The beautiful Emerson Rose was born on Friday night, so I put off everything else to finish her baby blanket yesterday, and sew on the binding today:
It’s smaller than I wanted 26″x 29″, so it will be more of a security blanket. It’s very soft and probably a little warm for the current weather, but it will be perfect in another month.
I designed the blanket as a very simple 8 shaft 4 treadle draft.
It was a great chance to play with partitive color interactions. The colors in the fiberworks draft were very close to the colors I used. For the warp I used DMC cotton embroidery floss at 15 epi. I had dyed the floss last summer for another project that I ended up never weaving. I think I used Prochem’s procion scarlet and bright yellow. For the weft I used Tess cotton from Halcyon Yarn; it’s a very loosely wound cotton roving that does about 12 wpi; I think it was 12 pics per inch as well. (Something I should have noted but I didn’t.) I dyed the Tess yarn as a variegated orange to white and blue to white.
Something that surprised me was how well the color of the embroidery floss stood up to the much heavier Tess cotton. I was a little worried that the embroidery floss was so much finer it would just be hidden under the weft and it wouldn’t have any effect on the weft colors. Happily, the floss had quite an effect. I think this is due to two things. First, here is a double or triple weft pic every 4 pics throughout much of the draft. This means that there are rows of warp floats which gives their colors strength. Also, the warp threads had a higher saturation of color. Whereas the weft colors were less saturated and presented as gradients from either the orange or the blue to white, which helped to desaturate the color. Furthermore every other weft thread was white desaturating the weft palettes even more.
Sewing on blanket binding is just not my thing. I am not a seamstress and have almost no knowledge of sewing machines. I’ve had a sewing machine in a box for about four years. Last winter I needed to sew a binder on to a blanket and took the sewing machine out of the box. What followed was a very unpleasant frustrating day. It took hours to get the sewing machine set up and running and then I couldn’t sew a straight line for my life. This time I watched A LOT of videos and read a bunch of information and the process was much smoother. However, it’s clear that I need a lot more practice.
I’m working on a 20 shaft, 22 treadle blanket draft for Grendel’s test drive and want to keep playing with the partitive interactions in the design. I really like the effect it gives to a piece.
Tomorrow I get back to the 3D sample piece and, finally, start the dyeing process.