Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Magic Mega Blanket!

 One large idea........three very full bags of balled wool, MacAusland's, Briggs & Little and who knows what else.
Point of order shall prevail, other than.....this is a double woven blanket, ie...width on loom is 44" and when done it can be opened up to cover twice that, or a little less after fulling. And so the balls were lined up like colourful beads on the floor and the trapeze was engaged for the 4 meters of rainbow dreams.

The waterfilled bottles were hung for tension and the warp wound on, centimeter by centimeter, or yard by yard, meter by meter, layers of bristolboard placed strategically so no warp collapse would take place. Many times during the setup Virve (the most dedicated student) said - oh, this is taking a long time - and it did - for weaving takes time when you have to work your way through the planning, setup and execution of preliminaries....nothing takes just two mins.
Then the weaving began, randomly picking colours out of one bag.

 Once a spool was made, this colour was put aside so as not to be used in the weft again until all the initial colours used in the warp had been randomly woven into the blanket - the warp stripes were 1", 2" and 3" wide and the weft stripes were wider or narrower as Virve pleased. And she played, wondered and smiled bobbing along on the rainbow of colourful intersections she created throwing the shuttle, watching the weft move along from side to side, visible magic in the top layer, hidden wonders in the bottom layer.

And then the end was near.
It took  longer to create this piece than we had expected. I hadn't really thought about a time frame in depth, but knew as the setup progressed would not be done in two hours! We added a couple of extra weaving days on our first time estimation and I had the privilege of weaving along on one of the other looms in the studio as Virve worked her way one pick at a time. Great was her joy when the last piece of bristol board fell away and we could see the loops at the end of the warp.

It was time to roll off the whole beautiful exciting piece......3 meters and 10 centimeters is what it measured right off the loom......and in a double weave that equals the number of picks you would have put into more than 6 meters of cloth woven in a 44" width!
On top of that I have to congratulate Virve....she had only one thread where the bottom had tangled into the top layer......she looked pleased and I was impressed with her stamina and determination.

And here it is...full width, the one glitch cut loose so the blanket could be opened up, all fringes and other tidbits got to be fixed in front of the Olympics.......and as it is, on cold days all 5 members of Virve's  family fits under the blanket on the couch........not to mention that she has found vibrant combinations in the blanket that she really loves and thus she can use this for a  colour sampler for future projects......Congratulations Virve on a wonderful piece of weaving!