Projects! Lace and Hemp

Spinning lace weight yarn is so satisfying. Challenging at first, immensely satisfying when you count up the yardage and realize you have 400 yards of yarn out of one ounce of fiber. And then discouraging when you realize that all the lace projects you have in mind require 1500+ yards, and there is only an ounce of thread left to ply....

The bright white of the yarn comes from Cormo wool and the glitter from mulberry silk.

I have an experiment this week as well. I obtained some hemp fiber on a whim, and then got it in my hands and thought "Hmmm....How do I spin this without ending up with rope..." Some research led me to buying recycled sari silk to add to the hemp. And then I saw some yarn at my local yarn store that was a linen/silk/acrylic blend and had a very nice feel, which made me contemplate adding some sort of man made fiber into the mix. Enter another curiosity I had in my stash because I couldn't resist: corn silk, also known as ingeo. After I got the stuff (of course, after) I did some looking around and saw that many spinners hated the stuff. Which I can understand, I did some fondling of the fiber when I got it, and immediately put it away for "later." Just in the fiber, it seems to have the drawbacks of silk- flyaway, slippery- without any of the fantastic things that make silk worth the trouble. Despite this, I had hopes it would work well in a blend. So last night I carded equal parts of hemp, sari silk, and corn silk into a rolag and went for it. And I liked it. Setting the twist was a little nerve wracking, as hemp is supposed to be boiled to set the twist and corn silk supposedly melts at that temperature. A thirty second boil was all I dared to do.

The yarn and the fabric is fairly soft with a crispness. Only time, and my laundry machine, will tell if the fabric softens more with washing, as is supposed to be the case with hemp.

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