Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Using up my stash Part 3 - Hemp Yarn

 A few years ago, I bought some hemp yarn at Woolfest and ever since I've been mulling over what to do with it.  Taking the plunge was difficult as I had never used this yarn before, did not have a huge quantity and couldn't find a pattern I liked.
 In the end I went for a Drops pattern I had in my collection and I think the yarn worked really well with it; the crochet stitches are clear and I found it easy to work.  I'd definitely think about using it again.  At present the yarn feels a bit stiff but I am told it softens over time.
 The other issue with this yarn was the gauge.  The advice from the maker was to bear in mind the garment may stretch and end up bigger.  I therefore didn't worry too much about being a little over gauge.  This photo shows it before was washed and dried - you can just see that the tape measure reaches 10 inches.
 To my surprise, after washing and drying it now measures 9 inches!  This was not what I expected.  But I didn't actually block it as it was a dreadful drying day, so I'm wondering if I block it properly, would it be bigger?  It still fits, so I am going to wear it now to see what happens with the size!
Here's a close-up of the pattern, with the front border attached.  A pretty pattern and fun to make.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Cockleshell Lace Sweater

 This was an impulse knit from some very cheap yarn I found at Boundary Mill recently.  It's a mixture of bamboo and cotton and drapes beautifully.  As lace knits go, this is a very easy one, with lots of plain knit and purl, so good TV knitting.  It's stretchy and fits the figure nicely, with the shaping introduced to the sides.
The sleeves are simpler, with just a column of the lace pattern down the centre, making shaping very easy.  They're also a nice length, finishing just above the wrist.  The neckline is finished in crochet, which is a clever idea as the stretchy fabric would otherwise gape,  the crochet pulls it in and creates a firm edge which does not stretch.
Here's a close-up of the patterns.  The bottom edge has two patterns, the first creating a scalloped edge and the second is the cockleshell pattern itself.  The main body is done in columns of alternating lace and cockleshell, quite easy once you have learned it.  This is likely to be my last knit for summer, though I still have some hemp yarn to play with. I have lots of other  projects to work on though, to try to use up all the stuff I have bursting out of cupboards!