Monday, 13 October 2008

The blanket: done, and already on its way

I finished the blanket on time, last week. Fulling it took two washes. Because the warp thread was oiled (probably intended for machine knitting), I washed it once with soap in 40C water. Little change. The second time, I did my normal wash at 40C using the Eco Balls I normally use instead of soap. The added agitation of the Eco Balls did the trick, and the blanket fulled nicely. The image above shows the blanket itself with some left-over fabric from assembling the panels, which is unwashed.

This photo is a close-up of the unwashed fabric on the top, and the washed blanket below. You can see, if you click on the larger photo, that the pattern has become more muted and integral to the fabric of the blanket. It's less obvious in the areas with pale weft, and more obvious in the areas with darker weft. The contrast pleases me. The reverse side (visible below) is equally attractive. I think, with a satin border, the blanket could be reversable.

I sewed the joining seams of the panels by hand, but when it came to the hems, I sewed them with my sewing machine, using an "invisible" hem stitch. It gives a visible stitch on the wrong side, but if done carefully, can't be seen on the right side. The photo above shows the two types of seams; the joining seam done by hand and the machine stitched hem. I'm pleased with the way fulling and shrinking has improved the flatness of the joining seam. The hems, because they were sewn with cotton thread, didn't shrink quite as much as the rest of the blanket, but I'm still undecided whether I'd sew before or after fulling with the next one.

In the end, the blanket came out to be not quite a double-sized blanket. It's a bit wider than a normal single, but only just covers my tiny double bed. Unfortunately in the rush to be prepared for C's departure, I didn't remember to measure it after washing!

There are a few things I'd change if making a blanket next time, although those things may be the things that give this the charm of a hand-made item: I'd try to get the variegations more evenly spread throughout the blanket if I were making a variegated blanket again, and I'd reconsider how I went about hemming it (although I think that the hemming was a success). I've enjoyed doing this, and I'm certainly happy enough that I'm considering making a four-panel blanket in beige and chocolate brown, to go on the bed. Possibly even in a braided weave again.

And here it is, packed and in C's bag ready to go. This photo is actually a work of fiction, because after I took this he brought his skis home and we decided that it was the perfect thing to wrap around his skis for the trip down. The blanket and skis are now in Punta Arenas, awaiting the first plane for parts further south. I won't see it, or C, for the next six months. But I have a lot of projects to keep me busy during that time!


  1. This is really impressive! well done you!

  2. What an accomplishment! Did you have a bubbly to celebrate?

  3. I have to say that I didn't Meg! Things were far too hectic at the time.

    I did enjoy a couple of bottles of very fine ale during the seaming process...does that count?