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Sensational Silk: A Must-Have Collection of Articles & Patterns

Silk has captivated us for millennia with its luster. Take a deep dive into silk with this special collection of silk-centric articles and projects across our publications.

Debbie Blair Nov 23, 2023 - 7 min read

Sensational Silk: A Must-Have Collection of Articles & Patterns Primary Image

Left: Silk is spun from cocoons on a supported spindle (photo by Eric Mindling). Right: A combination of cotton and silk are used in these woven napkins; the silk makes the overshot pattern shine (photo by Joe Coca).

Confession time: Though I’ve been knitting for a few years and have also dabbled in embroidery, I’ve yet to create anything using silk yarn or thread. When I worked on PieceWork magazine, just like a moth to a flame I was incessantly drawn to articles that showcased artists who work with silk, articles like “Vietnamese Silk Embroidery” and “Silk Fabrics: A Primer.” I am truly and utterly in awe.

Working with Spin Off contributors has been incentive for me to look at a different side of silk: where does it come from, how is it grown, and how do we spin with it? All fascinating tidbits I’ve learned by watching the video series About Silk with Karen Selk.

So needless to say, I’m wildly excited about the collection of articles and projects in the new eBook just added to the Spin Off Library, Sensational Silk: Weave, Knit, Crochet, and Embroider with One of Nature’s Luxuries. While I’m new to spinning with silk, I know I have a skein or two of silk yarn in my stash, enough to knit the cowl in the Peace Silk Beret and Cowl set. What a lovely project for me to tackle this winter.

Using silk in the delightful Peace Silk Beret and Cowl forms a pair of accessories that’s lacy and soft next to the skin. Photos by Joe Coca

In addition to a handful of projects to weave, knit, crochet, and embroider, this new eBook features several fascinating articles about how silk is grown and processed. One of my favorite gems is an article by Eric Mindling, who has lived in Oaxaca, Mexico, since 1992, working with and promoting traditional artisans. “A Lustrous Treasure: Silk in Mexico” is a historical piece that discusses how silk came to the Americas and how this luxury fiber became king in southern Mexico for nearly a century during the 1500s, with the greatest producing region producing 20,000 pounds of raw silk a year during its peak! After this absolute dominance, what led to the demise of the Spanish silk industry in Mexico? And what brought about its revival among the indigenous people? Head over to the Spin Off Library to find out! All Access subscribers can also find a link to download the PDF below.

Left: A young weaver in Oaxaca tends to her homegrown silkworms (photo by Eric Mindling). Right: The filaments from a number of cocoons are threaded through the reel at an organic silk farm in Laos (photo by Coleen Nimetz).

Another interesting article is Coleen Nimetz’s “A Day in the Life of a Lao Silk Farm Worker.” A spinning instructor from Canada, Coleen traveled to study in Laos and documented her journey by boat, plane, train, and an hours-long van ride over rugged mountain roads to reach an organic silk farm established to help create income for several hundred families in a socially and environmentally responsible way. Coleen worked as a laborer during her visits to this farm—a farm that partners with over 200 village families, teaching them about silkworm rearing, natural dyeing, and traditional weaving techniques—where she received hands-on experience and shares with the reader what she learned about the traditional processing of silk. She now dreams of raising her own worms and transforming the silk into everything from knitted lace underwear to cut-pile carpet!

Two projects to put your handspun silk to use include the Glow Scarf and Fingerless Silk Mitts to Crochet. (Photo at left by Matt Graves; at right by Joe Coca)

Spinners will want to check out the Glow Scarf, which pairs soft silk noil with subtle ombré striping for a woven scarf evocative of a sunrise, and the beautiful Fingerless Silk Mitts to Crochet using tussah silk. Find a dozen articles and patterns using silk in the Sensational Silk: Weave, Knit, Crochet, and Embroider with One of Nature’s Luxuries eBook.

This essential eBook collection of fascinating articles and favorite silk projects includes:


  • “A Lustrous Treasure: Silk in Mexico” by Eric Mindling
  • “A Day in the Life of a Lao Silk Farm Worker” by Coleen Nimetz
  • “The Queen of Fibers” by Michael Cook


  • Glowing Embers by Marlene Lloyd [8-shaft]
  • Jin Silk Scarf by Bonnie Inouye with Robin Wilton [4-shaft]
  • “Origami” Napkins with Silk Overshot by Susan E. Horton [4-shaft]
  • Glow Scarf by Christine Jablonski [rigid-heddle]
  • Relaxation Eye Cover by Jennifer B. Williams [inkle]
  • Meghalaya Scarf by Shilpa Nagarkar [rigid-heddle]
  • Fingerless Silk Mitts to Crochet by Dixie Falls [crochet]
  • Heraldic Rose Biscornu Pincushion to Stitch by Katrina King [embroidery]
  • Peace Silk Beret and Cowl to Knit by Julie Turjoman [knitting]

Check out the eBook in our library, or current All Access subscribers can log in below to instantly access and download this inspiring collection today.

Sensational Silk: Weave, Knit, Crochet, and Embroider with One of Nature’s Luxuries PDF download

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