Tag Archives: hemp

Distaff Spinning

Both flax and hemp are usually sold in roving form or tow, where the flax has been heavily processed into short 2-4 inch lengths. The flax or hemp roving has often been bleached or dyed. This type of flax and hemp are quite easy to spin as a roving, using a short draw. A distaff is not needed to spin this type of flax or hemp. The flax needs a light to medium twist to hold it together. When I spin the flax roving, I spin it wet, as I have a small dish of water beside me, and wet the fiber with my fingers while spinning. This helps to soften the natural pectins in the fibre and smooth the rough ends together.


Both Flax and Hemp also come in long line strick form, though this is quite often hard to find. The flax fibres are long, 2-3 feet in length, as they are in the original flax plant. The flax comes in a strick, where the long fibres are twisted and rolled together and often tied at one end, in order to hold them in place.

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Distaff
Distaff spinning is used when spinning the long line flax or hemp. The distaff holds the long length of fibres in place, so that you can easily draw a few fibre lengths at a time from the tied bundle as you spin.
I don’t own a flax wheel with a distaff attachment, but I made a small modication to my Kromski Sonata wheel, so that I could attach a distaff to it. I purchased the Kromski distaff that is designed for the Kromski Minstrel wheel.
The Minstrel wheel distaff comes in 2 pieces, one is the distaff itself, and the other is the piece that attaches the distaff to the wheel.
The hole in the attachment piece is too large to fit the Sonata wheel, so I used a bit of wool roving to stuff into the hole to make a more secure fit. I also used a few rubberized washers to raise the height of the distaff slightly on the wheel.

Dressing the Distaff
To dress the distaff, or to tie the long line flax to the distaff, open up the flax bundle and shake out the fibre so it is loose. Examine the fibre to determine which is the easiest end to spin from. One end will be a bit more tangled and knotted together and the other end will be easier to draw fibres from. Lay the fibre onto the table and open it up a bit. Place the distaff on top of the fibre with the top of the distaff at the more tangled end.
Use a length of cord or ties, about 2 meters in length, fold it in half, and lightly wrap it at the top end of the distaff, to secure the fibres to the distaff.
Loosely wrap the flax fibre around the length of the distaff, so that the fibres are all running straight along the distaff.
Then loosely wrap the remaining lengths of the cord around the flax fibre and down the length of the distaff.
Then place the tied flax distaff onto the distaff attachment on the wheel.

Spinning from the Distaff
Because the fibre length on long line flax or hemp is very long, you don’t need a lot of twist in order to hold the fibre together. I spin this on the lowest ratio on wheel. To start spinning, run your hand along the length of the flax that is on the distaff, and select just a few strands from the very end of the tied flax and gently pull these out and begin to spin. You will find that you need to draw this length of fibre out quite a long way, (2 or 3 feet) before you reach the end of that fibre length, and then draw out another few fibres from the flax bundle.
As with any hand spinning, how many fibres you draw out, will determine the thickness of your yarn. To spin a fine flax or hemp yarn, draw out only a few at a time, to spin a thicker yarn, draw out more fibre.
I have a small dish of water beside me, and I dip my fingers into the water to moisten them, and run my finger along the length of the fibre I have just spun, to wet it, before I let the length spin onto the bobbin. This helps to soften the fibre as you are spinning.

Both Hemp and Flax long line fibre can be purchased in my Etsy shop or my Spin Flora website.

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Spin Flora not Fauna

I am very pleased and delighted to hear that my workshop is full for the upcoming AGWSD Summer School 2017. This summer school will be held at Sparsholt College in Hampshire, August 13 – 20, 2017.
The Summer School is hosted by the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, UK and is a bi-annual week long event where participants spend their days working in intensive workshops on their passion. Here is a diary of the AGWSD Summer School 2015.

Kukka Transparency Hand Spun Flax
Kukka Transparency Hand Spun Flax

My week long workshop will focus on handspinning flora not fauna – so plant fibres instead of animal. I will try to cover a number of different plants, depending on what will be available at the time. Spinning fibres such as flax, hemp, soya, banana, bamboo, seaweed, ramie, corn, rose.

Over the coming weeks as I make samples, I will try to write a few preview articles about spinning and working with these new fibres.

