Wednesday, February 22, 2012

knit parade: mawata love

i still have a few projects on the go but i promptly ignored them all when i got this package of goodness in the mail.

this fibre, if you haven't yet encountered it,  is mawata: hand dyed "raw" silk hanndkerchiefs. that's many, many layers of cocoons that have been stretched onto a wooden frame, much like an artist would stretch canvas. after the layers upon layers of cocoon have dried, lovely artists hand-dye the mawata and the fibre obsessed fibre aficionados can either choose to spin the silk into yarn or knit directly from the each individual hanky.

i first read about knitting from mawata when yarnharlot blogged about it and was immediately intrigued. first off, she gushes. secondly, because she gushes, i want some too. and thirdly, how bad can 100% silk be? so i ordered some.

and i began knitting with my little bundle of raw silk the very same day it came in the mail.

i decided to knit these ultra simple hand warmers both to show off the yarn and to ensure i could work them when i wore them. (i have a rule you see. if i'm knitting for myself, if i can't realistically rock it, i shouldn't knit it.)

i knew it would take practice trying to figure out just how to manipulate the fibre into something i could knit with. 

to be honest, i'm a new enough knitter that i'm still guessing intimidated by gauge. not to mention i just wanted to start knitting. so i followed this video and then got cracking.  

with my clumsy hands what i had to knit with is comparable to thick and think yarn... sometimes as thick as worsted, other times as thin as lace, and the rest of the time, everywhere in between. 

so. absolutely. enjoyable. 

the fibre is wispy yet strong, soft yet full of texture, and deliciously iridescent. someone in one of my knit-a-long groups said it looked like knitting with cotton candy. not quite. but  the experience is truly as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the hands.

i'm in love with the process. from separating an individual hanky, pulling it apart to make some yarn, and then knitting with it. (never mind the number of seams to weave in! or the fact that my hands need to be excessively moisturized so the fibre doesn't snag on my fingers!)

this is not every day knitting. 

this is mindful, obsessive, luxurious enjoyment. 

something i do when the kids are already asleep, when i am guaranteed minimal to no interruptions or interference. preferably while listening to a movie like gosford park (downton withdrawal, anyone?), and more recently with a glass of wine. 

a guilty pleasure i will continue to savour for just as long as the mawata lasts.

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