My "scaled up" tartan blanket used both llama and wool yarns alternating in the weft for the background. Using two shuttles in the weft can be a bit fiddly and slows down the weaving rhythm quite a bit, but I felt that it was worth it in this case since my warp also alternated the two yarns. For the blue weft stripes, I also alternated yarns, using a two shades of turquoise singles wool to add interest to the narrow stripes.
Since the finished blanket would be fulled and washed to fluff up the yarns and create a thicker, more cohesive fabric, I had to be careful not to beat the weft in too tightly. That really slowed down my weaving, since I tend to pack the warp in pretty well.
|Boat shuttle with wool on left, end-feed shuttle with llama on right,|
|Measuring tape set below the temple to check width of weaving.|
Once the weaving begins, the warp width invariably draws in a bit. For weaving of this width (47.75"), it is important to make sure the warp width does not "draw-in" or get too much narrower as the weaving progresses.
A temple placed near the fell line of the weaving helps to prevent as much draw-in as possible. The temple consists of two metal bars with sharp teeth a the ends to keep the weaving at the desired width. You can see the temple here; it is red.
|Just off the loom and onto the floor...I can see my threading and treadling mistakes, finally!|
I braided the warp ends into fringe on my blanket to secure the weft. Our tartan blankets were treated to a traditional "waulking" during Marjorie Logie Warren's visit. Waulking is a traditional Scottish group activity used to finish woven woolen fabrics.
We gently pre-washed our blankets and basted them together into a large loop. Marjorie brought the peat burner which set the atmosphere and led us in singing Scottish songs as we beat the dampened blankets against the table.
|My blanket, waulked and ready to dress up...|
|my plain bunk in Dorm 54!|