I have just made a small mat for a gift.
I 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!