Friends are great, aren’t they? You can laugh with them, you can knit/crochet with them, you can share life’s ups and downs, and you can provide each other with alibis when needed. (Just for the record, my friend Alice was definitely here at my house knitting at 3.30am on Saturday night. She would be aghast at the merest suggestion that she was anywhere near the yarn heist that went down that night.)
The other good thing about friends is that you can shamelessly mine their lives for material to use in your blog. What?! Is that not perfectly normal behaviour? Oh well, let’s do it anyway. For example, my friend Jo is quite adventurous when it comes to knitting/crocheting – I’ll just call it yarning – with things that are not conventionally regarded as yarn. I have three examples to show you, and I am most definitely saving the best for last. The first is actually a yarn that she once gave me:-
Yup, it’s made from old newspaper, tightly rolled. How cool is that?
My plan for it was to make a bowl, which I’d then seal with PVA glue. I tried crochet first but, well, this yarn and I had a little argument. Actually, it was a big argument. Things got ugly. There was flouncing. So I switched to knitting this stuff, and there was hope, until it broke again…
It is a tricky knit, because this yarn is even more breaky than Rowan Felted Tweed, but I am learning to work each stitch extremely gently whilst murmuring to it in a soothing voice, and RESISTING THE URGE TO YELL OBSCENITIES OR SET FIRE TO THE BLIGHTER. If I can finish the job without too many yarn breakages, it’ll be beautiful. I will keep you posted on my progress. But let’s just say that I don’t think anyone will be getting knitted newspaper socks for Christmas this year.
At the other end of the breakability scale is Kevlar, and that’s what Jo’s been crocheting with lately. Yes, I am talking about that super-strong fibre that puts the ‘bombproof’ in ‘bombproof vest’.
I’m not sure how Jo came to be in possession of a cone of Kevlar fibre but don’t worry, it wasn’t an alibi-needing situation. She set to work with her crochet hook. Here’s her progress so far. Neat, delicate-looking, and very, very, strong:-
In case you’ve never had the pleasure, Kevlar fibre feels just a bit harder and rougher than cotton thread. You wouldn’t want to knit a snuggly cardigan out of this yarn. But hey, at least it’d be a bombproof snuggly cardigan… that wasn’t very snuggly.
Anyway, Jo showed me her progress. She certainly won’t be breaking the yarn by hand when she’s finished… or if she does, then I will make a mental note never, ever, to engage her in an arm-wrestling contest.
I’m not sure what the finished piece is going to be, but Jo has small children, so I can only assume that her plan is to replace all household textiles with alternatives that might genuinely be childproof. I reckon this idea could catch on.
Did I mention that I was saving the best for last? Look at this wonderful little bowl, also crocheted by Jo:-
Want to guess what it’s made from? Oh, you read the title of this blog post, so you know already: seaweed. Specifically, sea spaghetti, which grows rampantly around the UK’s south coast and which can, I’m told, be cooked and eaten.
Being a dedicated yarn-addict, Jo evaluates most things she comes across as to their knitting potential. (We’re already on a mission to make nettle yarn together.) All I can say is that if she comes round to your house, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your shoelaces. And your spaghetti. Also, your charging cables. Anyway, Jo was on holiday beside the sea, and given a paucity of decent yarn shops near to where she was staying, she cast her eye around for possibilities. And that’s when she noticed the sheer quantity of sea spaghetti that was growing in the shallow waters. Long, thin, flexible sea spaghetti…
Jo harvested some of the weed. (NO, AUTOCORRECT, I DID NOT MEAN TO WRITE ‘DEAD’. JO HAS NEVER, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, HARVESTED THE DEAD.) And then she washed it and laid it out to dry.
Apparently crocheting this stuff wasn’t too difficult, but was… aromatic. She made a small bowl, which she then left to dry completely, moulded over an upturned cup. Isn’t it fabulous? I think she should keep seashells in it.
So I have to ask because I’m a nosy blighter, what’s the most unconventional type of fibre that you’ve used for your crochet/knitting?
Also, has anybody seen my shoelaces? I swear I left them in my shoes…