Silk Cocoons, Yarn Choices, and Free Stuff

It had to happen sooner or later: KD Girl Gets Sick. I'm at home, all snuffly, valiantly tapping away at the keys, but the barking seals in my chest say I can't stay long to play with all you nice people. So: Today's post is going to be a grab-bag of fun and amazing bits. (Well, at least, I hope they are fun and amazing. A bit random, but also fun-and-amazing.) Here we go!

Where are you going to be on Monday?

Not me, dear readers. YOU. At some point in your busy Monday life, I suspect you will be right here, on good ol', because Monday is the day we are announcing your Top Five Readers' Choice Designs! And yes, we will have the booklet of the Top Five Patterns available for (free!) download. Woot! Don't miss the fun and frolic.

Silk cocoon sitting on a bed of silk 🙂

The Best Shroud In The World

OK, that sounded a little grim. What I mean is: It's absolutely 100% true that for some types of silk, the worm's gotta die. See the photo? That's a silkworm cocoon that I got from Maggie Casey during her spinning class. It's really a lovely little cocoon, and you can actually see the individual oh-so-slender thread (one single unbroken thread!) of silk that winds around and around and around to enclose the little wormie in a safe little pre-moth haven. However, the pre-moth that is in this particular cocoon has gone on to a better life—if I pick up the cocoon and shake it gently, it, well….it rattles. ('Nuff said?)

I honor the spirit of the wormie, with respect and gratitude for the beauty of the silk s/he made. My enjoyment of the silk brings honor to his/her life.

There are some sorts of silk which are worm-death free. The production of these silks allow the wormie (not actually a worm, but a pre-moth caterpillar) to get out of the cocoon before using the silk. This process cuts the one, long, continuous silk thread that makes up the cocoon so that it isn't one long thread anymore. Still beautiful, just different. How do you tell which sort of silk is in the yarn you are using? That's a very, very good question, and I don't know an easy answer to that. Yarns are not often labelled with that level of detail. Let me consult the oracles and get back to you on this. Anyone else know?

Will this cable hold? We shall see…

Why did I say the yarn I chose for my Gathered Pullover might or might not be the right choice?

Because, as Birgit S. finally pointed out in comments on Wednesday's postie, both Merino and silk are very, very smooth fibers. Like Birgit, I am worried that these fibers do not provide quite enough "stickiness" to hold a cable well. However, not every cable needs to be able to stand up stiffly to attention. There are soft cables and strong cables. I like the cables on my swatch. However, the cables in the Gathered Pullover have a job to do besides just looking pretty. The center cables pull in the fabric, providing a gentle sort of waist shaping (whoo hoo! waist shaping! we loves it, we do). The question here is: Will my Merino/silk cables pull in the fabric enough (and be stable enough) to create the shaping effect Ms. Hana intended when she designed this lovely sweater? We shall see. (I am knitting as fast as I can, now with a new, skinnier cast-on number.)

Free! The Frock Camisole

Wait! What about our Friday Free Pattern?

Here it is, KD fans. The Frock Camisole, by Katie Himmelberg. This is the "beginner's version" where the directions are given in Plain English—no abbreviations, everything is fully spelled out and explained. If you want the regular "Knitter's English" version of this pattern (regular knitting abbreviations and shorthand conventions are used), you can find it in Knits Spring 2008. Enjoy!!

Want to leave a comment? Of course you do! Happy Weekend Knitting, everyone!

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? I'm almost done with the hem I added to the Gathered Pullover.

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