Spin Flora – Banana Fibre
How to spin using banana fibre.
Spin Flora – Rose Top
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Spin, Weave and Knit with Flora
Spin, Weave and Knit with Flora

Handspinning Books

The Practical Spinner’s Guide – Cotton, Flax, Hemp (Practical Spinner’s Guides)
Spin Flax & Cotton: Traditional Techniques with Norman Kennedy

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Ashford traveler spinning wheel single drive

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Antique American Little Saxony Spinning Wheel Beautiful & Complete Working!

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Weaving – Transparency Ornament: aa122498

As part of our recent ornament exchange, I made these ornaments using hemp as warp and background weft. My original star design uses 4/4 Foxfiber Green cotton.

This was my first attempt at doing a transparency weaving. I used the end of a hemp warp that I had used for towels. I resleyed the warp at 10 epi, leaving a 1 inch space between each ornament. As I was doing several ornaments at one time across the width of the loom, I was unable to use the beater to beat each row in place. Instead, I used a tapestry beater to place the weft.I would recommend doing each ornament individually on a narrow warp, (i.e. 32 ends) as using the reed and beater would give a more consistent and even beat.

Warp: 3 ply Hemp

Background weft: 3 ply hemp

Design Weft: 4/4 Foxfiber Cotton – Green

Sett: 10 epi

No. Ends: 32
Threading – 1,2,3,4 twill

Treadling:

Tabby: 1,3 Hemp

Design: 2,3 Cotton, using small butterflies for each separate section of the design

Tabby: 2,4 Hemp

Design: 3,4 Cotton
Finishing: Hem stitch each end with the same hemp yarn as the weft.

Santa Suit
Knit Santa
Christmas Stocking Motifs
ABC Motifs
Needle Felted Christmas Ornaments
Christmas Knitting
Christmas Felting

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Weavette Looms Buxton Brook Complete Small Loom Kit

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Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom 24 Inch

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Beginner Weaving – Table of Setts: blsetts

The sett of your cloth can vary, depending on your yarn and the desired drape of your fabric. Below is a table of recommended setts. To achieve the correct result, it is best to sample. Weave a small section, and wash your sample before continuing with your project.

bamboo reed

Weaving Setts for Cotton Yarns

COTTON (840) YPP Tabby – Loose – EPI Tabby – Firm – EPI Twill – EPI
3/2 1200 ypp 10 14 18
5/2 2100 ypp 12 16 18
8/2 3360 ypp 20 24 28
8/4 1680 ypp 14 16 18
10/2 4200 ypp 24 27 30
10/3 2800 ypp 20 22.5 24
16/2 6720 ypp 28 30 32
20/2 8400 ypp 30 32 36
20/3 5600 ypp 22 24 28
20/6 2800 ypp 20 22.5 24
24/2 10080 ypp 30 36 40
24/3 6720 ypp 28 30 32
30/3 8400 ypp 30 32 36

Interweave Books
Time to Weave Elegant Projects
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Weavers Companion
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Designing and Weaving with Blocks
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Weaving Setts for Linen Yarns

LINEN (300) YPP Tabby – Loose – EPI Tabby – Firm – EPI Twill – EPI
7/1 2100 ypp 20 22.5 25
10/1 3000 ypp 24 27 30
12/1 3600 ypp 25 28 32
12/2 1800 ypp 20 22 24
14/2 2100 ypp 20 22.5 25
18/2 2700 ypp 22.5 24 27
20/2 3000 ypp 24 26 30
30/2 4500 ypp 28 30 32
40/2 6000 ypp 32 36 45
50/3 5000 ypp 35 37.5 45
16/4 2420 ypp 8 12 12

Weaving Setts for Silk Yarns

SILK YPP Tabby – Loose – EPI Tabby – Firm – EPI Twill – EPI
20/10 950 ypp 7 8
20/6 1500 ypp 10 12 14
12/2 2950 ypp 18 20 22
20/2 5000 ypp 24 26 28
30/2 7500 ypp 30 32 34-36
60/2 15,000 ypp 60 64 66-70
120/2 30,000 ypp 120 124-128 132-140

Other Conversion Charts
Table of Setts

Crochet Hook Sizes
A table for conversion of crochet hook sizes: metric, US and UK.

Knitting Needles
A conversion table for UK, US and Metric knitting needles.

Reed Conversions
Table of metric and Imperial measurements for reed sizes.

