Cuddling Babies

Despite the fact that my grandson gave me a terrific virus (a trade I’d make again in a heartbeat for a chance to watch him), what can be sweeter than cuddling a little one? Not much, in my book.

I had a customer request a handwoven baby blanket for her new preemie granddaughter. Particularly because the baby was a preemie, softness was of major concern. She also wanted something in the palest of shades, using pink, white, and blue, so that the blanket could be used equally well for a future sibling.

We settled on a hand painted blend of bamboo and cotton yarn because it is both remarkably soft and machine washable – critical for baby things. Tammy happily did some more custom dyeing for me while I drafted an 8-shaft pattern on my Fiberworks software. Here’s what I came up with.
baby blanket front draft
A pretty straightforward threading and treadling pattern, and one that (a) has no floats longer than 3 threads (I sure double-checked on this one after my towel error!) and (b) emphasizes warp color on one side and weft color on the other – a feature that always appeals to me.

baby blanket back draft

In fact, I like this draft well enough that I believe I’ll use it for some scarves in the foreseeable future.

I measured up my white warp yarn with enough length for three baby blankets, threaded my Mac (there’s a bit more story there, for the next post), and was off and running.

Because of the subtleness of the colors on the custom blanket, it’s not as easy to see the pattern as it is in the draft. But you can tell how soft the fabric is.
handwoven baby blanket, Denise

Always happy to weave what my customers want, my personal preference is for brighter colors for babies. So I wove a bright green weft for the second blanket…
handwoven baby blanket, forest

…and a bright mulberry for the third.
handwoven baby blanket, berries

On the brighter colors you can see the pattern better, and see how each side has a different predominating color. I think you can also see that my binding is a bit more “wrinkly” than is ideal. I worked all my prior binding magic tricks with some limited success. I think that it’s because the fabric is sooooo soft it made it more of a challenge. It was a compromise I was willing to live with.

I’m on the mend – just a bit of stuffy nose and occasional cough left hanging on, so I’m back to weaving. Unfortunately not as much as I’d like, since that means I’m back to my paycheck job, too. Ahhh, the trade-offs we make in this life ! 🙂

Meanwhile, I’m loving our beautiful spring weather, and EXTREMELY grateful that we’ve not been struck by any of the weather terror in other states.

Your turn: what are you grateful for today?

15 comments to Cuddling Babies

  • Hi Peg! I was wandering about on pinterest this (late) evening, when I came across your 3/7/2012 draft and blog entry. Fine weaving and a truly very intriguing draft! I’ve been weaving off and on for 40+ years, (also have a grand-daughter who was born in 2012)- but I’m still deep into learning (everything I can about everything I can)- and that includes draft design. You know, the what-why-how- questions that are simply irresistible. So right now I have the 2 sides of your draft laid out side by side in Fiberworks, and am about to start deconstructing the tieup (‘constructively’ deconstructing the tieup..). Despite the years I’ve put in, I still need to play with the moving parts and- this is a truly elegant lesson. Thank you *so much* for your generosity in sharing your work and history. I’ll look you up on facebook as well. Goodnight for now. Louise Wakefield, Hollis, Maine

    • Peg Cherre

      So glad you stopped by, Louise! I find that there are ALWAYS more things to learn with weaving, especially if you want to understand why and how things work the way they do instead of just following a draft someone else has created.

  • Tusen takk for svar. Skal gi deg tilbakemelding når eg har eit resultat.

  • Hallo Peg Cherre.
    Falt pladask for det fine babyteppe.
    Kan eg få spørre om kor mange trådar/eller mønster du bruka på eit babyteppe?
    Mvh. Inger-Lise Holbæk-Hanssen Gjerde

    • Peg Cherre

      Hoping the online translate did a good job with this…you want to know how many threads I use in my baby blankets, right? Of course, it depends on the size of the yarn used. For these particular blankets, I was using yarn that was only 1,680 yards per pound, which I sett at 12 ends/inch, a total of 384 ends + 2 for floating selvedge. I hope this helps.

  • Ruth H Hansen

    Thank you! I thought you may have done that, but I wanted to be sure before starting.
    I am really looking forward to doing this!

  • Ruth H Hansen

    It looks so lovely that I thought I would weave a blanket like this for a baby girl expected in the summer, but I wonder why you have ten treadles, but seem to use only eight.

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks for stopping by, Ruth. I use as many treadles as I need for a particular draft. As in this draft, the last 2 treadles are set up for plain weave, and I may have used them at the beginning or end of one of the blankets without showing that. I honestly don’t remember as I wove them a long time ago. 😀 I’m currently weaving some towels that only require 6 treadles. It all depends on the weave structure/pattern.

  • May i use this to make a personal baby blanket as a gift. I like that it has two sides that look a different color. i have some variagated yarn to use for one blanket and a blue for another.

  • Just saw this pattern on Pinterest, i noticed you did the satin binding on only the ends. As a new weaver i would prefer a hem, i noticed that you have a pattern on the top but i did not see the blanket ending with this section. I did not know if this was done for a reason?

    • Peg Cherre

      Karen – I don’t usually put bindings on my blankets anymore, I hem them. Because I do know that babies like that satiny smoothness, sometimes I put ‘tags’ on the hems just for baby.

  • Alma

    I respectfully disagree. The brights are WONDERful, but I’m loving the pastel colors. The softness of the fibers comes through on all, and I think the pattern is great. Please feel free to use it as much as you like!

    • Peg Cherre

      Different strokes for different folks. That’s why I try to make things that I love and things that don’t always turn me on, because everyone doesn’t share my tastes. And that’s a good thing!

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