A coworker recently commissioned me to weave three stoles for her to give as Christmas gifts to her family members. Nothing too specific in mind other than something pretty and cozy, not so dressy that they would never be worn. Colors were suggested (specifically, one should be blue, one should be boring, and one should go with black but not be black). And they need to be machine washable.
This means I had the fun task of shopping for yummy yarn with someone else's money. :)
After tossing around a few fiber ideas in my head (cotton - too much like a dishtowel after lots of laundering... bamboo - colors were limited, as I pictured something variegated... silk - not for the washing machine...), I asked Ravelry's Warped Weavers group for suggestions. Superwash sock yarn and tencel were both recommended (machine washable! soft! colors!), so after lots of browsing I decided on KnitPicks Stroll Tonal in Deep Waters (the blue one), Wine Tasting (to go with black), and Thunderhead (neutral but definitely not boring) as warp yarns for each of the three stoles. Weft will be the same for all three - Valley Yarns 8/2 Tencel in the Shale.
While waiting for the UPS man to arrive with my boxes, I played with drafts for the stoles, running them by my coworker, and we both like the understated simplicity of a wide herringbone twill to show off the lovely warp color changes.
I should point out that if I were looking for a true tonal sock yarn, I would not recommend Stroll. While the colorways are gorgeous and perfect for this project, they are definitely variegated enough that I consider them self-striping, albeit with stripes in the same color family.
Once the boxes arrived and I could tear myself away from petting the soft, squishy, merino goodness, I put the hanks on my swift, wound them into cakes, and began winding the blue warp. Besides going much faster, the colors muddled together better when winding from three cakes at a time. Four 3-yeard warp bouts and 432 ends later, we have this:
Spaced at 18 epi in the raddle (to be 24" across in the reed), wound on to the back beam and ready for threading. However, as these stoles will be only about 65" long (per request), I may unwind and re-sett to 20 epi before threading the heddles. Letting it rest while I decide.
More to come!