After watching Food, Inc. my 13-year-old decided to be a Vegan. Our family is already Vegetarian, so it's not too much of a stretch to take out the dairy. My diet has been really bad since I came back to Seattle--diet coke, pizza, croissants, and late night potato chips---so I, too, decided to make a change. Seattle is a great place for Vegans. There's a PCC or co-op in basically every neighborhood. We also have Vegan restaurants. Healeo is by my house and they have a sandwich board out front that says: VEGAN HEMP SOFT SERVE. I had ignored this sign until I became a Vegan. Last weekend I went to check out this product and let me tell you, it was the best "ice cream" that I'd ever have. It also got me thinking about hemp. I'd purchased some hemp fiber at the last spin-in that I went to. After eating it, I decided to spin it.
It looks like fake blond hair and it feel like spinning string vs. spinning yarn. I had read that it doesn't get soft until you soak it. It did get a little soft after it got wet, but it still felt like string. The other interesting thing that happened while I spun this fiber was that my nose and eyes became very itchy and eventually my hands swelled! I was having an allergic reaction. The fiber seemed very dusty and I'm not sure if it was the fiber or the funny dust particles that were flying around that I was allergic to. I googled "hemp allergy" and all the hemp-positive sites said there is no such thing. Or they report no allergies to hemp seeds. Hmmmm....
This last photo is of the singles, 2-ply (little bow), and a pile of 3-ply hemp. It's string to me. I'll probably just use it to tie off skeins.
After that unenjoyable spinning experience I picked up some wonderfully soft Blue Face Leicester and began to spin my true love: WOOL.