Tiny silk swatch

Howdy all!

I haven’t been knitting much lately, because I’ve been focusing on raising worms and reeling silk …

But I finally managed to bring the steel needles and the bug spit together!

This is reeled silk, about 150 cocoon-ends, lightly twisted (thrown) and then plied. I started out with a too-tiny needle (like a 000, I think) and switched up a size (00?) and it worked much better – if you really look, you can see the switch about halfway up.

I’m pretty sure that I’ll be able to make an amulet bag without going totally insane. I don’t think I’ll ever go for anything much bigger, though – it’s just too “delicate and retiring” to do.

10 replies
  1. unluckymonkey
    unluckymonkey says:

    Oh thank you for such detail in your documentation! I have had a good idea of all the steps but that really clears it up with pics. SO NEAT! I’m going to look for mulberry trees in my area now that it’s not total crap outside.

  2. admin
    admin says:

    Hee! It’s a blast. I thought you’d seen that one when it was a journal entry (I just cut-and-pasted to make it a little html page, so that I didn’t have to expose my world to everyone to show them… guess I should have fixed the link which leads RIGHT BACK TO THE JOURNAL, hey?)

  3. admin
    admin says:

    Hee. It would be an even bigger DIME!!

    I thought about taking a perspective shot, so that you could see it like at arms length, but it’s just a little white blob. I frogged it, so that I can re-work it on the bigger (tiny) needles.

  4. admin
    admin says:

    And the stitches are little, so each individual stitch would go very very fast……

    That’s the main problem I was having before switching up needles… the individual stitches were taking ten to fifteen seconds each, because I was having to fight with the yarn so much! Because it’s not very twisted, it’s ultra-splitty, and those teeny needles are SHARP! By switching up to a more reasonable size (it’s something like a 00 instead of a 000 or 0000; they’re antique steel needles, and the container isn’t marked, and my guage doesn’t go that small) I was able to knit at a more nearly human pace. I think that twisting the yarn more aggressively would yield better results, because it would have less tendency to split.

  5. treeskin
    treeskin says:

    I have a doily, in a 30/2 beige cotton I started months and months ago, #0 needle….only work on it when I’m feeling quiet and alert, not because of the stitch size (not much larger than your sample, I’m sure), but reading the $%#% chart.

    That’s a lesson I learned a long time ago, crocheting….softer-spun fibers need a larger, more blunt-tipped hook, or you slice through your fiber rather than catch it with your hook. Same for knitting.

    It is lovely stuff, though.

  6. cpmcdill
    cpmcdill says:

    The silk reeling page is great. It’s quite fascinating to see the process so well documented. Now I know some things I didn’t know before. Thanks!

  7. baba_studio
    baba_studio says:

    why is a close-up of silk stitching always so appealing?

    I used to make very fine “graphic lace” – in cotton, or linen when I could get hold of it. I couldn’t do it now, you need terribly good eyesight so it goes after a while. Still, I just love seeing tiny stitches like this – and the silk is so cloudy and gorgeous.

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