Handcrafted Llama Wearables & More
We have a large, wonderful assortment of knitted, felted, and woven garments and handmade accessories to tell you about. The really cool part is that most of them feature our custom-spun llama yarns or those of dear friends, and are made by me (Viv) right here at our farm. The majority of these items are made from natural fibers like mohair (from angora goats), fiber from our llamas, and merino, blue faced leicester, or other fine sheep wools. For most of the non-llama fibers, I have relied on purchases of wonderfully dyed yarns from our friends whether they were made from fiber of their own herds of goats and sheep or diligently sourced from other responsible breeders locally and from the US. Occasionally, I’ve used acrylic or man-made fibers to satisfy the requests of those looking for easier care wearables; these are mainly preferred by the elderly, those under nursing care, or for small children.
We own or have access to a number of continuous strand style looms for weaving in triangle, rectangle, and square shapes. These include units that are adjustable for particular sizes and some that are built at set dimensions for a total of 29 different setting choices. (Bob is working on the design for a 7 foot adjustable triangle loom that we expect will have 5 different settings.) Bob also made me an Inkle loom for weaving narrow bands that become handles occasionally for totes. I haven’t yet begun to really use the LeClerc 8 shaft Voyageur table loom. So far, I’ve only explored weaving totes on that. And then there are the different sizes of peg looms that Bob makes. The one I typically use has been the prototype for the ones we sell with all of the usual settings but he’s also made me a “fine sett” version that I asked him to build to “mimic” my tote knitting. There’s a tote in progress on that one right now. Whenever I start a new piece, part of the design process is to sometimes play around a bit with weaving patterns unless the yarns demand the attention. I often let the yarns determine the final design details.
I also occasionally knit and felt hats and bags for sale or to gift to friends and relatives. I don’t tend to keep many of those in stock as I’ve been concentrating on weaving but they’re available on occasion. Between the variety of yarn styles, colors, fiber combinations, weaving patterns, and loom sizes, is it any wonder that our customers find many “favorites”?
My unique, one-of-a-kind pieces can be seen at the Fiber Festivals we attend or at Mill Artisans, the local artisan & yarn shop in downtown Sherburne opposite the fire station at 14 West State Street. This real “brick & mortar” store is usually open Thursdays thru Saturday from 1-6 pm, by appointment, or by chance when either the owner or I am there.
A list of types of items in our current inventory of handcrafted wearables and accessories follows. To go to a separate webpage for examples and/or pieces that are available for sale, click on the specfic category (in bold & underlined).
Scarves – The classic, standard rectangle in long, narrow, short, or wide sizes; with and without fringe; warm for classic winter attire, open & airy for decorative purposes, or luxurious as a stole. These are often woven on the continuous strand rectangle looms that hubby has made for me. As such, the designs are bias directed making for interesting patterns regardless of the yarns used. Since these projects do not need any additional edgings, I don’t normally add fringe. Twisted fringe is my preferred style when I do add it. There may also be an occasional knitted piece but weaving is my “go to ” technique.
Handkerchief Scarves – My own design, these rectangle scarves have had the ends connected to create a cowl and/or mobius scarf that forms a V-shape similar to the corner of a handkerchief. These can be worn in a variety of ways for full or minimal coverage as shown by the individual photos. These are all woven on my hubby’s continuous strand rectangle looms.
Cowls – These are standard rectangle scarves that have their ends connected creating a circular type of scarf. Some are shorter in overall length making a tighter fitting neck covering whereas others are long enough to wrap around the neck a couple of times. Again, these are woven on hubby’s looms.
Necklets or Neck Shawls – Usually triangular in shape, I have woven these pieces to function more like neck jewelry rather than for warmth like conventional neckwear. They often are made of lighter weight yarns and have decorative closures. In some cases, it is the weave pattern that is the highlight of the item. These projects were woven on a small, travel size continuous strand triangle loom purchased many years ago.
