Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Mawata Journey

I have had this project on the needles for a while now. It had been put aside to get Christmas knitting done. What exactly is this project? A pair of silk fingerless mittens knit out of a mawata (also known as a silk hankie)

I have been wanting to make a pair of these ever since I ran across this post from the Yarn Harlot. The technique seemed simple enough to do. You just pre-draft each layer of the silk hankie and then you can knit with the resulting strand. But school got in the way and I had forgotten all about them until fairly recently when KnitPicks started offering hand-dyed silk hankies and when Carin from Round the Twist started knitting a pair of her own. (Which was in 2011 but I was behind on the episodes so I watched them in 2012)

Clearly the world wanted me to knit myself a pair and I could even make them fingerless which would be much less knitting than an entire mitten. That meant that I could possibly have a pair of silk fingerless mittens in just a few short weeks. Much quicker than a pair of socks. What could go wrong?

The silk itself isn't that hard to work with. It is really cool how sheer exactly one layer of the silk hankie is and it feels like you are knitting with air.

Drafting them to the right weight is proving to be the difficult part. The first bundle I drafted way, way too thin and the second bundle I drafted too thick. I am getting about a consistent size now and I know it isn't going to be perfect. The trouble is that I am using size one needles with 16 stitches on each needle. The silk has no stretch at all which means it isn't clinging to my wrist so it looks like it is too big. The part I have knitted looks nice, but it feels baggy and I can't frog this project and re-start it because the silk clings to itself.

I am afraid my mitten won't fit and I really won't be able to tell until I get the thumb gusset done. I am also not sold on the colors anymore. They are pretty and I love how the colors are turning out, but I wish that I had chosen the color that looks like a sunset instead of this one. I'm just not sure about the project anymore. I do know that my mom has been eyeballing the mittens so maybe I should just get them done and if I don't like them ask if she can help me get another color and make another pair for myself. I guess I'll just have to keep knitting and see how they turn out.


  1. Fingers crossed that your mittens fit! I like the colors. Maybe they'll rekindle your admiration as you continue to knit.

  2. The colors are really pretty though! I hope they fit.