Double-width Blanket – oh my!

So, I’ve wanted to weave a blanket since before I got my floor loom.  For my first try, I used acrylic – Lion Heartland – for easy care, and I also liked the colors.  There was a lot of planning to figure out how to do the plaid so it was interesting but not too complicated.  I spaced out the threading over 4 shafts for minimal caught threads during the weaving.  Unfortunately, I didn’t record the threading, but I think it was 1-2 for the top layer and 6-8 for the bottom layer.  Something like that.

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I added two warps of fishing line at the fold edge, each weighted with 2 pounds.

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(I warped one regular thread between the two fishing line warps, which was a mistake, because that thread kept getting caught between the fishing line.  Lesson learned.)  DP Dan set up a mirror on a stand so I could check the shed for caught threads, which really helped.

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Here’s my first color change!

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The weaving went fairly quickly – a couple of weeks.  There was a little draw-in as I went along, but I figured it was not so much that it would matter, probably.  To keep the top and bottom of the free edge even over the breast beam, I just pulled the top layer so the stripe edges matched every time I advanced the warp.  I also snugged the weft in at both selvedges with a finger between the layers before beating.  These methods may not work with thinner or less forgiving yarn, and the bottom free selvedge was not great, but I just forged on!  It was so beautiful, I wove until I couldn’t get in one more stripe, knowing it might turn out a little long.

Taking it off the loom was an adventure.  A weaving friend had not yet seen double-width, and was there for the experience.  Magically (actually, thanks to the mirror), there were no caught threads between the layers!!!  And, the fold turned out well enough.

There was some dry finishing for the skipped threads,

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and then I just washed it in the machine – cold water, regular dry (lots of lint!).  The wet finishing did soften the irregular bottom edge and the fold.  I let this one sit for a few months, thinking it was too long  and not the right ratio (96 x 44), and also too heavy for anyone to really want.  However, it is too beautiful to shorten, and someone may love its soft coziness.

And here it is!

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