Sunday, July 05, 2009

Gebrochene Baby Blanket

Gebrochene is a broken twill, most of the pattern drafts found are for 12 and more shafts but there are a few that can be taken down to 8 shafts. I fell in love with the pattern during a workshop with Marjie Thompson last Fall. Here is a picture of the draft I used after modifying the original to fit the three panels I needed to weave.

As part of my practice for THE coverlet I plan to weave, I decided to make a baby blanket with three panels using the broken twill structure. This would give me opportunity to get a better feel of joins, hems, etc.

Yarn: Noho cotton 1,320 yds/lb sett at 14 epi. White for warp, pastel baby colors variegated for weft.
Width on the reed: 19 inches
Finished width: 12.75 inches (Take up: do the math)
Length woven per panel: 39 inches including one inch with 20/2 cotton to minimize hem thickness and one inch in plain weave in the pattern yarn.
Finished length per panel: 38 inches
Number of panels woven: 3

The yarn was clearly the wrong selection for this structure, the bumps in the yarn muddle the pattern and it is hard to see unless you stand to the side and in low light. With a bit of faith you can see the diamonds here:

Gebrochene Baby Blanket

Color: the variegated yarn pools like every other variegated yarn I have ever worked with. (Note to self: never use variegated yarn again. You KNOW you don't like it.)
I joined the panels by hand going over and under the warp threads, it was easy and the seams are barely would be better if the yarn had been one color. I washed it in the machine with 3 blue jeans so it would take all the beating possible and dried it likewise. It has shrunk to the max and it will be easy to wash in the future. I used the serger on the edges and a folded over hem with the sewing machine.
Here is a picture of the join:

Gebrochene pattern detail

One of the panels turned out about an inch longer because I changed the way I was weaving after the first panel. (Note to self: stick with what you are doing till the end, even if in the process you read about a 'better' way to beat.) I was able to match the panels enough to where only a bit of undulation can be seen as in this picture:

Gebrochene Baby Blanket

In conclusion: The blanket if functional, it has lovely drape and will serve well. It was not worth the effort of the complicated treadling, I could have obtained probably a better result with a more simple structure. I will still give it to intended baby (who was born a week ago). My hope is that it will become his drag blanket and serve him well for years to come.


Windybrook Spinner said...

It's awesome. I'm sure he'll love it. I'm still waiting for my youngest to latch onto the blanket I knitted him, but at least he has finally decided to hug his bear when he goes to sleep now. Comfort objects are very good things, especially when they are hand made by loved ones.

fleegle said...

I don't think the baby will know the difference :) It's really lovely, and the baby will appreciate the softness. The mother will appreciate your effort :)

Jane said...

I think it looks great! That is one very lucky baby if you ask me and it looks like it will hold up well to the wear and tear of childhood :-)

Leigh said...

Ah, a warm up for The Coverlet. Good idea! (I need to start thinking "coverlets" myself.)

Very interesting post and analysis of your process and the results. Personally I prefer simpler structures with variegated yarns, though I can definitely see the diamond pattern. The join came out well. I think the yarns help there.

I'm making notes! This is one of the reasons I love the fiber blogosphere. I can learn from the experience of others as well as my own!

joannamauselina said...

I think it is beautiful! All the things you don't like about it are things I think are great. I love its bumpiness and its subtle color changes. It is a wonderful baby blanket. If I were a baby, it would be my most prized posession!

Tan said...

The blanket is really cute. At least you struggled with the complicated treadling on a smaller project. Of course maybe you wish you had tried it out on a dishtowel.

Timothy said...

That'll do fine, Laritza. We've all got to take a risk now and again. There is absolutely nothing happier on this earth than a baby who knows at the start that he or she is well-loved.

Good work.