On Friday I happened to learn that Shirley Pinder is downsizing her weaving business, which happens to be only a couple of hours away from me… I dashed off an email to Shirley before the incoming message had cooled! And so today I took a little road trip down to Selkirk — in glorious October sunshine, I’m glad to say — and did my bit to reduce Shirley’s stash of beautiful Italian yarns. (If you are in the area and want to make your own raid, then you’ll find Shirley’s contact details here*.)
The yarn she is offering at knock-down prices includes a 2/48 merino and a 2/64 merino/silk blend, each in many lovely colours which have been dyed especially for her designs over the years. These are quite a bit finer than I generally weave with, but there are so many close-but-not-the-same shades in her collection that they would be ideal for using double or triple. Blending colours this way is one of my favourite ways to make an interesting warp. And it also happens that I have been meditating on some ideas for using finer yarns as well, particularly in double weave. Apart from a few large cones of white, then, I mainly selected smaller amounts, but of lots of colours.
There was a dangerous moment when I learned that Shirley was having a scarf sale as well! But in the end I managed to come away with two boxes of yarn and two scarves and still be £3 under my budget — enough for a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit on the way home.
After I had unpacked, of course, I decided I didn’t want them on the (previously vacant) top shelf, so it meant rearranging things a wee bit… but on that score the timing could hardly be better, could it? I was also pleased to see that, even though her scarves are sold around the world, Shirley honours the ancient weaving custom of getting one’s husband to help lift boxes, weigh inventory and so on. I didn’t even have to put the boxes into the car. And, once I had brought the yarn back to Dundee, guess who carried it up to the studio?
Let it be recorded, however, that I did the unpacking and the rearranging. Nobody arranges my yarn but me.
*in answer to queries: yes, mail order is also possible for a minimum order of 5 kg plus postage.