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Sunday, March 20, 2016

Under The Burled Arch...Sort Of

Although 20 and I didn't technically complete our Iknitarod goal, we did create a Baaxter memento and finished before the Red Lantern.  And while a sweater would have been nice and a great challenge, a Baaxter Blanket will probably get more use, so I think it's a win :-).

Like Maisie last year, Baaxter seemed to know this was something special.  There is no way (I don't think) that he could smell that it was his wool because I washed it in Mrs. Meyer's lavender laundry soap and fabric softener, but look how carefully he checked it all out.

The small white stripe on each end is to match his frosted ear tips.  I had "a plan" for that and wove it in the front as plain weave where I would hem stitch the fringe.  It looked awful with two colors mixed into the stitched binding.  

I thought I had a different binding figured out that I would do after it came off the loom, so I wove on (with confidence ;-).  As I reached the end I wove the gray in to match the front...and I still didn't like it.   I stewed on it for a day or so while helping the shearers and came up with a "new plan".

I didn't like the look of the plain weave (over one, under one, over one...) and realized I should have woven it as twill like the rest of the blanket (diagonal lines, like the weave of your blue jeans).  It wasn't hard to un-weave the back and fix that stripe, but now the front and the back didn't match.  

Everything you do weaving is easier while the project is under tension.  There's not really a good way to go back to the beginning and put it back under tension (that I know of) but I anchored it as well as I could over the back of the loom and picked out the first eight rows.  I then re-wove the matching twill patterning and color with a needle.  

Checking out all the nooks and crannies.

Even the fringe.  Baaxter is definitely knit/weave worthy (meaning he appreciates what we did ;-).

Here it is just off the loom.  Notice how distinct (almost rough) each strand looks?  It's also pretty loose, like you could pretty easily poke your finger through it.  Weaving is not technically finished into "cloth" until it's fulled.  I full my weaving in the washing machine by putting it in fairly warm water with a little detergent and let it agitate for 30 seconds at a time until it looks and feels "right", in this case two minutes total.

Hopefully you can see that the material has firmed up and fuzzed up and is soft, squishy and warm.

Baaxter and his buddies lost interest pretty quickly, but look who came over to see it!

Liddy will definitely be knit-worthy :-).  She and Baaxter were the only two sheep to show any interest.  I think that's interesting.

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