Shawls – Although shawls are also rectangular in shape, my favorite shawls are woven on my continuous strand triangle looms. As the weaving progresses, the color interaction between yarns and the weaving pattern all meld together to create a design that builds and isn’t totally shown until the very end – so much fun! I’ve woven these on a variety of looms; some were purchases, some gifted to me, and of course, some were made by Bob. Since some of these are adjustable as well, I have options of a variety of settings to choose from. Therefore, the final projects that are for sale also vary in size. Typically the hypotenuse length of the triangular shaped piece and the maximum height measured as the distance from the hypotenuse to the bottom tip of the triangle, will be listed under each piece. Smaller shawls and shoulder wraps, worn as garments, are appropriate for smaller adults or children, but can also be worn as decorative neck pieces when tied or pinned accordingly.
Capelets, Shrugs, Ruanas/Ponchos, – On occasion, I’ve been known to branch out and weave something atypical.
Capelets – I weave rectangular pieces, fold them a bit to create a collar on a shoulder covering, and add a closure highlighting a hand selected ceramic button or unique fastener.
Shrugs have also been made by adding sleeves to woven rectangles.
Ruanas & Ponchos– These are usually fairly large pieces so I don’t make them very often as they can get pretty expensive when made from our llama fiber. However you might see them here from time to time. (This would be one type of garment I would be willing to do on a custom order – you purchase the yarns (need not be llama fiber) and I’ll do the weaving.) Just so you understand what I mean – my definitions are: a ruana is a free-flowing wrap with an open front, similar to a large scarf. You can wear the ruana long in front and open like shawl, or throw one or both sides over your shoulder(s) for a more romantic or dramatic cape. The key is to allow the fabric to completely cover your shoulders. I would make this from two larger rectangles or one triangle and one rectangle depending on the size requested. A poncho would be two triangles put together leaving a space for your head & neck; I’d put two large triangles together for this.
Rugs, Blankets, & Tri-bags – The rest of these are usually custom orders and I’ll need to fit these in around other committments. But if you’re willing to wait a bit and provide the yarns, I’ll do the weaving. Contact me directly to discuss your needs.
Rugs – Bathroom or kitchen throw rugs can be woven on the continuous strand looms if the yarns are stable and won’t easily fray. Usually sheep wool or cotton yarns purposely spun for rugs work best. If you want to use core yarns, I’d weave those pieces on our peg looms.
Blankets – These can be woven on a square continuous weave loom or by combining two or more rectangle shaped pieces. Baby blankets are often done on the square loom (you’ll have a choice of sizes), while full size bed covers would be done in panels on a rectangle loom.
Pillow covers – These are usually made by weaving and joing two same size triangles to form a square. You would provide the rest of the pieces for the pillow and put it all together. Other options could include me weaving just 1 triangle shape or 4 pieces (for both front & back of the pillow), but you still have to do all the sewing and construction of the pillow itself. We can talk about the choices.
Tri-Bags – The Tri-bags are usually made for children on a small triangle shaped loom.
Care & Feeding:
In most cases with our natural fiber handcrafted wearables and accessories, we recommend hand washing as needed (spot and/or soak washing may be used). Use cool to cold water with a gentle detergent especially meant for natural fibers & fine linens. We have good luck with Unicorn Fibre Wash or Eucalan Fiber Fabric Wash. (In a pinch, you can also use your own hair shampoo!) Press out excess water (do not wring) and air dry flat. Depending on the item, you may want to block it as it dries. Some yarns will stretch out of shape if the items are hung from a shower rod or hung in some manner. We find a heavy towel laid on a iron board often works well for most scarves and similar small items. For a bigger piece, a layer of towels on a table or bed also can be used to absorb the water while it dries. Let us know if you have questions.
Items made of acrylics are often machine washable and dryable. We recommend using a gentle or delicate cycle in both the washing machine and the dryer. Care instructions are always sent with the item.