Mawata Wonders

A little Q&A about the Mawata mittens- just quickly since I’m so behind on all the work I have to do that I’m trying to figure out if there’s time to bathe or eat  today.

1. Marina (and lots of others) wondered what colourway I used. 

It was mawata dyed in the "I heart ewe" colourway from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

2. Almost everybody asked: How many hankies did it take?

Hankies don’t come in a standard size.  How many layers there could be varies a lot.  It’s easier to buy them the way we buy other fibre, which is by weight.   It’s sort of like yarn.  You can’t say "one ball of worsted" because how big a ball is varies from maker to maker. Instead we say 100 grams or 200 metres, and hankies are just the same.  To make those mittens I used 30g, but my hands are little and I have practice.  If you’re experimenting or have bigger hands than me, you might want 40 to give yourself a little room for either your hands or errors.

3.   Iris asked "Stephanie – can you elaborate on "attenuated"? You imply not spun, but I’m not clear on what you did."

I literally pulled them.  I pull off  one layer at a time, and pull that layer until it’s the thickness I like, then knit. No spinning. You can spin silk hankies- but I didn’t for this project.

4. JoAnn said "I believe you about the warmth factor, but I wonder about what happens when they get wet?"

The same thing as with wool.  Silk, like wool, is also warm when wet. Here on a page advising what to wear to the Antarctic, silk and wool are both suggested.

5. Mandy inquired "Does the mawata snag a lot, either during the knitting or the wearing? My fingers are sometimes rough."

They snag a lot during the knitting, though this is greatly reduced when wearing them, but it’s definitely still there.  It bugs some people, just the way that other people think wool is itchy, or that acrylic is squeaky.  It’s a preference. There’s really only one way to find out if you’re the sort of person it would bug.

6. Flanneljammies (great screen name) asked "Can they be any sort of silk hankies? Or are these ones special?"

They’re special in that they’re not handkerchiefs made out of silk, like these ones, but rather a silk fibre preparation instead of an article of clothing.  They’re just called handkerchiefs because they’re shaped like them.  It’s one of the reasons I usually use the word "mawata" instead.  Less confusing than trying to figure out how someone is ravelling a woven silk hankie (which is totally what I thought the first time I heard of it.)

7.  What pattern was that mitten pattern?

It’s the one I keep in my head, altering the size as needed- just sort of on instinct.  Maybe I’ll write it down for you someday, but in the meantime, there’s lots of other great ones out there that are similar.  The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns has a great one that’s very similar that can be done in any gauge, which is a pretty spectacular perk, especially if you’re pulling yarn out of thin air and mawata.

Happy Weekend Everyone.