Shiela at Handspinner.co.uk is having another 'Spring' spinning competition. You can win £40 worth of vouchers to spend in her online spinning shop. Which is too good to be true. Last year I had a go at Daffodil-yarn this year I am more than a little late off the starting block and have been rushing 'Cherry Blossom' for the last couple of nights. I have chosen to spin a Beaded yarn with 'Ramie' and tiny golden yellow seed beads. To spin a beaded yarn you spin two 'Z' twist (clockwise) singles. Then you get sewing cotton to match your fibre or contrast with it. You thread all of your beads onto the cotton (carefully I have had several seed bead accidents!) Then you 'Z' twist the cotton and one of your singles to ply together, feeding the beads in at intervals as you go. You then 'S' twist (anti-clockwise) your beaded singles with your non beaded singles to get a plied beaded yarn. I learnt from Alison Daykin and Jane Deane's book 'Creative Spinning'.
Ramie is one of the oldest vegetable fibres used by man, it is a hardy perennial belonging to the nettle family and it can be harvested up to six times a year. It is a fibre that was used in Ancient Egypt for Mummy cloth in the period 5000 - 3000 BC and is renowned for its strength. It was used in China long before cotton was introduced, The fibre is naturally white and does not require bleaching.