Saturday 22 September 2012

One Snugly Woven Blanket

There is always a place for a snugly blanket. Old or young, at some time or another we all need a handy snugly blankie for fending off those nippy picnic breezes, covering knees  and hands at the rugby-football-hockey, or cushioning a weary head on a long flight. From the cradle to the grave, the blanket never goes out of style.

Care of Mum, Dad, Trade me and Christmas, I was lucky enough to get my hands on this wonderful Ashford Heddle Loom and stand. This is the second project I have woven on it. The first was a girly pink, pale green and light blue baby blanket that looked just amazing, and was very happily received by one of my new mother friends. This time around I thought I would try something a little more masculine.

Using a variety of different coloured yarns is creatively very liberating, as I just let loose with the colour combinations without over thinking the overall design. All the yarn I use is 100% New Zealand wool 8ply. There are lots of New Zealand grown and manufactured wools available if you know where to look: Ashfords (Ashburton) and The Wool Company (Taihape) both make affordable, good quality yarns in a variety of colours - including some interesting variegated colours. 

There is little point in me attempting to explain the warping up of the loom, when Ashfords have such a great video tutorial on-line:

This blanket used 210 warp threads. The 7.5dpi reed is the best one to use for 8ply yarn.

I used the following pattern for the warp threads: 12 Green, 8 red, 6 gray, 8 red, 6 gray, 22 blue, 12 red, 10 natural, 6 gray, 10 green, 18 blue, 6 green, 6 blue, 6 green, 6 blue, 10 red, 16 natural, 6 gray, 18 red, 6 natural, 12 blue.
For the weft thread I used all navy as pictured.

Time to just get weaving. It is much quicker to complete than knitting, as each row is done in a matter of seconds.
Ashfords have lots of on-line tutorials with all the information required to weave up a storm.
When the weft thread runs out, definitely join at the sides as it is much less obvious than in the centre of the work.
By join I mean overlap the ends of the old and new weft threads, as shown on the right.

All done and time to finish the ends of the blanket.
 As this blanket is intended for a baby or child, I did not want to have the fringed edges. Too tempting for little mouths to chew, and too fluffy and ticklish for little sleepy noses.
With this in mind, I tied the ends off in groups of 6; 3 threads on each side of the knot, and cut off the extra to about 3cm in length. This minimised the lumpiness of the knots and made them easier to tuck into the fabric band.

Cut the fabric strips the same length as the width of the blanket plus 3cm for seams.
I calculated the width of the strips based on a finished width of 4cm using a 1.5cm seam.
1.5+4+4+1.5 = 11cm
Turn the fabric right sides together and sew a 1.5cm seam on each end. Turn into the right side to form a neat end.
Press the 1.5cm seam under all the way along the band.

 Slide the ends of the blanket into the fabric bands and pin in place. Make sure the folded edges are positioned adjacent to each other on both sides of the blanket.
All stitched and ready to go. The zig-zag generally looks neater on both sides than a straight stitch.
One little lads blanket, just waiting for a belt of bad weather and a sleepy head. 


  1. Prudence, is there anything you can't do? Your blankets are so beautifully woven with love. Your first pink one is very treasured and lives on our rocking chair. It captures baby's eye every time she feeds and she loves to run her hand over it. xxx

  2. Thank you. Thats very kind. It was a pleasure to make. I'm so glad you love it.

  3. Really nice post, your blog is interesting and so informative. Wait for your next blog post.
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