Thursday, August 02, 2007

Hemp Yarn Angst

About a year ago I joined a Yahoo group, Yarn CoOp, that banded together for buying purposes so that things could be purchased in bulk to get a good price. The one swap I joined was for some hemp yarn. I was very interested in the hemp/cotton yarn, so I got a whole bunch of it, 14 balls at 250 yards each. Yeah, more than enough, but I'd rather have more left over than run out with a few inches to go.

I swatched with it, threw it in the washer and dryer a half-dozen times, and I really like it. That's the oatmeal-colored swatch I've shown a few times lately.

So today I finally broke down and cast on for a compound raglan sweater for me.

And ran into problems.

The first ball had 4 knots and 5 breaks. Here it is, divided up into its pieces:

You can tell by the size of the balls that the breaks were scattered throughout the ball. The knots are mostly in the two bigger balls. I'm going to set this ball aside for the oh-no-I'm-running-out-of-yarn last minute panic, and hope I don't have to use it. It might become washcloths or something.

The second ball I wound has 7 knots. SEVEN.

Each ball is 250 yards of a 55% hemp, 45% cotton blend.

I ordered 14 balls of this stuff to do a sweater for me.

I am NOT a happy camper.


I still have 12 more balls to wind, but after hand-winding these two balls (because I want to touch every inch of this stuff and know what I'm in for) I'm not terribly optomistic that the other 12 are going to be any better.

It's not the most pleasant stuff to work with but I really like it once it's washed a few times.

I'm really hoping that the other balls aren't as bad.

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In sock knitting news, here's a picture of my current progress with yarn from Aunt Louise:

It's my first short-row heel and so far I like it! It seems to go more quickly than the heel flap and gusset method I've been using.

As soon as I get these finished I'll be casting on for the SixSoxKAL sock, I Love Ganseys Socks. I bought some Panda Yarn which should be interesting. Pictures of the yarn tomorrow, I hope.

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Clue Five of the Mystery Stole comes out tomorrow morning, and I'm looking forward to working on that project again. This two-week span between clues has kind of sucked, as I've been in danger of losing my momentum with that project, as evidenced by the two other projects I started during these two weeks (the socks above and the compound raglan I started today).

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Hopefully my knitting karma will be a bit better tomorrow.

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Thanks everyone for the wonderful comments on my Shetland Tea Shawl! It'll be even more spectacular once it's blocked.

2 comments:

Jane said...

How horrid for you! I hate it when there are lots of knots.I understand hemp has a nice feel once it has been washed and "lived in" a bit. I do think that the smaller bits could look really good in a washcloth though. Hope they are not all like that.

Marmee said...

Oh your yarn saga is so sad! I hate knitting with little bits and I hate tail bits in! I LOVE knitting, but those are my two hates about it...lol.
Your socks are gorgeous, cant wait to see them done. Saw your blog on the EZaspi group.
Keep up the good work!!