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Doublewoven woes

I love gloomy days. Call me crazy, but those are my favorite days. Right about now, anyone who reads this is looking at the screen with that look, the one that says “Okay, this person is seriously weird.” Nope, I’m not. Let me explain.

Grey days remind me of autumn days growing up on Long Island, New York. Windy, blustery days, when the sunlight was weak and the leaves were so many different shades of yellow, red, and brown. When you went on school trips to a pumpkin patch to get your pumpkin for Halloween. Days where the temperature was just right, not too hot and not too cold. Grey days were the ones when you could curl up on a sofa in front of the picture window with a cup of hot chocolate, a good book, a cozy, fuzzy blanket, and either read or daydream. Cuddling with a parent optional. Grey days hold many of these memories for me, and so I love them. Childhood is such a fleeting time, and any reminders of that time are valuable. So yup, I love grey, gloomy days.

And now the reader is thinking, “What does this have to do with the title?”

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It was just something that I felt like imparting. The title refers to my trials and tribulations with the throw blanket I am weaving on my 25″ Schacht Flip, Inara, using doubleweave.

Doubleweave, if I haven’t explained it before (and I probably didn’t), involves weaving two layers at the same time, on the same loom, one on top of the other. This, of course, means that you can’t see what’s going on on your lower layer. It also means that if you do it correctly, you can weave a piece of fabric that will be twice the width of the loom when you’re done and take it off. This is what I am attempting here.

I’ve made quite a few mistakes on this one, oh, yes I did. To begin with, there were the reeds. I assumed that, since my yarn was 10 wraps per inch, I needed to warp two 10 dent reeds. So I made a warp of 500 threads, cut them and warped Inara. Then I realized that I couldn’t move the reeds, at which point I re-thought my strategy and realized I should have used two 5 dent reeds. Fabulous. I have now cut twice the amount of string. I untied the whole warp, divided it in half, and re-warped in 5 dent reeds. Then came mistake discovery number two: I seriously miscalculated the yardage I would need for a throw blanket. I forgot to factor in shrinkage and take-up. By the time I’m done with this “blanket”, it will be either a lap robe or a receiving blanket for a baby my brother doesn’t have yet. I also now think that I should have tried an 8 dent reed first, as the 5 dent is creating more of a mesh type fabric than a blanket type. Oh, well, this is why you start things early!

On the plus side, this is my first real project on Inara. I bought her specifically for doubleweave, because she already had a second heddle block. I kind of wish I had bought the larger loom, but this one will do just fine, and I am very happy with the way she weaves. Thankfully, I had the sense to buy two of each size reed, so no matter what yarn I choose, I can immediately get to doubleweave with it!

It’s a learning process. At least I’m having fun, despite all the errors!

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