Well, while I’m busy pulling hanks from cones of Phydlbitz Sock and Merino/Cashmere/Nylon sock yarn, Mr. Mail Carrier brought an unexpected box!
It is from my friend Dez who used to have a fiber shop in Baton Rouge. While preparing to move soon to the Pacific Northwest, she’s been sifting and sorting …. and packing … and sifting and sorting … and … well, if you’ve moved house you know what’s involved. Anyway, she found this little collection of unsold yarns from her yarnshop days and sent it to me, telling me to “Dye and Sell”.
Here are the details from the labels:
The labels say Approx 3oz — well, I weighed them — they range from 3.5 to 4.0 ounces, so the yardage is likely more than the 250 yards indicated. It is about a sport weight (figuring 350 yards per 4.oz hank, at 1400 yards per pound) It is all undyed.
I did my due diligence to get more information from the company, but apparently they have no active Web site, and I can’t find them on Ravelry or Etsy, either. BUT, I did learn from an old news story that Sandy Steffy had 25 alpacas at her little farm in Bush, Louisiana. So this yarn came from small-business family farming and was mill-processed (doesn’t look handspun).
My quandary — do I dye it and sell the resulting dyes? Or do I sell it undyed? Or (inspiration just slapped me upside the head), do I combine this with some of the superwash worsted Alpaca to make a super awesome shawl on the Tri-Loom (and then sell the resulting loveliness)? 😀
I don’t believe it! 🙁 I got it all done, crocheted the bottom edges, wove in and hid all the color-change tails, and dropped it into the wash because it was all acrylic. OOPS, not it wasn’t! The first band of black was wool, and it felted in the wash. 🙁
There are no words for my disappointment. And even though it’s my first tri-loom project, knowing the yarn is not a new thing and I should have been more careful. The black was in the bin with known acrylics (I have no idea why), but I still should have checked.
I can either pitch this aside and leave the weaving to others, or I can fill the holiday weekend with another attempt — with KNOWN yarns so at least I won’t make the same mistake again.
So, I mentioned before that I bought myself a triangle loom from Roger’s Looms (highly recommend, by the way). And then some friends surprised me by buying the tripod stand to support it (Thank you, Dez, Lisa, and Diana). So after a couple false starts, I started this project on Monday, and finished the weaving last night:
I was particularly tickled that my final strand ended up on the bottom center pin and there were no missing pins or pins with double-strands. So, at least I know I got that part right. 🙂
Now, as for the quality of the work — well, it’s my first one so I’m not going to be toooo hard on myself, but it is clear that my tension is not consistent. The strands are not straight; the loom is holding everything taut at the moment, and when I take it off and pull on the bias in both directions, the strands should even themselves out, at least a little bit. I’m still torn whether to add a fringe or try to hide the tails where I changed color. And, yes, I am aware that my pattern sequence was off — there should have been a black band between the two claret bands toward the middle; my calculations were off. Oh well.
For now, I am glad I finally broke down and bought the loom. I’ve been wanting one for a long time. I’ve not been much drawn to standard weaving looms, but this style where the warp and weft are applied simultaneously looked somewhat easier. Many Knitivity friends and customers also do weaving on various types of looms; their work is practiced and amazing, I would never presume to be on par with their excellence.
By the way, this first piece was done with leftover RHSS. I didn’t want to waste the good yarn on a practice piece. But now that I understand the basic principles, I will do another, probably with some of the superwash Merino worsted wt. yarns. I’m not really fond of the open weave, but I’ve been told that taking it off the loom and washing it will help things settle down, and doing it with wool will make it even nicer.