Sunday, December 1, 2013

The making of Mawata

This is another post that comes with a warning! But it's not for the same reason as the other post with a warning. Not even close!  This warning is for vegans. You may find the following content offensive. And the last picture is gross. Now you know. And here I go.

Yesterday was the last craft sale I had lined up this year.  This morning I woke up with a really intense drive to get at my level 3 homework. I'm so very close to being finished the silk module.  I've got some stitching to finish, and a mini woven piece to take off my makeshift loom, and about 6 stitches to cast off on my silk knitting to cast off (geeeee, when I write it out like that... Honestly. I don't even want to think of how chaotic that seems/is)  I've got my labels on the skeins, and they are ready for me to determine TPI, WPI, and counts and what not. But there's one more part of the module that I had to get done.  I started it this morning.  This morning, I made silk mawata, otherwise known as silk hankies.  Here's the photo journal of that process, with the odd little comment.   I did live tweet as I was going, but I'm posting here too. And it will be on Craftster.org too.

Let it begin!! Hubby had a handy dandy thermometer for me to borrow, so that i could make sure my pot never got above 65'c.

The making of silk mawata!

Into the pot! Silk cocoons float, so I grabbed a broken strainer, thinking it would keep them under the water. Apparently they are buoyant enough to lift it....

The making of silk mawata!

So I grabbed another small pot and laid it atop to strainer.

The making of silk mawata!

I kept having to tweak the temperature on the stove to keep it from getting to hot or to cold.  What a fussy process!!

The making of silk mawata!

After 40 minutes of cooking these bad boys, I decided they were done.  They say until they become transparent, but they were super soft, so I didn't wait any longer.

The making of silk mawata!

First 3 or 4 onto the frame my Dad made for me (Thanks again, Dad!!)

The making of silk mawata!

The full frame.  So much silk! wooohooo!

The making of silk mawata!

And here's the last one, and the photo I feel like I need to share, as it tells the whole story. Truth of it is that silk comes from silk worms. More often then not these creatures need to have their lives taken in order to harvest the silk.  It's an unfortunate part of the silk industry. This is what comes out of the cocoons, dead bugs and bug poop. Yes. Poop.  they did just eat so many more times their weight in mulberry leaves, after all. 

The making of silk mawata!

In hind sight, I half wonder if I could have sliced the cocoons open, removed the yucky stuffs and then boiled the cocoons.  You can see I didn't open/use the ones that were super gross on the inside, poor little guys died for nothing.


But there you have it! it was about 2 hours of work, from gathering supplies to the final vinegar rinse.  Worth it, as I'll be able to finish up that module by the end of this week!! 

~Kara


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