Friday, July 15, 2011

Super Stripes

So I guess I need to show you guys my project from Double Weave class?

I decided to splurge a little bit and use a new-to-me thread/yarn with an impeccable weaving reputation: Harrisville Highland.

I started by pulling cones of a perfect forest green, a very nice navy blue, then supplemented with a medium gray for my “primary” colors. Two cones each. Then I needed small-stripe colors for accents and pulled yellow, lime green and Tom suggested a royal blue.

Warp stripes mirror out from the narrow royal blue stripe which goes down the center of the blanket. That 1” stripe was the fold line when the blanket was on the loom.

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This photo also illustrates the state of completion on our deck upon my return from East Berlin, Pa.

So there was a bit of a plan for the warp stripes. I knew I wanted navy blue on the edges, and the navy and green to take the largest roles. All the “wide” stripes were 3-4” wide, all the “narrow” stripes were 1-2” wide. All were measured in full-inch increments of warp threads. It helps in getting the proper number of ends when it comes time to count.

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This bad boy dried in about three minutes on the clothesline at The Mannings. That Thursday morning started overcast and humid as all get out but got clear(er) and breezy in a hurry!

The weft stripes were random. And I really do mean random. As I started weaving, I knew that once again I wanted Navy to start and finish the weaving. In the beginning, I’d pick a square of my weft color and weave to square. As I went along, I got less and less careful about how wide the stripes were. By the time I was nearing the end of my warp, I’d look at the bobbins I had wound and I simply wove those colors until the bobbins were empty. I was happy that I came home with all of my bobbins empty!

Speaking of bobbins, I bought new 5” bobbins while I was at The Mannings, partially because I got myself a pretty nice birthday present. When I went to Beginning Weaving Week last August, I had a list of all the stuff that came with the loom and boat shuttles were included. What I didn’t realize was that they were all open-bottom boat shuttles. I really wanted a closed-bottom boat shuttle.

Since my dear friend CelticQueen gave me birthday money specifically earmarked for The Mannings, I splurged and got myself a beautiful Bluster Bay shuttle.

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It’s perfectly smooth and made from cherry wood. It’s a joy to use. I did manage to drop it on the concrete floor a time or two, but I figure tools are meant to be used and there’s no significant damage. So thanks, CQ! … Meanwhile:

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This is the center stripe where I started weaving. If you look closely (and I’ve honestly stopped looking closely unless I’m trying to explain how the blanket was made), you can see that the royal blue stripe in the center changes width. Starts wide, gets narrow, goes back to being wide. That, my dear readers, is the illustration of a learning curve. My fold edge got better and better as I wove.

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The blanket has a short fringe. Because my basement is still trashed, thanks to the renovation, I haven’t trimmed the “long edge” yet, but I’ll get there. It’s kind of nice now, because it’s easy to tell the starting edge from the finishing edge of the blanket, since the short fringe is where I started, the long fringe is where I finished.

Sadly, I didn’t take any pictures of the blanket when it came off the loom, before wet-finishing. The change in the Highland from wet-finishing (a nice soak in a top-load washing machine with Orvus, then another soak with a half-cup of hair conditioner) was amazing. A slightly waxy stiff fabric became soft and supple, and the holes between warp and weft vanished.

On Tom’s advice (and really, why would you NOT take Tom’s advice?) I brushed the whole blanket with a stiff-bristled brush while it was still damp to bring up the nap a little bit.

All in all, I’ll definitely use this thread and technique again. I really enjoyed this class, and I can’t wait for my next trip to The Mannings.

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Double Weave Blanket

Thread: Harrisville Highland
Colors: #33 Midnight Blue, #09 Evergreen, #53 Silver Mist, #6 Cornsilk, #84 Lime, #31 Cobalt
Quantity: 2 cones of Navy, Green and Gray. One each of Yellow, Lime Green and Royal Blue. I do have leftovers of all three cones.
Width on Loom: 30” (unfolded to 60”)
EPI: 8
Size Off Loom (Unfinished): 101x59.5” excluding fringe
Finished Size (after wet finishing): 89x52” excluding fringe
Timeline: Planned and woven during class at The Mannings, June 21-23, 2011

3 comments:

sairy said...

Beautiful! Can't wait to see it in September :)

Cathie Jones said...

Your blanket is gorgeous! It looks so soft, wish I could touch it.

SJ said...

It really is spectacular! I predict that you and Hubster will be keeping warm under it a lot this winter.