Even More Handwoven Baby Blankets

Oh the baby blanket saga continues. I really love experimenting with design and using different yarns to create baby blankets. I just have so many ideas and not enough looms. Okay, I actually have quite a few looms, but never enough shafts and certainly not enough time. Our family will be welcoming a new baby into the fold in early July so I’m extra motivated to create that perfect blanket. So let’s get to the new design.

Choosing Colors

Let’s first talk color. Kassie, my daughter who is expecting, gave me this picture she found online. She’s wanting nontraditional colors for the nursery and is considering using burgundy as a main color. What I’m finding helpful is to take the picture or photo and then pull colors from my stash and put them into my sketch book. It’s not only helpful for the project I’m planning on working on at the time, but will serve as a reference for future projects.

I narrowed down the color choices to five: Wine, Taupe, Peach, Natural and Pumpkin (which I plan to use as the “pop” color).

Designing the Blanket

I’m going to be using 8/4 cotton sett at 12 ends per inch (epi). With baby blankets, I usually aim for a blanket that is 36 inches wide. If I’m using that goal for a project woven at 12 epi that means I should have a warp with 432 ends plus the two floating selvages. Because I used several different tie ups in the warp and needed to adjust for the patterns, this warp ended up to be 425 ends. Pretty close to my 36 inches.

When designing, I will always start by referring to my old design friend, Fibonacci. If you haven’t yet read my blog post, The Fibonacci Sequence in Weaving, you may want to pop on over and give that a read so that the numbers I’m referring to make sense. Right now let’s just look at the warp.

I took my warp and divided it into Fibonacci number “three”. For this project, I wanted an asymmetrical design so each section is not equal. In each section, I divided it into two (another Fibonacci number) again using an asymmetry. In each section, the left band is in wine and the right bands are in different colors ordered from dark to light (taupe, peach, natural). Each section is then separated by my pop color. Well, that’s that for the colors, now for the threading.

As you can see from the threading, this is a four shaft pattern. I used a rosepath threading for the natural, peach and taupe and then a broken twill pattern for the wine sections. A straight draw threading was used for the pop color.

Moving on to the weft. Here’s a picture of the full blanket on my iWeaveIt software program.

Again I relied on Fibonacci to design the weft. Take a peek at the stripe sequence. The top and bottom sequence both have three stripes and the middle band has five (yet another Fibonacci number). For this blanket I treadled the reverse pattern. For example in the off color bands, I threaded them as a rosepath (123414321) and treadled in reverse (432141234).

Weaving the Blankets

I tried something new for the hem. Since this was a heavier weight yarn I felt like I needed something a little more substantial than what I was using when weaving with 8/2 cotton. So I wove about 8 pics of plain weave, 2 inches of basket weave and then 3 pics of plain weave (turning point) before starting to weave the pattern. Here’s what it looks like finished.

After washing, I thought that maybe it was a bit too heavy especially because I was using a loose sett. It worked okay, but probably work best with a sett of 14 epi if using basketweave for the hem.

I have enough warp to weave two more blankets. Blanket two shared the same design. I only change I made was to use natural instead of peach in the warp. Honestly, I liked it better. For the third blanket, I use tromp as writ which gave the blanket a heavier look with more wine and taupe. It looked great. Different from the other two blankets but equally as pretty. For these blankets, instead of using basketweave for the hem. I used two inches of the pattern. I actually like this better than the basketweave. The two inches of hem worked great!

I love all three blankets. Weaving 8/4 cotton at 12 epi/12 ppi made for a really sweet baby blanket with such a nice drape. I think that’s going to be my main go to sett for this yarn for blankets.

Thoughts for Next Time

*Stick with the two inch pattern hem. It worked great. Next time reverse the pattern so when it flips it matches the reverse side.

*I much preferred the natural colored weft to the peach.

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