Ravelry Discussions

Rigid Heddle Looms – Newbie Questions
Weaving Pattern Books

Learning to Weave

Weaving Within Reach: Beautiful Woven Projects by Hand or by Loom

Weaving Western Sakiori: A Modern Guide for Rag Weaving

The Big Book of Weaving: Handweaving in the Swedish Tradition: Techniques, Patterns, Designs and Materials
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End Date: Tuesday Nov-26-2019 12:58:01 PST
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Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom 24 Inch

$325.00
End Date: Tuesday Dec-17-2019 6:40:13 PST
Buy It Now for only: $325.00
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Vintage Little Loomhouse 4 Harness Weaving Loom & 4 Treadle Table Stand BIN

$245.00
End Date: Monday Dec-9-2019 17:36:28 PST
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Yarn Shops

Bodega Pastures Sheep
Bodega Pastures uses sustainable ranching practices and has organic wool from Churro, Columbia, Corriedale and Romney sheep.

Borgs Weaving Yarn
Swedish Borgs weaving yarns come in over 1000 colours, from cotton, rugwarp, linen, cottolin, wool and paper.

Bullens Wullens
Bullens Wullens has ready to spin, combed wool top: merino, Targhee, Corriedale and Finn in many lovely colours.

Camilla Valley Farm
Camilla Valley Farm, located north of Toronto, Ont, provides quality supplies for weavers, including cotton, linen and locally produced Philosopher’s Wool.

Caroline’s Yarns
Caroline produces handspun custom yarns from hand picked fleece for knitters and weavers.

Colinette Textile Alchemy
Colinette has an extraordinary selection of hand-dyed yarns: wools, silk, mohair, cottons.

Cotton Clouds
Cotton Clouds stocks over 21 different lines of cotton blend yarns.

Crescent Moon Fiber Mill
Qiviut and other luxury and exotic yarns, washing, picking, carding and spinning services.

Curl Yarns
Curl Bros. has high quality 2/8, 4/8, 8/8 and Perle mercerized cotton yarns in 43 vibrant colours.

Earthguild
Earthguild carries a wide range of supplies to serve the needs of the craft community: rugmaking, weaving, spinning, basketry, dyes.

Fibreholics Homepage
Agnes Hauptli is a true fibreholic with a great selection of fibres to choose from: silks, wools, cottolins and even possum.

Foxfibre Naturally Coloured Cotton
Sally Fox’s naturally coloured Foxfibre cotton yarns and spinning fibre.

Halcyon Yarn
Halcyon Yarn provides a mail-order service for handknitting, machine knitting and weaving yarns and spinning fibres. They carry over 100 varieties of yarn from silk to rug wools.

Harrisville Yarn
Harrisville wool tweed and Shetland yarns. Available on cones for machine knitting or weaving and washed skeins for handknitting.

Hemp Textiles Int.
Hemp Textiles Int. is a wholesale supplier of hemp spinning fibres and yarns.

Homestead Sheep and Fiber Products
Both handspun and millspun yarns are offered at this site, Jacob, lambswool and mohair blends.

In Sheep’s Clothing
In Sheep’s Clothing offers unique yarns and fibres, for weavers, knitters, spinners and basket makers.

J J’s Wool and Craft
A delightful New Zealand site to visit featuring luscious hand-dyed wool yarns for knitters and mohair/silk slivers for handspinners. They can also process your special fibre blends.

Kreinik Threads
Silk and metallic threads are perfect for embellishment of your handwovens as well as downloadable freebies.

Lamb’s Ear Farm
Lamb’s Ear Farm has Beka looms, yarns, wheels, fibres, dyes and other goodies for the weaver and handspinner.

Lana Knits Hemp Kits
Lana Knits has Get to Know Hemp kits, for making washcloths, mitts and sweaters.

Langley Yarns
Spinning wheels and fiber, looms, weaving yarns, and weaving lessons by Barbara Braaten.

Lankapalvelu
Lankapalvelu is a Finnish site that has a good selection of cotton and specialty yarns, including Poppana, cotton chenille, mop yarn. See Muutkodonta-materiaalit.

Louet
Louet is a wholesale supplier of exotic yarns, fibers, natural and chemical dyes, spinning wheels and looms.

