wrong again

posted in: Blog | 5

I am almost always wrong about weft. So I guess it’s a good thing that I like sampling, isn’t it? The pale grey-green silk I mentioned is OK, but the lilac which I didn’t mention but tried anyway — well, it’s much better. I thought it might make the whole ensemble altogether too overwhelmingly pink, but in fact it gives the non-pink warp colours much more clarity. Alas I can’t provide photographic evidence as it is too late in the evening and the daylight bulb in my studio has gone phhht, so I hope you’ll take my word for it just now.

Here’s some exciting pictorial news, though: I got a parcel from Meg!

The pencil has a little cat on the end, which I especially appreciate as I know that Meg is not a cat-person. And the yarn is a New Zealand merino from a company called Isolation Merino. It seems that they had this yarn produced especially for them to knit into garments, but then found that their customers couldn’t cope with washing wool. So they have switched to using superwash yarn (i.e. with the scales removed or specially coated) and are selling off their “proper” wool yarn to handweavers and other users. However, once it’s gone Meg tells me that there will be no such NZ-produced yarn available to small businesses any more, which is a terrible shame — and makes me all the more grateful for this special gift. I don’t yet know what I shall do with it. It’s quite fine, about the same as some 2/28 wool that I have, but much, much softer.

wrong again” was posted by Cally on 25 Sept 2011 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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5 Responses

  1. Meg in Nelson
    | Reply

    Little did you know when you sent me the lovely towel that you will be seconded to helping me sample these merinos! The story about switching to superwash is what I was told by members of my Weavers group; I never checked it with Isolation Merino, but it is they who told me after theirs is gone, I won’t be able to find with-scales anywhere.

    I have since discovered that an NZ source does carry merino with scales (not sure if it’s NZ grown) in several colors, but on sampling a small amount, they were so coarse I would not use it in scarves, and MAY consider it in a larger shawl only in combination with much softer yarns. It has an amazingly scratchy-overall feel, but then they target mainly felters with this yarn, so maybe they are telling me this is not for me.

  2. Julia
    | Reply

    Hmm, I don’t think I’ve heard you mention dyeing before. Maybe now is the time, with all that lovely undyed wool?

  3. Bonnie Inouye
    | Reply

    I was given some lovely soft NZ merino yarn by another weaver during my last visit there. It looks much like yours, and I use mine for differential shrinkage in combination with cotton or silk as the non-shrinking yarn. There are many weave structures to explore in this way. Not all merino yarn shrinks well, but in general merino is the best breed for this. More sampling is in order, Cally!

  4. Cally
    | Reply

    Yes, I think some dyeing is called for. I wove a scarf earlier this year which had narrow stripes of space-dyed wool alternating with broad stripes of silk — I didn’t do the dyeing myself however, just used a space-dyed skein I had bought. The structure was huck lace and it made a lovely lightweight scarf when I felted the wool stripes. This strikes me as a good way to use the merino in small amounts to make it last longer! Plus I can choose the colours myself…

  5. Evelyn
    | Reply

    Beautiful looking wool – it looks so great white.

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