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

Silk Pouch and a Farewell

Silk Pouch - twined knittingI turned that Z-plied silk into this little silk pouch (click for larger image). It’s made using Tvåändsstickning, or two end knitting, which is also known as twined knitting. This is a technique that I’ve wanted to try for over a year, but kept putting off because I never got around to spinning my own z-plied yarn, as Ann-maj Ling recommends in her book, Two-End Knitting.

This all came about because I received Piecework Magazine in the mail on Thursday. It is a beautiful issue, focused primarily on folk knitting. In addition to the twined knitting article by Nancy Bush, there was also a wonderful article about the history of the purse, with a pattern for the Miser’s Purse. I highly recommend this issue to any and everyone interested in knitting history.

I combined the two ideas (twined knitting and purses) into a little project. I plan to make a little braid strap for the top and add some beads to the bottom. This is sized to hold my little bottle of spinning wheel oil.

Stats: about 5 gm of Chasing Rainbows silk spun S/Z, knitted on 2.25 mm dp needles, 2.25″ diameter at the top, 4″ in length. 2 hours to spin and ply, and about 4-6 hours to knit up. Since I didn’t use up all the yarn I spun up, this is definitely a quick 1 day or weekend project to play with.

As the astute of you out there might notice, it looks like faux fair isle when used with handpainted yarn. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough contrast in this yarn to really show it off. The fabric is extremely dense and cushy. I can see why this is preferred in cold climates. It’s definitely warm! I know a lot of it is the silk, but I can see how fabric made with this technique will keep the wind out. But the thing that kept going through my mind while I was knitting this was — this would make a mighty luxurious pair of silk slippers. The density would make it cushy on the toes. Yum.

The creative juices are definitely flowing on this one. Higher contrast hand painted yarn to show off the two-ends playing off of each other. Worsed instead of woolen spun yarn to show off the stitch texture (the silk was too fuzzy for my taste). Navajo-plied to preserve the colors, if handspun. That lincoln-corriedale roving I have in the garage would make beautiful gloves in white. And there is plenty of stash fiber. I’m sure I can find something that would be suitable for testing out the faux-isle ideas. Perhaps a hat is in order.

One might think that it would be too warm in the San Francisco area to ever warrant needing clothing made in this dense of a fabric. I am here to assure you that you need lots of very windproof, but breathable clothing for winter sailing around here. There is nothing worse than being cold, damp from your own humidity, and have the wind whistling through your clothes, while you are trying to manage the sails, or worse, standing still and steer the darn boat.

Rosie Toes
Rosie Toes
December 1993 – January 5, 2007

I had to put Rosie Toes to sleep on Friday. I had to make the decision while I was in the middle of a meeting — that was when the vet called to say, basically, anything would be extraordinary measures to save her life, and even that wouldn’t be guaranteed. She would be put through a lot of stress and pain for no sure resolution at the end. She had already been through much during the past month. She had surgery just before Thanksgiving to remove a cancerous tumor from her bowels. I just couldn’t see putting her through more surgery, when it looks like her heart was failing, and she had pneumonia to boot.




Two End Knitting Lessons Learned


  1. So sorry. You gave her a long and happy life.

  2. Ramona

    …I sincerely know how you feel, I commend you and you are not alone. I have had to do this several times with my animals and it is not easy in the least but you have provided comfort for her.

  3. Barb Fessler

    I’m so sorry you had to put your cat down. We had to do the same thing on Christmas Eve day. We still expect to see him. Breaks my heart!

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