Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In Progress- knitted silk fabric strips

My most recent knitting project is still in process.

I was visiting the Yarn Garden a few weeks ago, as my "get out of the house" treat for the week. There was a gorgeous scarf on a mannequin. It turned out to be the Shape It scarf from Sally Melville's Knitting Experience. There was something about the way it looked on display, almost like jewelery rather than a scarf. I really liked it.

The directions were easy- garter stitch, nothing hard to understand. I rushed home and (ignoring the gauge) started knitting it with some gorgeous rayon space dyed yarn I had laying about. Got pretty far into it and realized it would fit the baby pretty well. Unravelled, and looked at the directions for the gauge. Ah- supposed to be a bulky yarn, or ribbon. Well, that explains it. While I would have preferred the look of the thinner rayon, I decide it's a bad idea to (YET AGAIN) change the pattern without having made one first. But I don't have any bulky yarn I like for this, nor do I have ribbon. Nor money to go buy yarn, for that matter.

What I DO have is most of an 11 yard bolt of very sheer silk gauze, purchased for another project some years ago. (I think it was needle felting.) It occurred to me that I could dye the fabric, cut it into strips and knit with the fabric strips. I had seen this recently, and was thinking about using some wool strips to knit a rug.

Sheer silk gauze

I put the silk in an old roasting pan I have dedicated to using for dyeing wooks and silks. I saturated it with water, but not to the point where it was standing in it. I used Landscapes dyes in Sage, Opal and Marine. Then I did something you are never supposed to do, mixed dyes. I threw in some Procion Deep Purple, with a little added vinegar. I covered the roaster with 2 layers of aluminum foil, sealing it very tightly, and put it in the oven at 170 degrees for an hour. When the hour was up, I turned the oven off and left the roaster in place in the oven over night.
In the dye pot

After it came out of the dyepot, the fabric was washed and hung to dry.

I cut it into strips, trying to get them about 1/2 inch wide. That's harder than you might think. Then I tied the strips together, winding it all into a large ball. Then I knitted, using #13 needles.

The next step is to embellish with beads or something. More to come.


  1. I only understood about half of what you said there, but those colors are gorgeous!

  2. I am so happy for you that you can indulge the creative urges. The hooded baby sweater is great! Lucky baby! Hope to see the finished product of this dyed silk.
    LIsa D.

  3. this is so nice. i m waiting for the completion of the product.
    Silk Fabrics