Last Saturday was the Western North Carolina Fiber / Handweavers Guild's annual retreat. I signed up for Sheila Church's workshop on knitting with silk hankies.
If you've read my blog for awhile, you may recall that about a year and a half ago, I participated in a silk spinning workshop via the Online Guild of Weavers, Spinners, and Dyers. There were silk hankies in the silk goody pack I ordered for it, but I have to admit that I haven't done anything with them yet. What I have been interested in however, is learning how to knit from these hankies without spinning them. This workshop taught us how to do that. The project we created was a clever little treasure bag. Mine is pictured on the left.
Silk hankies are made from silk cocoons. There is an excellent explanation with photos of this on Wormspit.com.
Actually working with the hankies was similar to working with silk caps.
They come in layers. Usually they are undyed, but our workshop kits came with dyed silk hankies in a choice of colors.
Layers are separated individually be peeling the top layer back at the corner of the hankies. A quick jerk pulls the entire layer off the top....
Next a hole is poked through the center of the layer......
..... and the layer is stretched......
..... and stretched until it is the desired thickness.
Since the silk fibers are so long, it is easier to attenuate it to the desired knitting size. Of course it could also be spun at this point. We learned to add a little twist while casting on, but after that we knitted the roving as is.
Posted 14 Sept. 2007 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com
Related Post -
Silk Caps & What to do With Them - spin hankies the same way