The Baby Blanket is Done!

Completed handwoven baby blanket

Completed handwoven baby blanket

It was the first time I’d warped my loom for two baby blankets, and I was a bit anxious about how well it would work.

Things went fine for the first half of the first blanket. Then an entire section of the warp threads started getting far too loose. The only way I know of to handle this is to hang weights on the sagging yarn. By the time I was done with the second blanket, I had 10 weights hanging, and most were holding more than 8 threads. It wasn’t a pretty sight, so I didn’t take a picture.

I’ve been asked what I use for weights in such conditions. I know that you can buy professional-looking weights, but (a) that’d cost money, (b) they wouldn’t be here when I needed them, and (c) buying them would be contradictory to my business name – Second Wind – and operating philosophy – to repurpose items and reduce the amount of waste we produce. So I use an odd assortment of things I have hanging around – big washers, stone pendants, bags of shells, weird heavy earrings, and more. All of these items hang from the yarn via loops of copper wire.

I worked slowly, taking my time to advance the warp frequently and move the shuttle through the shed carefully to avoid missed threads and other weaving errors that would have to be corrected when the blankets came off the loom.

Closeup of handwoven baby blanket

Closeup of handwoven baby blanket

Finally, both blankets were done. I hand-hemmed them on the loom while they were still under tension to help secure the ends.

Next comes the moment of truth, particularly for doubleweave. Because of the way the loom has to work, you simply cannot see one-half of what you’re weaving till it’s off the loom – that’s when all your mistakes will show up, and not a minute sooner. So when I removed these handwoven blankets and inspected them for missed threads, I was thrilled that I didn’t find even one! YAY!! My technical skills are getting better every time I do it.

Double-twisted fringe on woven baby blanket

Double-twisted fringe on woven baby blanket

Next I trimmed the fringe to all the same length, and double-twisted it to make it more baby-friendly. All that’s left is to wash it. Every item that’s woven must be washed to finish it. The washing process helps the threads, which were under tension during the weave, to relax, to soften, and to sit themselves comfortably with their neighbors.

I’m very happy with these handwoven baby blankets, and think that moms & dads, grandmas & grandpas, aunts & uncles, and good friends will all be pleased to wrap their new family addition in them.

When they’re dry, I’ll photograph them again and put them up on my website, as well as bringing them to my next show.

2 comments to The Baby Blanket is Done!

  • Maureen Buehler

    I’ve just purchased your beautiful blanket and want you to know that I am buying it for a lovely young Chinese woman that I met last year when I lived in Shanghai. It was important for me to select something beautiful and handmade here in America. I know that she will treasure this and I thank you, in advance, for making this very special gift.

    • Peg Cherre

      Maureen – Thanks so much for the comment. It’s always a pleasure to know the story about where a blanket is going. It would be really great to have a photo of mom & baby with the blanket to post, if that’s possible.


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