Thursday, November 8, 2012

Experimenting with hemp

After all my plotting and planning for some suitably summery knitting, I ordered some hemp and cotton yarn from South Seas Knitting. It has now arrived in my hot little hands, mwahahahaaa...

Hemp for Knitting Allhemp3 (4ply) and Allhemp6 (8ply)

Habu Textiles Non Twist Cotton Boucle (2ply)
I have a cunning plan for the Habu cotton, but as I've used cotton yarn before on occasion, I was more excited about trying out the hemp!

I have it on good authority (thanks Mum) that hemp yarn softens up a lot after washing and wear, so I wasn't alarmed by the stiff rope-like texture of the Allhemp yarns. I gave the skeins a wash and let them dry, so that the yarn would be a bit softer and more pleasant to knit with. A word to the wise: unless you're washing a skein of yarn very gently, do tie some extra bits of scrap yarn around the skein to keep it tidy. I didn't bother, and the vigorous washing resulted in some pretty stubborn spaghetti monsters...

Now ready to get knitting, I got out my stitch dictionaries and played around with a few open, lacy stitch patterns. Two skeins of the 4ply hemp are going to become a scarf or shawl for Willie, so I tried striping some of the stitch patterns to see what happened.

The colours are 'Aubergine' and 'Chocolate' - an unlikely combo!

I like this 'knotted openwork' stitch with the two colours in play.

We'll need to do some more sketching and thinking, but narrowing down the stitch pattern choices is a good start. :)

The other 4ply skein of hemp will become a hair-tamer for me. I've been trying to come up with a stitch that looks like the black, bobbly seaweed that's common on New Zealand beaches. The colour of the yarn ('Licorice') reminded me of it, and it's a nice summery image. I'm having trouble getting the bobbly bits right, but I think I'm getting there. I still have a few permutations to work through, and I'll probably reduce the width too.

The 8ply hemp yarn, on the other hand, has already become a hat! It's nice and slouchy and airy, just what I was going for. It's also nice and simple. :)

A hat, not a mutant green jellyfish (honest)...

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