Luxurious Fibers From Around the World
This site has a large selection of luxury fibers: alpaca, angora, mohair, camel, silk, handpainted yarns, cottons.

MacAusland’s Woollen Mills Ltd.
MacAusland’s has been producing yarn since 1932. This family run business supplies custom spinning and weaving yarns and their own pure wool blankets.

Margaret Peel’s Fibre Supplies
Margaret Peel’s in Australia, carries a wide range of ready to spin blended fibres and handspun yarns. Washing and dyeing is all done by hand, and carded by machine.

Mountain Spun Farm
Mountain Spun Farm has a bit of something for everyone. Triangle looms, spinning tools, Shetland and Romney sheep, Angora and Cashmere goats, angora bunnies and other fibre and fleece.

Nordic Studio
Nordic Studio has Bockens Line Linen in 16/1, 16/2, 28/2, tow, linen rug warp, bobbin lace as well as other wools and yarns imported from Sweden and Norway.

Odyssey Llama’s Fiber Corner
Looking for a source for llama fibre? Odyssey has raw and washed fleece and roving in a multitude of natural shades.

P C’s Pets
Pam Chapman raises Angora rabbits. She has fibre for sale as well as excellent advice for caring for your rabbit.

Paradise Fibers
Paradise Fibers has a wide selection of wools and mohairs, spinning fibres, and knitting/weaving yarns.

Fibreholics Homepage
Agnes Hauptli is a true fibreholic with a great selection of fibres to choose from: silks, wools, cottolins and even possum.

Foxfibre Naturally Coloured Cotton
Sally Fox’s naturally coloured Foxfibre cotton yarns and spinning fibre.

R and M Yarns
R & M has a varied selection of mill-end wool, cotton, rayon and acrylic yarns, suitable for machine knitting and weaving.

Red Barn Farm
Red Barn Farm has Targhee, Border Leicester wools from their own flock as well as spinning and weaving supplies.

Red Meadow
Red Meadow is an on-line store for weavers, spinners and other fibre artists.

Robin and Russ Handweavers Inc.
Robin and Russ is always a great source for weaving yarns. Their yarn catalog is worth ordering.

Rogue Icelandic Farm
Yvonne & David McDonald raise Icelandic sheep and Pygora goats in Oregon.

Savillehill Farm
An on-line studio catalog shop featuring equipment and supplies for both the beginner and experience fibre artist.

Snow Drift Farm
Take a llama trek in Cape Breton, NS and try out some mohair or llama fibre as well.

Spring Creek Organic Farm
Award winning natural coloured and white Romney sheep are organically raised. Each fleece is hand skirted to assure a clean fleece, free of vegetation.

Sugar Bush Hollow
Sugar Bush Hollow is a mother and daughter cottage industry that caters to all fiber enthusiasts. You can get Angora wool, Cormo fleece, and llama fiber or if you don’t spin yourself, they can spin it for you.

Sun Bench Fibres
Sun Bench Fibres began their business raising sheep and angora goats, carding the wool for handspinners. They have now expanded to carry an assortment of spinning fibres, weaving yarns, and Ashford, Lendrum and Leclerc equipment.

Treenway Silks
Treenway designs their own special blends of luxurious silks and colours. Who can resist?

Wales MacKinlay
Wales MacKinlay is an industrial supplier of yarns and fibre for knitters and weavers in New Zealand.

Weavers Loft
Weavers Loft in Indiana, carries looms, spinning wheels, books and suppliers for the weaver and handspinner.

Webs Yarn Merchant
Webs offers a wide selection of specialty yarns ranging from rayon chenille, to mohair and wool blends designed for weavers and hand knitters.

Woolhouse Tools

Woolhouse Tools in Armstrong, British Columbia makes beautiful table and floor looms, shuttles, ball-winders and other weaving accessories.

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ANTIQUE UNIQUE WORKING SPINNING WHEEL SIGNED

$149.99
End Date: Saturday Dec-14-2019 16:44:57 PST
Buy It Now for only: $149.99
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Ashford traveler spinning wheel single drive

$187.00 (2 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Nov-24-2019 17:00:01 PST
Bid now | Add to watch list

Antique American Little Saxony Spinning Wheel Beautiful & Complete Working!

$350.00
End Date: Monday Dec-16-2019 20:43:41 PST
Buy It Now for only: $350.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

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