Friday, March 12, 2010

Silky Smooth

I thought I'd take a little break from moderating comments to show you a little project I started yesterday. I'd hoped to get it done quickly as a birthday gift for my husband, but it didn't work out that way. Still, I think he will like it!

I am making a little bag to store tarot cards in. The yarn is Tillie Thomas Voile de la Mer, which I had started a scarf with, but got bored with the pattern. Lee had asked for a silk bag, and this is as close as I could get with yarn I already had, silk and seaweed.

I started by knitting a stockinette rectangle the size of the bottom of the box his cards came in, then I picked up around the edges and started knitting in the round.I want the bag to be sturdy, so I am knitting on teeny 000 needles to get the stitches as small as Suna's loose knitting can get. I did a section in linen stitch, which looks very, very tight (reminds me of the time I knitted the instep of one of my tiger stripe socks under deep stress and I ended up making a tourniquet), then I did some stockinette and am back to linen stitch again, which is not quite so teeny. By making the number of stitches odd, I never have to switch the linen stitch around, so I just keep repeating K1, slip 1 with yarn in front, over and over.

My friend Tina came over yesterday afternoon before a tarot gathering at our house, and we sat on the porch and knitted and chatted. That probably loosened up the stitching. Thanks, Tina!

Lee likes the bag and the color. I think I will do a bit of ribbing with a section of yarn-overs to run an i-cord strand through at the top, followed by more ribbing. I'd put on a ruffle or beads, but am not sure if that would be manly enough. I'll ask him! He's such a calm, sweet and understanding spouse that he deserves maybe more than one storage bag!

It will be back to the mittens this weekend. I really appreciated all the feedback on them--lots of pros and cons to consider, but I'll finish them anyway.

PS: Please see the comments if you are interested in a discussion of tarot traditions.


  1. I have that same Tarot deck, gosh, it must be 20 years old by now and very dog-eared, but the traditional Rider Deck is still a personal favorite, I guess I'm a purist at heart unless I pull out my French cards.

    Is silk considered a natural fiber? My step-mom, before she passed away about 5 years ago, was Wiccan [sp] and always said that the cards should be stored in a natural fiber. Dunno exactly why, something about being of the earth and keeping the deck 'clear'... Which I always think manufacturers don't know about, cuz they come wrapped in plastic or velveteen (which I'm pretty sure is NOT a naturally occurring substance--unless they shaved the Velveteen Rabbit to get it.)

    Do you think it's bad ju-ju with the silk? cuz don't they boil 'em to get the fibers? I've got some silk somewhere that would good for a lady I know who reads cards.

    It think that bag is a great idea, I have so many wool partials lying about from finished projects. That would be a great way to use them up with out making a 'sock' blanket or domino style FO.

  2. Lee is actually going to use the bag for his newer deck, which is Arcus Arcanum, illustrated by a German artist. I find that deck a little creepy, but both he and frequent commenter Tina use it.

    As for your question--it's a good one. Yes, I consider silk a natural fabric. True, in most silk the worm is killed, but in most cotton the plant is destroyed. Hmmm. Would cotton be OK for a tarot bag, traditionally? I am not sure. I do think the seaweed fiber is probably OK. I'm gonna go with "OK," especially since Lee requested silk, and I have seen a lot of silk cloths used to wrap decks by people who know more than I do.

    I agree about the plastic--I store decks I am actually going to use in a bag that breathes, either one sewn from cotton or knitted in wool. I know some folks who transport their decks in the original boxes, but I don't do that unless it's a deck I am collecting and not going to do readings with.

    Thanks for prompting this discussion. I wish my friend Jody was still reading blogs, because she might have interesting insight into this topic.

  3. It looks great--though my mind is still reeling at the thought of working with size 000 needles. Oh my!!!!!


  4. there are 2 main opinions when it comes to how to keep a tarot deck.

    1) it should be wrapped in SILK. i don't know where it came from or what the reasoning is, but some people strictly adhere to it and wouldn't dream of wrapping a deck in anything less.

    2) a deck should be wrapped in natural fiber. but what does natural mean? for knitters, that's an ambiguous term: does it mean from an animal or plant source, or does it mean ORGANIC?? i believe it means any fiber which is NOT MAN MADE. something that comes from the earth.

    although i do PREFER natural fibers to house my decks, i'm not SUPER picky about it. i'd be okay with a fabric bag that was a mix of cotton/polyester for instance. BUT i do prefer sewn or knitted bags instead of the standard issue boxes or plastic bags or boxes, so the cards can breath and have a little bit of air circulation. you want something *especially in humid texas* that can let moisture escape those cards, otherwise you run into warping issues and most dreadfully mold and total decemation of your deck- eeekk!!!

  5. you're right, this discussion is fascinating!

    ...Lee will LOVE this gift, and to think you are working these stitches on 000s...awesome! (too scary for me! my fingers aren't as tiny and nimble as yours! :) hee hee)


Suna says thanks for commenting--I love comments!