Processing Hemp Fibre

At Avacal September Crown event in early September I took a class on how to process hemp for fibre. The same techniques work for flax (linen) and nettle. The class was taught by Mistress Kataryna Tkach (her SCA name), who in her mundane life works with legal, licenced hemp for scientific study. Luckily, she has access to the “waste” plant material for fibre production and experimentation!

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Medieval Suspended Spinning using Distaffs

Master spinner demonstrates how to dress a medieval-style cone distaff with flax (linen)

Dressing a cone-shaped distaff with flax

While at Avacal September Crown (a SCA event) I took a class on using a distaff for suspended spinning. I didn’t quite get the idea behind suspended spinning (it kind of made my hand hurt pretty quickly) but I did enjoy using the distaff to control the fibre for spinning.

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Spinning New Zealand Shetland fleece

If you follow me on Instagram (pssst – follow me!) you might have seen that during December I was able to borrow a spinning wheel from a friend and begin spinning some different wools that I bought at the going-out-of-business sale at Shuttleworks.

Since not everyone who reads my blog follows me on Instagram, I thought I’d show off a few of the photos here. 🙂

This wool is all New Zealand Shetland fleece, a natural, undyed off-white colour.

I decided to spin LOTS while I had use of the wheel, so I haven’t actually MADE anything else out of this yarn since spinning and washing (setting) it. It will eventually likely be used for naalbinding, unless I can fall in love again with knitting perhaps….