Not to toot my own horn, but I LOVE this blanket. It is my new favorite relax-and-read-a-book snuggle buddy. I think one of the reasons I love it so much is that it was such a pleasant surprise. I'll be honest, I hate seaming blankets together. I can get on board with seams in a piecework quilt but I do not enjoy, nor ever will, seams on blankets that should not have seams. And by this I mean blankets that would otherwise be a whole cloth, your weaving width just did not allow you to make it that big so you had to make it smaller and sew it together later. Don't get me wrong, I have seamed my fair share of blankets and they are lovely blankets. My four-shaft loom is only 24" across, there is no avoiding seams. I just know I would like the blankets better if there were no seam(s). I think it might be a lack in seaming talent on my part; I never get a pretty seam no matter how I try. For example, I love my shadow weave blanket, and even though I lined up the pattern, the seams just make me sad because they are like little fiber scars running in rails down my blanket. But I digress, this post is not about my feelings on seams...it's about my feelings on NO SEAMS! BOOM!
The answer to creating a lovely plain weave blanket that was wide enough to be considered something beyond a baby blanket without the seams was double weave. Oh my goodness, you can push your rigid heddles to some next level nonsense with double weave. I feel like I have only scratched the surface of possibility on this one. And it doesn't stop there. You can enjoy some multi-shaft double weave, as well, I just haven't gone down that road myself...yet.
However, in a nutshell, by using two heddles on a rigid heddle loom and two pick up sticks, you can simultaneously create two layers of fabric. Why do this? I'm so glad you asked. Any width of weaving you can create on your little loom can be doubled by simply using the correct weaving sequence to ensure one side of your weaving (ultimately both of your selvedge edges together) is open and the other side is part of a continuous plain weave and closed (the center of your cloth). Then, miracles of miracles, when you pull your double layered cloth off your loom, you simply unfold it and have your continuous double width.
I am sure you can see how practical this is for blankets. A 32" rigid heddle (such as the one I use) can create a 64" width cloth. That is plenty big for a throw or lap blanket. However, it can also be used on a smaller scale with smaller looms. Have a 15" loom that never quite managed the proper kitchen towel size? Thirty inches ought to get it. Napkins on a 10" loom? No way. But with 20" of weaving width, sure! Even creating cloth for sewing garments seems achievable on little looms in the 20" range. Suddenly "too small" leaves the lexicon and "let's go" happily takes its place.
It is my goal to put up some tutorials on this wonderful process of weaving. I think it is one that perhaps is less familiar but could really open doors for some weavers feeling limited by width. I have put the pattern for this double weave creation up in my Etsy store. I have tried to include solid instructions on warping and the weaving sequence, including diagrams. As always, please contact me if times are tight and purchasing patterns is out of reach for you.