Wednesday, December 3, 2008

That Pesky Plant

It's been a while, due to a family filled Thanksgiving trip, among other things, but I'm back to add some updates. A few of you asked how I plan to use my previous fair isle design that I shared with you. It actually is part of a sweater I designed for my little man and it was already in the last throes of completion by the time I took that picture. I need to sew on the sleeves, and the weather has been warm, so I haven't been motivated to do that yet. A cold front is supposed to roll in tonight, so I imagine that will be motivation enough.

But on to bigger and better things.

Lotus Lace

This is a lace pattern known as Lotus Lace, but for me, the most interesting this about this is not particularly the lace (although that definitely makes it fun) but the fiber used to make it. Do you want to take a guess?

Here is a shot of just plain knitting. The stitches aren't terribly even in places, due not to user error but the stiffer nature of the fiber.


This is hemp. Remember hemp? That rough fabric mainly associated with twine or hippies has resurfaced once again, but this time it has been made into softer fabrics, and yarns (I don't have pictures of them, but I made several newborn tops out of hemp jersey for my little man that were very very soft. He only wore them for about a week, but I digress). Often confused with it's more potent, illegal cousin, industrial hemp is actually a completely benign plant that has little, if any, mind-altering properties.

However, hemp is a sustainable crop (one of the reasons hippies like it), requiring few, if any, pesticides, and less water than many other crops. It is also antibacterial (it won't mold) and creates quite a sturdy fiber. From what I understand, it can only be grown in the US under very stringent government supervision, so the vast majority of hemp products in this country come from beyond our borders.

I'm designing my first hemp garment for myself right now. I'm almost finished, and I'll share it with you when I'm finished.

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