Mawata Mittens

So, the ever fabulous Stephanie Pearl McPhee posted some gorgeous mittens a while back that were knit using silk straight off the hankie, no spinning. They were gorgeous and she says, incredibly soft. I believe her term was hand oven mitts or something.

I immediately started looking for mawatas to do a pair of my own. Lucky me I found some at my favorite yarn shop, The Mannings that were undyed. The were dyed at the party this weekend and after a quick youtube search on how the heck you actually draft the silk, I cast on my mittens. I am in looooove.

First off, for my non-knitting friends a mawata or silk hankie is the silk cocoon of the silk worm, after it has been soaked and stretched. It is either stretched into flat “hankies” over a frame, or stretched into a cap or bell shape.

A mawata bell

From there you can spin it or, as I am doing here, knit straight from the mawata.

Silk is super grabby if you have any kind of rough skin so I have been going through a ton of lotion today. These babies are a bit more fussy than my normal knitting, but they are speeding along beautifully and I am really loving the resulting mittens. I hope to be wearing them by the end of SnB tomorrow evening. They will match that 6-10″ of snow we are getting even as I type.

The mawata that I am using for this pair of mittens was dyed using black Wilton food coloring. Pretty cool huh? It’s not true black, so the colors used to make up the black fracture in the dyeing process.

Sooo gorgeous and soft and warm!

On a side note: ever since the Yarn Harlot’s blog post about her mawata mittens I keep seeing mawata ads on Ravelry and mawatas are selling out fast all over the internet. I’d love to have that kind of blog power.


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