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Topic: Hemp yarn help  (Read 329 times)
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Lylyfai
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« on: April 03, 2008 07:18:49 AM »

I love having a resource like Craftster. I am always confident that if I need help, I will find some genius on the forum who can explain it! So to the question.

My niece (who with malice and forethought) moved two blocks from a yarn shop. Because of this, she keeps bringing me yarn orphans and piles of clearance yarn. Which I adore!!!

Recently she gave me some marvelous "hemp for knitting". It is a gorgeous straw color so I thought it would make a great purse. Problem is it is sportweight and just isn't working up dense enough. I tried knitting with two strands..but it just won't stay together and its making me nuts. Spending more time froggin then stitchin!

I was wondering if I could manipulate it to ply it together by spinning it somehow or anything. This is really the first hemp I have worked with and don't want to ruin it. The pattern I was attempting is the Daphne purse from "Knitting Little Luxuries".

Now if this is a pipe dream, I know this bunch will tell me! And if anyone has a better pattern suggestion for the sportweight hemp, I would appreciate any suggestions. Going to cross post on the knitting forum too...

I just really have respect for spinners....its one craft I just can't get the hang of (don't think I'm (ambi)dexterous enough lol! Thanks for any help!
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nicolassa
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« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2008 07:34:26 AM »

Yep, you can totally make a "custom" yarn by respinning and then plying what you have.

I'd recommend getting a spindle (or making one yourself) for this project.   You don't need to really know how to spin, since the yarn is already in yarn form and doesn't need any drafting.  You do need to know the basics of using a spindle, though.

Examine the yarn to determine what direction it was originally spun.  Connect the yarn to the leader and start spinning it in the direction originally spun.  You're putting excess twist into the yarn.  Once the cop is full, wind off into a center-pull ball (you can use a toilet paper roll if you don't have a nostepinde or ball-winder).  Now we're going to ply.  Take the center-pull end of the yarn and the outside end of the yarn and tie both to the leader of the spindle.  Begin spinning in the opposite direction of the original spin.  This will ply the yarn together, and you will end up with a thicker, balanced yarn.  Hooray! 

So yes, there's some work involved, but it should go quickly, since all you're doing is putting extra energy into the yarn so that it will be balanced once it's plied.  The yarn may not be much thicker, but it may make a big enough difference that you won't be pulling your hair out trying to work your pattern!   Grin
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I have no idea what you're talking about, so here's me with some yarn on my head.

Etsyness:  http://WhirligigYarns.etsy.com

Bloggity:  http://whirligigyarns.blogspot.com
Lylyfai
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2008 07:49:47 AM »

Perfect! That is exactly the info I needed. So glad I have that little CD spindle I made from watching Knitty Gritty! I will get to work. I so want that purse!!!

Thank you so much, nicolassa!
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javastain
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javastain
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« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2008 02:50:29 PM »

OH! I have two cents! I have been working with hemp for a very long time, and I am new to spinning so please correct me if I'm wrong!!!
So, hemp is very stiff, it is not too bouncy... I would suggest skipping the respinning of the yarn, and go straight to overplying it into doubles. I think this might leave it a little more like yarn and less like rope (although it is going to be ropey just because it's hemp.) And the overplying will make it "stick" a  bit better. Don't forget that when you knit, you do take out some of the twist by the simple act of knitting (and when you crochet you add twist!).

You could also ply a third strand of more hemp or add a cotton or something.

When you wash the hemp (if you are going to wash the hemp) it will get softer and a bit fluffier so if the purse seems a bit holey wash it!!! It will drape or act similar to like a heavy rayon or something when washed. Fairly drapey.

Have fun! I love hemp!
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I'd love to send you some hand spun for a poppet!

yep
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