once it's spun...", so I better try spinning a small sample at least to see what I think. The Yarn Harlot's mitts took 30 grams, and I have 50 grams stacked neatly in front of me, so I have enough to do a bit of experimenting.

But what to knit? I'm perplexed about that, although I'm gravitating towards Anne Hanson patterns like Miss Doolittle or Curling Mitts. Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?


Frieda said...

Love the colours !Sounds like it might be a bit tricky if you're a new spinner . I think for my first attempt with this I'd probably follow Ammy Singer's recommendation and go the Yarn Harlot route -direct to knitting.

Deborah said...

That is gorgeous silk! But I can't imagine finding time to spin AND knit!

Wanderingcatstudio said...

Damn - now I want some of them. I think they'd make a lovely scarf.