I am enrolled in a rug weaving workshop the end of this month. It is being hosted in a weaving studio down in Shopiere, WI, about a 45 minute drive from our house. The guest instructor is Jason Collingwood, of England, an internationally known rug weaver. His father, Peter, is also very well known, and has worked with the Harrisville Loom Co. for many years in designing their rug loom.
Juanita, who's studio we are using, has written and given a few suggestions about getting prepared for the workshop. One of those suggestions, was if using rug wool that is bought on cones, is to prepare it in a way as to allow the rug wool to "bloom". :)
The rug wool on the cone has been wound very tightly and she suggested that one unwind the wool from the cone and "skein" it into approximately 50 yard skeins, which are then submerged in warm water and allowed to drip dry, as seen in the photo below. I bought 4 colors and each one was skeined up, using my "umbrella swift", into 11, 50 yard skeins. It took a bit of time to do this, and after the skeins are completely dry, they then had to be wound up into balls, using my "ball winder". I only had enough room for 2 colors at a time on the drying rack, so this process took a few days to complete. Our house has been a sight to see, believe me.........
The following photos show the dried "blooming" rug wool. :) These skeins were then wound into balls. Each color has approximately 1/2 pound of yarn still on the cone, so I will take that along "just in case", leaving it in the car, unless needed. The 44 balls of "bloomed" yarn fill up an old picnic basket, so much of that will stay in the car until needed as well.
As you can see, the winding began on my birthday. :) (another pre-shower photo) :(