Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lap Robes for the Shawl Group

I joined a knitting group about a year ago.  The idea is to knit shawls for people who need one.  It could be for a happy reason - like a new baby or to celebrate something, but more often than not, it is to bring comfort and a warm hug during a difficult time.  In the year, I knit one shawl.  It's really not my thing as much as weaving, so I volunteered to take some donated llama or alpaca yarn and make something out of it. 

This was a good challenge for me since I haven't woven with camelid fiber at all and really haven't even used wool in a long time.  There were a variety of colors of the yarn.  I didn't have a clue how much there was - other than I had about 5 pounds.  So I pulled out my McMorran yarn balance.  (I've had this for probably 20 years and I don't think I've ever used it.)

I figured out the yards per pound (see for instructions, if you want to learn how).  I decided to do a 3/1 : 3/1 twill, changing the twill every other stripe as well as the colors.  I varied the widths - 8 threads/16 threads/8 threads/16 threads, etc., except the middle where it was 24 threads wide.

The yarn was set at 8 epi in an 8-dent reed.  I had a couple of threads break early on and I was afraid that the yarn was too loosely spun to be effect warp.  But fortunately those were the only breaks.  I used a medium and a very light natural yarn for the wefts of the two lap robes.  They turned out very nicely.

Here are some details of the pieces being woven and the finished products.  The reverse side of the lap robe with medium brown weft doesn't show up as dramatically as the one where the light natural yarn was used.


The lap robes were washed in a front loader washing machine on the hand wash cycle with warm wash and rinse. They were put on a rack to dry.  I didn't notice any felting at all.

This was a good experience.  It gave me some practice with camelid fiber and I hope these lap robes will provide an uplifting or comforting hug to someone.



Cindie said...

The colors are lovely - I'm sure someone is going to have their day brightened up by getting one. What a wonderful idea.

Ingrid said...

I was lucky to have gotten so many colors to work with . I am sure they are natural llama shades.