Friday, February 27, 2009

A Little Story About Briggs & Little.


Last weekend I started to finish my Totem 40 rug, which is now all hooked and ready to get whipped. After much consternation about the best way to finish it, I finally settled on a triple cord whipping. This is a finishing technique that was featured in RHM a few years ago – and coincidentally is being demonstrated at our next OHCG Teachers’ Branch meeting in April.

It involves whipping around the rug three times, with three different rows of cording. The first two are laid on top of the backing and whipped in sequence. The first is placed as close to the loops as possible. The next is placed next to the first, and the last is whipped in traditional “roll forward” or “roll backward” fashion. Needless to say, it’s a lot of whipping.

I figured for this project, it will create the illusion of a frame without being a frame. It should also help support the rug and keep it from curling when it is hung – this remains to be seen.

But, this is not the story that I want to tell today. Here comes the delightful tale about my dealing with Briggs & Little, whose wool I am using for the whipping.

I purchased the cord and first skein of wool for the whipping from the yarn and fabric store in Parry Sound. It was Briggs & Little “Tuffy” in a coca colour. My idea was to use more than one brown to give the illusion of molding, but they only had the one.

So this week, I emailed B&L to ask their advice on what would compliment the colour I have chosen – they have colour charts on their website, but remind us how every monitor is different. Figured I would go to the source and ask their advice.

The very next morning, a reply was waiting in my inbox from John Little. He did have a recommendation for me, but also advised that he had put sample cards in the mail to me, so that I could choose for myself.

Whoa! I’m totally impressed! I buy quite a bit of B&L wool for whipping, though usually here in Ontario and not directly from them. And here he is sending me the cards, which may arrive on Monday.

I don’t know if this is just a typical incredibly-nice-Maritime-person-thing or a incredibly-smart-business-person-who-values-customer-service thing. Either way, I am now a big fan.

Coincidentally, at a meeting the night before, when I told my friend and mentor Barb D’Arcy about my triple whipping undertaking and my B&L story, she said that she has the cards and uses them to plan all her whipping. She buys all her wool from them.

After this incredible gesture, I will too. I am adding their website to my links. Go check them out if you are a whipper. I can’t recommend them enough.

1 comment:

maureenm said...

The Briggs & Little company is one of those friendly, responsible, caring and honourable maritime treasures. I live abt a half hour's drive from the little mill/shop and it is always a treat to stop in. They keep a binder of photos customers have sent in... knitted, hooked, crocheted, woven... whatever is done with B&L yarns. Your gorgeous totem rug would be a great addition to the collection!