Passing Down Crazy

Because Sometimes the Best Thing You Can Give Your Kid is an Addiction…To Yarn

The Glory of Silk


Would you like to know where silk comes from?  Too bad!  I’m going to tell you anyway.

These are cocoons.

They’re in a crock pot in hot water to soften them up.  The worm is still inside (and they’re kinda gross).  If you look closely on the right side of the photo, you’ll see those fine little threads.  Each cocoon has a mile of continuous thread in it.  Silk is still harvested just one thread at a time.

One fun way that we’ve played with silk is to knit with silk hankies.  A cocoon can be stretched out onto a board like this.

What in the world do you do with this?  Well, our class yesterday was with Stephanie Pearl McPhee, aka the Yarn Harlot.  We knit swatches with a lot of different silk yarns, but we ended the day knitting with these silk hankies.  Of course, they purchased these hankies, stretched by someone in China!  They were then dyed by Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts.

You pull one of those fine layers off and stretch it out (draft it) and knit with it.  And this is what it looks like!

This is the start of a baby hat for my first grandchild.  (No hurry, Genius!!!)  It’s really funny what happens to a bunch of women when you stick them in a room with knitting needles and something different to knit.  They just go nuts.  Stephanie’s baby hat is so unbelievably gorgeous.  It looks like its 100 years old.  And contrary to what you’ve heard, silk is extremely durable and washable!

So, that was the just part of what we learned yesterday.

Today, we dyed silk.  This is my bathroom.  All of my yarn and fiber is drying.

See all that sheen?  That’s silk.  I’m hoping for some sun tomorrow so I can photograph everything to show you, but this is near Seattle, so I’m not holding my breath for sun.

I’m off to dinner and show and tell, including all things silk.  I’m not sure this much fun should be legal!



Author: mariajhmom

I'm a wife, mom, quilter, knitter, and spinner. I blog at

5 thoughts on “The Glory of Silk

  1. Well, the hat is lovely, but it is definitely for superblonde’s child.

  2. Very interesting post. I was wondering what lace hankies were!

  3. Who would have thought a worm could make that? It really is kind of disgusting to boil worms, and I wonder who ever thought of it all in the first place. Interesting. The silk hanky and the knitting is so soft and pretty. Is there any other use for the hanky? Surely you don’t blow your nose in it!

  4. Ok, I have to ask… what do you do with the worm?

  5. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Glory of Silk « Passing Down Crazy --

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