I’m making a shrug. No, not this: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
This, but with color. Much more color:
Although you could ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ while wearing a
Anyway, I’m knitting a colorful shrug, and almost half of it is silk sari yarn from India.
Culturally throughout much of the world, spinning is woman’s work, so several women’s development groups and cooperatives have organized economically disadvantaged women in places like Kathmandu, Nepal. They’ve created rewarding cottage industries making silk yarn out of the remnants of new sari silk left on the loom after the sari fabric is cut off. It’s a labor intensive process that involves separating and sorting the fibers, carding and cleaning them, spinning them into yarn, and winding them into skeins.
Usually, the quality of the yarn depends on the skill of the spinner. I’m pretty sure the 6 skeins I used were spun by 5 or 6 people of different skill levels. But there’s something else —
Many of the women who spin silk sari yarn work at home. Like women everywhere, each of us has her own standard of “clean”. While the spinners shown in Nepal are sitting on an immaculate white floor, I’m guessing the women who spun mine in India were not so particular.
I’ve found an assortment of detritus spun into every skein, from twigs, leaves, and grass, to knotted string, wire, and pointy-pokey bits of wood. Until last night, the creepiest thing I pulled from the silk was a ripped off thumbnail tip that probably belonged to whomever spun the first skein I used. It didn’t occur to me to take a picture of it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Last night, I found this:
Eeew. Me. You, too, probably
I know beauty sometimes has a dark side. I know beauty can come from anywhere, but usually outshines any darkness it might have come from. Every bit of me looks at this yarn and sees beauty. But now that feeling is tinted with the vision of a beetle’s head staring out at another knitter in some other part of the world.
I want to cringe. And laugh. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