I originally wanted a wool blanket to use for hydrotherapy. They were so expensive to buy, that I figured it was better to take a workshop and learn how to make my own.
I took a class with Gwen Handler as part of Common Ground on the Hill.
For my first big project, I designed an undulating twill wool blanket. I gave it a crochet edge for a smooth finish to even up the edges.
She urged me to enter it into the Howard County Fair, and I won a first place ribbon!
Ironically, I consider my handwoven blanket too precious to get wet with hydrotherapy, but I do use it as part of my self-treatment program when I have a cold or fever. It's also nice on the bed in winter.
The reason I would have needed a woolen blanket for hydrotherapy is that wool fiber has a special property: It keeps you warm even when it's wet. Wool helps regulate body temperature.
Some blanket symbols and designs have a special significance.
What does your favorite blanket look like?
Making a wool ruana was my next big project after making the blanket in the class and getting my own weaving loom at home.
A ruana is best described as a blanket you can wear. I wove it in twill so it has a nice drape. It's actually a 1/3 twill weaving pattern so that it appears to be a different color on each side even though it's only one thin thickness of woven yarn.
It was woven in two big rectangles on my Baby Wolf weaving loom. I then sewed them up halfway along the length so the back is solid but there's a slit for my neck and the open front.
The fine wool yarn keeps me warm without feeling bulky. I can tie it on in different ways. I actually keep it right here next to the computer to use when cold winter drafts come in from the window.