Mawata Pulsewarmers - Free pattern

If you enjoy the look and feel of handspun yarn, but haven't learned to spin, knitting with mawata (silk hankies) is the perfect option. Silk hankies are a lightly processed form of silk - each layer of 'hankie' is a single silkworm cocoon which has been stretched out over a frame. Since each coccoon is made up of one continuous strand of silk, these hankies can be stretched out into strands and still retain enough strength to be knit with.

Free pattern fingerless cuff gloves mitts silk lace fingering weight

In order to knit with the silk mawata, take a single layer from your hankie stack - a single layer is very thin, and you should be able to see through it. Stick your finger through the middle of the sheet, creating a hole, then stretch it out with your hands. You can spread your arms apart to break it up initially, and then go over it inch by inch to make it thinner and more even.
For a step-by-step photo tutorial, check out this Knitty article.
If you hear ripping sounds as you attenuate your hankies, don't worry! - Remember, you're stretching out one single, very long strand of silkworm fiber. You have to rip the strand in some places in order for those fibers to slip past one another and create a thinner yarn. You will still be able to knit with it.
Mawata handspun silk hankies silk caps natural fiber for knitting

You can buy silk hankies from online markets such at Etsy, or places which sell fiber for spinning or felting. To get you started with knitting with mawata, here is a small, delicate project - a pair of these pulsewarmers will take less than 10g of hankies. Use them undyed for a classic, delicate look, or experiment with dyed hankies for a funky pair of colorful wristwarmers.

Handknit handmade silk typing gloves mawata knitting

Mawata Pulsewarmers

Materials: 5 to 10 cocoons per glove, attenuated to more
or less fingering weight -- approximately 22 yards for one glove. You can make your 'yarn' all in one go, or just pull off what you need as you work. Remember, while you are stretching out your hankies, that the finished product will appear thinner, as the fibers compress while you knit.
Needles: US3 (3.25mm) DPNs
Gauge: About 7 sts per inch in garter stitch in the round
Notions: A yarn needle for grafting and weaving in ends

CO 48 sts. Join in the round, careful not to twist.
Knit 1 round. Be careful for these first few rounds that your needles don't slip out of your stitches!
Purl 1 round.
Knit 1 round.
Purl 1 round.
Next round: knit 15, work row 1 of lace panel, knit 15.
Work two repeats of the lace panel, with 15 garter stitches on either side.
Lace Panel chart
Mawata Pulsewarmers lace panel chart free pattern
(click for larger)
Mawata silk hankies pulsewarmers wristers chart symbol key

On the second repeat, after the last stitch of the last row of the lace panel chart, work the last needle as follows:
P8, bo16, begin working flat. Work the hand chart, starting on the second stitch of row 1 (the first stitch has already been worked).
Hand Chart
Mawata Pulsewarmers Chart 2 (click for larger)
(click for larger)

Next row: k3, bo9, k1. 2 garter stitches on either side remain on the needles.

Knit the two stitches on the edge of the needles for 9 rows, then graft them to the other two stitches, forming a loop.

Block your glove by soaking it in lukewarm water, then laying it out flat so that the lace pattern is stretched out fully (pin if necessary).
Unspun knitting mawata silk hankies scraps gloves

Wear two gloves to keep your hands from being chilly while reading or typing, or wear one MJ-style. Either way, enjoy a little bit of luxury on your wrists. Silk is surprisingly warm.

If you enjoyed this free pattern, please check out my other patterns as well! :)



  1. Wow! What a talent you have! These are truly lovely!

  2. id love to feature you on my blog! please let me know if you would be interested
    you can e mail me at louisefelice(at)


    love your work!!

  3. I'd never heard of knitting this way before! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Love this pattern. I made them for my granddaughter in black with a silver thread. She is into goth and bling. My only regret was in the darker color the beautiful pattern does not show up as well. Will definitely make them in the white next time.

  5. Is there any way to do these on straight or circular needles? They're beautiful by I've yet to learn to knit on DN.