November 1, 2010
cerulean & grey double weave blanket
As the weekend of October 23rd wrapped up the last of the two big weddings I attended this month, I can finally show what I have been working on lately. This is one of two blankets I made as gifts for each of the couples. They were woven folded in half on my Baby Wolf, much as you see above. I used the full 24" of my loom to make these 48x72" blankets. The warp is cerulean and charcoal mercerized cotton with an 80% cotton 20% wool fleece from Brown Sheep as weft in charcoal and black.
It had been a long time since I had woven any variety of double cloth, so I did a bit of research about 8-shaft double weave at the library and online. It was incredible how many resources I found for cloth with blocks of separate top and bottom warps interacting. I also found many resources on folded double cloth that used only 4-shafts with a plainweave structure, although often using color and weave theory to create pattern. I was very interested in creating my own pattern on a folded double cloth that would best exercise my 8 shafts. The best resource I found for understanding folded double cloth pattern structure was Rosemarie Dion's writing on Double Width Double Weave. Using her methods for translating 4 shaft drafts into combined top and bottom reversed drafts, I used a pointed twill draft.
The cotton/wool fleece was lovely to work with, and gave the blankets such a heavy, plush hand, but its thickness kept me from being able to wind bobbins with a lot of yarn, so I had many ends that needed sewing in afterward. It was slow going, as the Baby Wolf doesn't have the largest shed, but completely worth it to finally take the blankets off and see them as pure yardage! I would love to make blankets again, but I think I will wait until I have a wider loom, as the sheer hours it took to weave these made them luxury items!