I have a friend who wants to learn to knit and specifically wants to make dish rags from hemp yarn. She bought some and loves them because they don’t get all stinky. (Hemp is naturally anti-bacterial and anti-microbial.) I found a few sources for hemp yarn online but read somewhere that it is very rough and hard on the fingers. Has anybody ever knit with it? Should I encourage her to learn on a different fiber?
I haven’t knit with it, but I’ve felt it. I don’t know how difficult it would be for a beginner, but it definitely doesn’t have a very nice feel to it.
I knit my son an iPod cover using hemp and it really made my hands sore. There was no give to the yarn. Now, it might have hurt because I was using a size 0 needle, and it was more of a twine than a yarn! (This was before you could easily find hemp yarn.) I would recommend that she learn to knit using a worsted weight wool before she moves on to knitting with hemp.
If they’re looking for good washcloths/dishcloths, I’d say they should use bamboo instead of the hemp. It’s naturally anti-bacterial, but it’s also soft and probably much easier to work with for a beginner and much easier on the hands. It still has the anti-bacterial element, but I think it should make for a nicer cloth.