Friday, 18 March 2016

New Baby Blankets (Or Giant Towels, Whatever You Like)

In a recent blog, I shared some eloquent and beautiful sentiments from a dad friend whose son has a Cariboo Handwoven baby blanket. I wove a set of baby blankets, most for donations and gifts, and was so inspired that I decided to slip in another set on my project list. In other words, this is so fun that the next planned project can wait.

Here are three blankets that I'm donating - I'm happily delivering them later today.



In the second set of blankets, I threaded for waffle weave again (87654321) and continued with the true waffle weave after a treadle re-tie-up. I then changed back to the waffle squares pattern for the last five blankets.  Most of these blankets finish at about 1.5 m long by 1 m wide (roughly 60" x 40").

Here are some pics and close-ups from the first set of blankets (some are still available for sale):


CS237 | 100% cotton 

C237

I've been told that the waffle squares pattern creates a very consistent air temperature around the baby or child - it's not too hot because the tiny spaces disperse extra heat, but it's still cozy and warm.

And here are two blankets in the classic waffle weave that people usually know best from store-bought dish towels. Waffle weave forms little pockets that make the cloth three-dimensional and very cozy. Or, extra absorbent as a towel.

CS244 | 100% cotton | Sold

CS244

CS245 | 100% cotton | Sold

CS245

The second set of blankets has a warp of blues on which I'm weaving more blues and different colours. The combinations are beautiful.

CS249 on loom | Waffle weave

All these blankets are made with interesting, compatible colours and are machine-hemmed, and they can be machine washed and dried.  Some have been passed down from one generation to the next, that's how long they last and are loved.

And there are more coming! Let me know if you're interested and would like photos of certain colours or anything specific.




Tuesday, 15 March 2016

New Wool and Alpaca Blankets

My last two projects used a similar warp design for seven wool blankets each. The first set of blankets has wide stripes of greens and blue, the other has dark earth tones - near-black, dark brown and reddy brown, and the wide stripes are separated by light, narrow ones. The first set of blankets looked really nice and the design was so versatile for individual blankets that I decided to carry it over to the next project and save designing from scratch.

After weaving one blanket in the first set with grey and cream alpaca, I decided to weave the same pattern in the next project so that the two blankets would be a set.

The alpaca is machine-spun, gorgeous stuff from Exotic Fibres in Alberta. I've been hoarding it a bit because it's so precious, but I should be using it and trusting I can always get more. This alpaca is soft, lightweight and perfectly spun for blanket weft. I wove wide stripes of grey in diamonds and chevrons, intersected with narrow cream alpaca.

My idea of weaving two blankets as a set was a good one.  However, Plan "B" was that they look fine together but somehow the grey stripes came out narrower in the second blanket. This was a bit of a disappointment, but there's only one person to blame for that!

Here are the two blankets:

SH147 | Wool and alpaca | 178 cm x 137 cm (70" x 54") | $325

SH154 | Wool and alpaca | 160 cm x 137 cm (63" x 54") | Sold

The blanket set of two wool and alpaca blankets 

The two blankets do look very well together as if they were designed that way - and they were. Next time I will be a little more careful when I do this. I do have to point out that they are almost the widest possible, because the alpaca barely shrank in the first washing before weaving. Both blankets are 137 cm (54") wide.

These two wool and alpaca blankets are beautiful, soft and warm with a classy look and feeling from the deluxe alpaca. The second one sold in December for a Christmas gift, but SH145 is still available in Ottawa. Let me know if you're interested.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Thoughts from the Father of a Baby Blanket Owner

Pat, my husband, hired a summer student years ago, who was a really great person. This guy later married his girlfriend (who is also very special to us) and they have a son who is now five years of age. I sent them one of my cotton baby blankets when he was born. I recently received this from the dad:
[Our son] every night is wrapped warmly in your beautiful blanket. I enjoy feeling its fine, yet strong, texture. Though used daily, it still seems new. It comforts him with warmth, and comforts me as I tuck him in, thinking of you and Pat and our friendship.
And that is one of the most important reasons I weave. Or why anyone could possibly want to create.

Now I'm weaving more cotton baby blankets for some expectant young friends as well as for a local church drive. Posters around town show a baby wrapped in newspaper, depicting the limited options of some parents for their babies, and requesting donations. I hope some of my blankets will help to wrap up babies and then the newspaper can go.

C237

C238

C239

This is a true waffle weave pattern, but since it doesn't form the classic pocketed cells I call it waffle squares. These blankets are fun for me to weave - for many reasons.