Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Spring Cleaning

I know. This weekend actually marks the beginning of summer here in the United States, but the summer equinox isn’t for another month, so I’m still good.

I’ve been thinking a lot about projects that have been languishing in various knitting bags around the house, and it’s time to make some hard decisions about these projects. What caused me to stop working on them? Are they worth reviving? If so, what do I need to do to get them going again?

Project #1: Unspun Silk Scarf

unspun-silk-1I actually don’t have a picture of the state of the project before I picked it up. This is a picture of it after I started working on it this week.

Last spring, I had an urge to play with unspun silk hankies, so I dug up a package of Chasing Rainbows hankies in Peacock colorway. I chose a simple 5×5 rib for a quick scarf. I casted on 40 stitches and worked about 4″, then stopped. I don’t know why I stopped. (Maybe I needed a manicure?) In any case, I stuck the whole thing back in a bag with the silk hankies and forgot about it.

This past week, I had an idea for working with unspun silk again.  (Hmm. There seems to be a theme here.  Looking back, it’s always spring when I want to play with unspun silk.  There was at least one other instance of this to support the theory. If it’s May, it must be time to play with silk hankies.) Anyway, back to today. I pulled out a bag of silk hankies and found the knitting with it.

unspun-silk-scarfA few hours of knitting over the course of 3 days, and it is finished. I don’t know if I intended one of those long and skinny scarves, but I chose to finish it off quickly by making a slotted scarf instead. Many, many inches shorter this way!

The finished scarf weighs less than half an ounce, between 10-15 grams. (I really need to get a better scale!) So, one package of hankies (Chasing Rainbows put up is 1 ounce) is more than enough for a scarf.

Knitting notes:

  • 40 stitches in 5×5 rib with 2.25 mm needles
  • at approx. 24″, knit 20 sts, attach new strand and knit the next 20 sts
  • continue working 2 sides separately for 2″
  • join the 2 sides again to close the slot
  • continue knitting as a single piece for another 4-5″
  • cast off

unspun-silk-2I like the sewn bind off, but it’s a bit difficult to work the sewn bind off with unspun. I worked around this by compressing the unspun a bit by rubbing the unspun between my palms, as if I was washing my hands. Do this all along the length of the unspun.

It’s not spinning because the twist goes every which way. But because the silk is so sticky, it stays compressed.  Now, the silk strand is ready to be used for the sewn bind off. The rest is history.

On to the next project!


Mary Cassatt


Spring Cleaning #2

1 Comment

  1. It is just one cool project after another with you!

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