Project 9 – I’ve completed the ruana.

I finished the ruana yesterday afternoon! I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.

A few days ago, I passed the measuring mark for 160cm of fabric in the second half. To check that I was on track (perhaps the measuring thread had been stretching differently than the fabric??), I unwound the entire piece of fabric from the front roller and measured the first half and the second half. To my delight, I discovered that I was on track. The first half measured 197cm, the second half 181.5cm This meant that there was 15.5cm of weaving to go – 10.5cm of colour and 5cm of plain blue border. Unfortunately, as I rewound the fabric on to the roller, the measuring thread became tangled and broke. In order to measure how far I’ve come, I will leave my daily progress measuring thread in place , release the tension and measure. Once I have 10.5cm, I will stop weaving the coloured section.

On 22nd January, I completed the weaving and hemstitched the end.
I have 1 whole skein plus a small ball of Cottage garden, and 1 whole ball plus about 3/4 of a ball of blueberry left.

I then cut the fabric from the loom and unwound it from the front roller. I separated the two halves by cutting the warps at the centre of the unwoven gap between halves.

I repaired the only major errors (see photos below) that I could find by
1) gently working the loose yarn to the edge of the coloured section, knotting it and trimming the ends; and
2) gently working the extra loop across the row of the fabric

The unwashed dimensions of the fabric were
1) First half – 184.5cm long at the centre and 55cm wide at each end
2) Second half – 184.5cm long at the centre and 56cm wide at each end

Next I gently hand washed the fabric using wool-wash and warm water. I used the washing machine on a slow spin speed to remove excess water, and laid the fabric out flat to dry.

Yesterday morning, I trimmed all of the ends where I had joined in new sections of yarn. I also trimmed the fringes to ~8cm using a piece of packing tape to hold the edges evenly while I cut the excess yarn off.

Then I ironed the blue edges using a dry iron on wool setting and a wet tea towel between the iron and fabric.

The finished dimensions of the fabric were
1) First half – 171.5cm long at the centre and 50cm wide at each end
2) Second half – 171.5cm long at the centre and 50cm wide at each end
Amazingly, they are the same size!!

Next, I sat the pieces beside each other and measured 86cm from one of the ends. I pinned the sides together to this point and then sewed the pieces together using a direct joining method – Looping (p29 of “Finishes in the Ethnic Tradition” by Suzanne Baizerman and Karen Searle – this is a wonderful little book). Finally, I machine stitched a triangle of blue suede kid leather at the top of the join to reinforce this area.

It looks great and was way too warm for a hot sunny day like yesterday!!