Oh, sweet little Yarn Bales

It all started with an idea (how great would mini skeins of our beautiful yarns be, all wrapped in little bales!?!) and a (slightly delayed) shipment of yarn.

Summer of Yarn Bales Weaving Southwest x1

Slowly the boxes of freshly spun yarn dwindled, as Joe and I spent day after day at the dyepots. All the while, beautiful hand-dyed yarn began piling up in our yard (and really every corner of our life).

Weaving Southwest hand-dyed yarn 1Weaving Southwest hand-dyed yarn 3

I began to process, while Joe returned to the dye pots, dyeing every chance he could get.

Weaving Southwest hand-dyed yarn 9

I spent the days and nights… and even wee morning hours (it had been a long, long time since I was up at 3AM!) processing and baling yarn. After each dye lot was dry, the skeins were wound off into mini skeins using this method (we are going to invest in some electric skein winders soon!). Then they were twisted into little skeins. Labels were formatted, printed and cut and added to each skein. The mini skeins were then laid out in sequence, according to the Bale.

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And one by one, each skein was laid into our baler (the perfect sized cardboard box), tied with a little string and topped with a little card explaining the Bale’s contents.

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Weaving Southwest hand-dyed yarn 16

Below are some pics of our living room (on a good day), shortly after the completion of some of the Tapestry Yarn Bales. I wish the pictures were better, but, really, taking a good picture wasn’t on my priority list at that time. At least you can get an idea of the magnitude of this project!
Weaving Southwest hand-dyed yarn 6Weaving Southwest hand-dyed yarn 5Weaving Southwest hand-dyed yarn 10Weaving Southwest hand-dyed yarn 7Weaving Southwest hand-dyed yarn 11Every day we hauled loads and loads of yarn back and forth from the house to the shop, trying to stay organized while a couple hired helpers assisted us in the processing.
Weaving Southwest hand-dyed yarn 8When he wasn’t dyeing, Joe was packing up boxes as fast (and carefully) as he could, making sure each bale was to find its proper home! 
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About a quarter of the way through this project I realized I had somehow completely underestimated the time these Bales would take. I began to run my numbers again…

3,160 mini skeins

176 bales

74 packages (and incredibly patient customers)

Somewhere in my initial calculations I must have forgot to carry a zero or something, as I had estimated this project would take a few weeks… not months!

But, these little Bales are as sweet as can be (and they have so many uses). So, we’re trying to figure out a way to make these happen again (in a less time-consuming way)! Keep an eye on this page for updates!



8 comments on “The Summer of Yarn Bales

    • Hi, Barbara!

      These were kind of a test run to see if people would like them and to see what they really took to make. They were a total success! Yet, they took waaaaay more work than we expected. But, we learned a lot and absolutely fell in love with these little bales… so we plan on doing them again! Probably early winter, when we get our next big shipment of yarn. I will make sure you know about them next time around! 🙂


  • Yes, keep me IN on the bales! They are beautiful and full of purpose!
    I’m sure your time has given you lots of good solutions; we all HOPE!

    • Thank you, Joyce!

      I know we can figure out some way to make these happen again! I would love to have shelves full little Bales. They are just so sweet!

      I will make sure to let you know when they become available again! 🙂


  • Hey Teresa! That is a Lot of little skeins ~ They are So pretty though! I can imagine the work and I am sure they crept into your dreams! Thanks for sharing & excited you are doing them again. Take care!

  • Yarn bales rock! Your videos of how your yarn is made are wonderful. I look forward to your next batch of bales and, of course, the daily doses of inspiration.

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