I’ll admit, I don’t always keep up on the knitting community, especially now that I’ve discovered spinning and weaving. During my Ravelry forum wanderings yesterday, something caught my eye. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot), blogged about some lovely mittens she had made. Cushy fluffy hand ovens, she says. Oh yeah, I need me some of that.
What did she make these wondrous things from? Silk Hankies! Oh, those are for spinning or felting, you may say. Not so! You can simply attenuate them (fancy talk for sticking your hands in the center and pulling out, then pulling gently around the circle until the silk is the thickness you want), and then….get this…..just simply KNIT or CROCHET with it, NO TWIST REQUIRED!!! Can you tell my mind was blown at the thought of owning SILK things for my hands? Yeah.
The trick, or catch? I just can’t bring myself to simply ‘copy’ and make mittens. I must be contrary and/or non-crowd following. So…..I’m going to make gloves, and I’m going to try to do it on my knitting machine….because after all, it is going to be below zero next week, and I want those hand-ovens NAO already!
As it happens, I have Mawata silk hankies here, I’ve been dyeing them various solid colors over the past week, and am greatly amused at my good fortune in timing. I’ll be listing what I have tomorrow, and furiously dyeing up the rest, just in case you want to make your own silk mittens.
I have a skein each of brown and green Tiger Cub that I snagged when I discontinued that yarn, because although I didn’t care for it so much as socks, it makes a nice scarf yarn. I’m going to weave a houndtooth wide scarf/shawl thingy from them. I took these over to my little pile of dyed silk hankies, and pulled out 4 that coordinated in color.
I weighed them out, and it’s 30 grams, what Stephanie used for hers. Since I’m shooting for gloves (and my hands are bigger), I’m going to attenuate my hankies much further than ‘sorta light worsted weight’. In fact, I’m going to go much further than that, since I want to hold two colors together to knit them. I don’t want stripey gloves, but a nice amalgam of the 4 hankies. My plan will be to peel two hankies every time I take one, and set the second aside for glove 2, that way if I run out, at least they will both stop near the same point, and I can do the fingers in a different color without it looking too weird.
So now, my to-do list consists of researching glove patterns for my Brother 930, and tomorrow I’m going to stretch and swatch some other hankies I have to get a better idea of how it will all work. Plus I need to do a good olive oil/sugar scrub on my hands…..silk likes to stick to even the slightest roughness, so smoother hands will make the whole process go more smoothly (ha!).