The weaving narrative has fallen way behind. The project was completed some time ago. A number of things have gotten in the way of the completion of the narrative: snow removal, time spent with good friends, caring for a couple of older ewes who had problems during our recent cold spell, finishing a good book by Jussi Alder-Olsen and just plain goofing off.
Without further excuses, let’s finish the blanket! Here I have reached the end of the weaving portion of the project.
I am cutting the blanket off the loom. I have allowed for enough extra yarn that there is about 7 inches of yarn at the end of the blanket with which to braid a fringe. There also is enough yarn remaining on the loom that, when I am ready, I can tie another warp for a second blanket onto the scrap ends of the first warp. This will allow me to mechanically roll the new warp through the reed and the heddles, thus saving the laborious process of manually threading a new warp. (I can only get away with this if I am planning to weave the same pattern. A new pattern will require a completely new set up.)
The blanket is off the loom and is ready for the fringe.
The loose warp threads are gathered together (in this case in pairing groups of 5 threads) which are braided together. Each group of 5 is twisted in one direction and then the 2 groups are twisted together in the opposite direction and then knotted.
Eventually the extra yarn, beyond the knot, will be evenly trimmed. Of the entire project this is definitely the only truly mindless work. It is handy to have a good view out the window and to have a few CD’s with some lively music playing. I find that if I am doing well, that each edge will be done at the end of the second CD! Pussa will often help by sitting on the edge of the blanket while I knot. On this day, however, she was elsewhere.
My work is now complete. The blanket is turned over to Gretchen, who will gently wash it. The washing also serves to full the yarn, i.e. it fluffs up and gently bonds to the adjacent threads of yarn, thereby strengthening the entire structure, which, at the same time makes the blanket feel much softer. Once dry, the blanket is ironed smooth and the loose ends trimmed. Here is a look at a portion of the finished product.
I am happy with the result.
By the time I get this posted, I will be well on my way with the next blanket. It is the same weaving structure. This time it has a light gray base color with stripes of three different shades of blue. Thanks for being able to peek over my shoulder.