The wool double-width blankets came out even better than I had hoped. It still seems magical to simply weave, and end up with cloth two times the woven width. What did I enjoy most about this project? First of all, the colors. It is so much fun to mess with colors. Secondly, the fringe. I love how the fringe turned out. Those chubby twists are my favorite part of the finished blankets. Knotted, or not. The first blanket has knotted fringe. Watch the Wool Blanket Final Finishing video below to see what happens with the fringe on the second blanket.
In this final episode in the Wool Blanket Finishing series, I show you how I brush the blanket and finish the fringe.
In case you missed any of the previous videos in this series:
The softer, the better. We all know that wool can be scratchy, but we like wool because of its warmth. And, as a fiber for weaving, wool is easy to work with because of its elasticity. Wet finishing reduces the scratchiness, making it possible to end up with a comfy wool blanket. A soft and gentle blanket.
Gentleness is stronger than we think. A lullaby has the power to quiet a crying baby. My son once had a first grade teacher who could still a classroom of seven- and eight-year-olds with a whisper. And the gentle touch of a friend can speak louder than words.
We influence far more people through kindness, gentleness, and patience than we ever will with persuasive arguments. Like a soft and comfy wool blanket, gentleness is strong enough to warm someone in the cold.
As wonderful as it is to weave two wool double width blankets, the truth is, they are not finished until they are finished. The thrill of completion comes when you finally sew your “Handwoven by” label on the woven accomplishment. But, for me, just as great is the joy of sharing what I made, and how I made it, with friends like you.
I have divided the finishing process for this blanket into four segments. Steve and I created little videos to take you along with me through each step.
This blanket won’t be as long as I wanted it to be. My sample at the beginning used more warp than I had expected. But the sample was necessary. I will squeeze out the last possible inch, throwing (or pushing) the shuttle as far as I can. The warp will come over the back beam before I know it, and the end will be the end. (Quiet Friday: Blanket Sample Thanksgiving)
This blanket on the second half of the warp will be more colorful than the first. For the weft, I decided to use the bits of remaining wool warp yarn, combining pairs of colors, to weave blocks of color across the blanket. It is satisfying to use up the yarn, even though it feels like a risk to step away from the usual in order to be original. The remaining fragments of wool will be used at some other time, like memories that are held, and then woven into new things.
Make the most of life now. That means using up your best efforts. Be original. Make every day count by giving of yourself. Look carefully at the life that has been given to you, and be who God created you to be.
In loving memory of Linda Kemper, dear friend and fellow handweaver, who made the most of life here. We will miss her. Home with Jesus.
Blanket is finished! I am calling it a success. Double width, decent results in the fold, perfectly coiled fringe (twisted on the loom), and stellar colors. I wish I could do it again. Did I tell you I put on enough warp for two blankets? Wish come true!
Warp: 6/2 Tuna Wool, eleven colors Weft: 6/2 Tuna Wool, doubled Reed: 30/10 metric [8/in] EPC: 6 on each layer = 12 ends altogether [EPI: 16 on each layer = 32 altogether]
Total number of warp ends: 922
Warp width on the loom (1/2 of full width): 77 centimeters / 30 1/4 inches
Weave length on the loom: 220 centimeters / 86 1/2 inches + fringe
After Wet Finishing, Air Drying, and Brushing
Finished full width: 138.5 centimeters / 54 1/2 inches
Finished length: 186 centimeters / 73 1/4 inches, plus fringe, 10 centimeters / 4 inches on each end
Are you interested in seeing how I twisted the fringe on the loom? This Twisting Fringe on the Loom tutorial video shows you how I did it. See the finished blanket at the end of the video, too.