Yesterday the Mawata arrived that Donna Arnold found online for a great price.  Undyed mawata -40g – enough for a pair of mittens cost only $10 and dyed mawata – 40g – only $20.  The place is called:  OUTBACK FIBERS.  Their info is:

Outback Fibers,  312 Oak Plaza Cove,  Georgetown, TX,  78628,

(512) 869-6438

http://www.outbackfibers.com

Donna’s dyed mawata, which I neglected to photograph for you (my apologies) were beautiful shades of oak and blues.  The undyed mawata are blissfully free of pupae and bridal in appearance.  I started working with them this morning and made any number of discoveries compared to the video footage all over the internet.   The first and most wonderful discovery was when I picked up the very first translucent mawata.  It, of course, has a little “umbilicus”…the place where the moth left off spinning.  This, my friends, is the perfect place to begin drafting your “yarn” to knit your mittens.  Here is a photo:

the mawata'a belly button...the easiest place to begin drafting your yarn

It is more obvious in some than others, but be unafraid as you open up the fibers of the cocoon between your fingers.  The more at ease you get with handling these, the more fun will be the process of drafting just the right size yarn and knitting it up.

my stack of undyed mawata

For those of you who are sitting there saying to yourselves:  “What on Earth has Mary Ellen gotten into this time and WHY?”, I offer this explanation.  Mawata are the degummed silk cocoons of the silk moth which have been stretched layer upon layer over a square stretcher.  When dry they resemble a hankie and contain 30-40 individual cocoons.  They can be purchased by weight, undyed or dyed and they are marvelous.

I had been following one of my favorite blogs, The Yarn Harlot, when I read about her adventures knitting with mawata.  The blogs were spaced apart over the last couple of months and just recently, she completed her beautiful mittens of silk.  Her mawata had been hand dyed by COLOR GURU (period. theend.) Tina Newton, of Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  Once I read the final blog about these mittens, I immediately ordered mawata from Blue Moon.  Good thing I did.  They are so swamped with orders now, one of the employees is hiding the cocoons because the idea of stretching more cocoons is getting ominous.  Here are my efforts in photo form thus far this morning:

still on the second mawata

put away safe while I blog

Last night for Friday Night Knitting Group we had our usual cups of Bailey’s and the usual suspects, as well as making a new friend, Artis.  Artis:  we welcome you and hope to see you many more times at Summit Yarn!  Lourdes and Debbie are nearly done with the scarves we began last week, while Kathy and I are lagging behind somewhere in their dust.  Artis was doing some charity knitting for hopsitalized children…what a good soul!  Next Friday we are beginning to Knit Jared Flood’s Shawl called:  Terra.  We are using Kauni Effektgarn…which is available here at Summit Yarn at $20 a skein in blue/purple, Rainbow, and Neutrals (tan/creme/grey).  Please know you are welcome to attend class and knit along with this project.  Class is just $5, needles are available at the studio or bring US7 32″ circular needle.

Debbie's Crossed Long Stitch Scarf in Rosa "Painted Desert"

Debbie's flounce Scarf...uses 9 stitches cast on which give a much improved ruffle texture compared to my 5 cast on stitches...still no flounce, I have 10 bags ordered.

Just an FYI:  There is a fundraiser coming up in March for the Tunkhannock Public Library.  I love this library…it reminds me of the one from my childhood, it is so very welcoming and comfortable.  The fundraiser is a Food and Wine Tasting event.  My husband and I attended last year and had a great time.   There are also baskets being raffled which anyone can purchase tickets for…one from Summit Yarn Studio among them (retail value of $500).  Please get over there or call and them and show your support!  Thank you in advance…you are the best!

some of the goodies in the Summit Yarn Studio raffle basket!!!

Take care and let me know how your projects are coming along…send photos…we all love to share your process!  I am seeing the first signs of Spring…the Willow tree in our neighborhood has burst into bud and the branches are green!  Start looking for Robins…the first proof I get will win a prize!  With loads of love, light and laughter always,  Mary Ellen aka TheHumanLoom and Summit Yarn Studio

sunset last night...I love these colors, including the white!

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