Weaving Baby Blankets Part 1

I’m on a mission. I’m wanting to create beautiful handwoven baby blankets and, at the same time, find a designing style for my weaving. I’m going to be weaving baby blankets with different types of yarn and trying out different weaving structures to see which is the best match. So here’s my first baby blanket using acrylic yarn.

I found this colorful 100% acrylic Lion Brand yarn and the color coordinating yarn at JoAnn Fabrics. The variegated yarn is a light weight yarn (#3) with recommended 3.75 knitting needles. Of course, when you use yarn purchased from a craft store you need to do a little math to change knitting language into weaving language to determine the sett for your project.

So I was able to wrap the yarn 10 times around the ruler to make one inch. Using the recommended formula for twill, it seemed as if I should start weaving samples at 7 epi. That just didn’t seem quite right to me so I opted to weave samples at 8 epi and 10 epi.

Weaving Samples

I really wanted the variegation of the yarn to show and not be overtaken by a complicated pattern so I opted to go with a simple 4 shaft twills. I used patterns from The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory. For my first samples I used a 2/2 twill.

The plus side of using a 2/2 twill is that the front side of the weaving is the same as the back side of the weaving. It was interesting how different the 8 epi looks from the 10 epi. In the samples above, the 8 epi looks squished. I like the design of the 10 epi much better, but the feel is kind of stiff.

I decided to weave samples using a 1/3 and 3/1 twill.

Ugg- such a dilemma. I LOVE the front side of the fabric, but totally dis-love (really don’t like) the back side. This won’t work at all- either at 8 epi or 10 epi.

So I wove a mixed twill at 8 epi and 10 epi. Again I liked the pattern much better at 10 epi, but the sample at 8 epi was so much softer. The final decision- an 8 epi mixed twill.

Now for a little more math. I wanted the blanket to be 32 inches wide. This means I will need 256 ends – to finish the pattern, I added a few ends so I actually have 260. I used the iWeaveIt app on my iPad to design the blanket.

Finished Baby Blanket

Here’s the finished blanket.

After hemming and washing, the blanket is 27 inches wide – that was about 10% shrinkage. I used one full skein of the variegate yarn for the weft and it ended up to be 29 inches long. For this project, I needed 2 skeins of the Lion Brand Ice Cream yarn and one skein each of the two coordinating colors. You for sure can just use one of the coordinating colors.

Ideas for Next Time

  • I’d like to be able to weave the pattern at 12 epi so that the pattern shows and both sides of the blanket are consistent. To do that, I’m going to need to use a thinner yarn.
  • I’m going to choose different coordinating colors. I’d like the bands of the colors to show and have more of a contrast. Maybe a dark purple?

Items and resources used in this project

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