High-Temp Hemp by Elizabeth Cobbe

High-Temp Hemp

August 2009
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
15.5 stitches = 4 inches
in stockinette
US 7 - 4.5 mm
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Hemp fiber is an ideal match for Texas summers, when temperatures regularly hang out at 103 (39.5 Celsius). It’s tough and lightweight; it softens to the touch after a good wash; and it has a memory to rival that of wool. Unfortunately, hemp isn’t a fiber that gets a lot of design support outside of market bags and washcloths. What’s needed are patterns that take advantage of hemp’s unique qualities but can still converse with current fashion trends.

This triangular shawl consists mainly of a loose stockinette, which compensates for hemp’s rough texture on your hands while knitting. The regular, narrow stripes create an even visual structure to balance the uneven look that hemp naturally gives stockinette. At the edge is a modified feather-and-fan stitch pattern whose gentle curve softens the overall look. I chose neutral colors with low contrast as an answer to the harshness of the summer heat.