Braiding challenge

Dianne here….

I have just made a small mat for a gift.

imageLook carefully…..the salmon is wool, cut about 1″ wide but the blue is what Pendleton calls ‘wooly worms’.

imageI believe they are by products of their blanket manufacture as most of them are kind of fluffy blanket weight, vary a little in width and sometimes have a smidge of color running down the length, as in the blue I used in the mat, then picking up on the smidge color for the salmon wool.

The story is kind of funny; I was in the Pendleton Woolen Mill Outlet in Portland a year or so ago and talked to the manager about possibly having braiding lessons and/or carrying our book in the store when she asked if I had ever braided with their wooly worms; I kind of scoffed (maybe why they still don’t carry the book!) yet it gave me an idea to try so I bought a little pile of them; they are very reasonable.

Of course you can’t fold them and braid; you just braid as is and hope for the best. I do an enclosed end start and butt the traditional way.  You can probably tell this is a continuous center with 3 butted rows ending with a triple picot. Because of the fluffy nature of the worms the picot is not as defined as with traditional wool but does add a little variation to the last row.

I have shown a couple of bowls braided with the worms in a Dec blog post (if I knew how to link to a previous post I would). For those I have come to ‘felt’ them by dunking them in very hot water and dryer over a plastic bowl. Felting in the washer did not work well.  For this mat, I just pressed it.

I forgot to mention that I did a ‘demo’ with these wooly worms last October at the New England Braids camp and sold some to some braiders.  Anyone out there make anything with them yet?

I find working with them a nice break from the precise braiding we usually do. They won’t and can’t be perfect, they are a little fluffy and funky and I like the look.  Hope my friend does too!

4 thoughts on “Braiding challenge

  1. I thought only hookers used “worms” Really pretty.. Note my new E-mail address. Looking forward to seeing you.

  2. Christine, you are giving me inspiration. I bought some wooly worms from Dianne T in Methuen and have been wondering what to do with them, I bought gray with a touch of red. Perhaps i make something similar in those colors. Of course i have to wait until I get home. We’re on our way to Florida and hopefully a little warmth.

  3. Fun mat with your wooly worms. One of a kind and I am sure it is appreciated. Baskets must be very nice too.

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