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An expectant mother - what does she need?  RSS feed

 
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Most babies love being swaddled. They spend 9 months with very little room to move. Being free is kinda scary at first .
 
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I was wondering if we'd have an update on what you chose to make for the babies. I love that you wove blankets!

R Ranson wrote:
I'm a bit concerned about the size of the blanket.  I made it 30x30 inches.  I imagine it would be big enough to put on top of the baby but I'm told parents like bigger blankets to wrap the baby up tight so it cannot move!  Really?  Don't babies hate that? 

That's one parent taken care of - now to figure out what to make for the other.  We've decided on a diaper making day but she doesn't know what sort of pattern she want's to make.  I also want to make something special for her.  Maybe she could have one of these blankets, but I think these colours are too much for her. I'm looking to source some very strong, very fine cotton or linen yarn to make a wrap for her.  Organic yarn would be best but I don't know if I can afford that on my budget.  Perhaps handwoven would be enough?



Nope, most love being swaddled! Swaddling my son was the only way he would sleep more than an hour in a row (he'd wake himself up by twitching in his sleep). And, the bigger and thinner (and stretchier) the blanket is, the easier it is to swaddle. 30x30inches is still bigger than most "recieving blankets" and so should work for swaddling for a few months. But, even if it doesn't work for swaddling (or the baby doesn't like being swaddled), there's always some use a blanket can be put to. With my son, I got 8 blankets as presents, not to mention three swaddles and 6 little receiving blankets. Despite the amazing amount of blankets, I've found use for all of them! (Burp cloths, nursing cover, blanket when they got older, something to prop up my nursing pillow, etc). And, since babies make messes of their blankets all the time, having a lot means you always have at least one clean!

I think non-organic yarn will be perfectly fine! Handwoven makes it really special! You can also ask the person what colors they're decorating their baby's room. I always just coordinate with the colors they're going with, that way I'm less likely to make something they find hideous (for example, my friend loves pink, grey, and leopard print. I find those hideous, even though they coordinate well. Everyone is different!).
 
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Even more important than organic yarn is WASHABLE yarn .

30x30 is a good size- I do 36x36 for baby blankets myself.
 
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For the next mother to be, I think I'll make her a baby wrap.

I'm having trouble finding information about handwoven baby wraps online, except that they are very expensive to buy.  So far, the most helpful information I've found is on a knitting forum called ravelry.  here's a few snippits from a professional baby wrap maker.

My bias is that of a European certified babywearing instructor (and wrap seller, and co-owner of a world wide sold machine woven baby wrap brand). I am in to babywearing for almost ten years now.

A lot of the machine woven wraps sold are either jacquard or cross twill. And diamond twill has been coming up in the last years. Plain weave never has been really popular in Europe.

There is a reason for that, and it has to do with the ergonomics of babywearing. (As taught by the major babywearing schools, predominantly in Germany.) When having your baby wrapped really snug and high to your body, the weight is distributed best. There is a lot of weight to be distributed, and a lot of tension going on in the knotted wrap. Cross twill weave is better in spreading and dividing the tension and weight in all directions than plain weave. The cross twill wrap will ply smoothly around the shoulders and tension will spread evenly because of the diagonal tension going in both directions. Also the fabric under baby’s bottom won’t sag as easily because of the weight as a plain weave can do.

...


I guess plain weave is so popular for handweaving wraps now, because it is relatively simple, quick and easy to do, and doesn’t ask for big investments in looms and tools and education. Handwoven wraps seem to be popular because of the exclusivity and aesthetics in color use.

...

Material most used in (machine) wrap weaving is cotton because it is strong and, soft, and absorbs and releases moisture rapidly. Which is important because babywearing can be very warm and sweaty, with the wrap providing an extra layer of fabric, and the body warmth of baby and wearer staying caught in the wrap. Tencel is not as good with moist regulation.

...



Another source suggests that the wrap be 80cm wide and 4.6m long.  Although 10/2, 8/2 and 5/2 cottons are often used, 8/2 cotton at 24epi is most common. 
(The Wheel, Ashford's Fibrecraft Magazine, Issue 26, 2014)


For those of you who don't speak weaving, these two sources are basically is talking about the structure, yarn size and style of making the fabric. 

I think I have enough to start weaving samples soon.  If it works out and anyone is interested, I'll start a new thread about the wrap.
 
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The baby wrap might be out.  Or it might not be.  Still working on the logistics.

I'm not going to go into detail here (but if you are interested, I'll start a thread about it), but basically, it's one heck of a lot of yarn which equates to one heck of a lot of money. 

And still... the idea of weaving a baby wrap has grabbed hold of me.  It's something that weavers say is too difficult to try.  Those of you who know me, know happens when someone says something's too difficult.... I want to do it.

That's the thing.  I don't know these 'too difficult' people.  What's too difficult for one person is a piece of cake to another.  What's more, most of these 'too difficult' people have never attempted weaving a baby wrap because it is... wait for it... are you ready?... because it is too difficult.  Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

If I were to attempt it, it would be stretching the limits of my loom and other equipment, so I would need to make samples first, which take more yarn, which cost more money.

So, I am faced with two three questions.
How much can I afford to spend on my friend?
How much do I want to do this just for the experience?
How many months will this project push back my attempt at saving money for an e-bike so I can break the car habit?

I want to make it.  I think I have the skills and equipment to make it.  It's just the means I lack.  Sigh.  I guess the best I can do is a diaper sewing day.
 
Andrea Redenbaugh
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That is quite a conundrum. My favorite baby carrier is a sling made of fairly light weight cotton, about like average muslin. My kids have absconded with it so I have to guess at measures. About 24 inches wide, and long enough to go around shoulder - hip - shoulder with about 24 inches of tail for adjustment. It uses two heavy plastic rings to attach.
 
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First momma hatched a baby girl this morning.  It's a whole month early, which I don't know if this is a good or bad thing.

Not so good for my gift making as I had planned to be finished next week.  I'm not so thrilled with my original blanket as I had been, so the plan was to make another one or two.  If I turn off the internet and don't sleep for the next three days, I should be able to have it finished by the time the hospital lets her out.  Otherwise we'll have to make do with what I've already made.
 
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You can always give it to her late! Or, give her the one you made, and work on another one. My mom still hasn't even started on the baby quilt for my daughter, and she was born on her due date (Halloween). My aunt is also still working on something for my daughter. But, other people gave me blankets and when they are that little, they don't need too many. I didn't actually start using my son's blankets as blankets on him until he was over one and I didn't have to worry about SIDS. You're not the only one gifting her, and so she probably--hopefully--has received blankets from other people. I wouldn't stress about it!

As for the baby coming early, it really depends on the baby. Some times doctors have the due dates wrong (it's not an exact science as everyone's cycles are different and most people have no idea when the deed was done), and so a baby can be fully mature at that early age. At that age, they are mostly concerned with the lungs being fully developed, the birth weight being high enough, and whether or not the baby can drink milk and breath at the same time. My cousin's baby was born 5.5 weeks early and was fine except for taking a few days to really figure out how to breastfeed. Hopefully your friend's baby is doing well!
 
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Here's what the loom looked like when I went to bed last night. 
Pretty, eh?

This should make two baby blankets if I did my math right (which really is hit and miss these days as I've lost my calculator and have been trying to remember how to make a pencil do math).

For people interested in the nitty gritty of weaving, I posted more details on my blog. 
 
C. Hunter
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Lovely!

Babywraps are basically just fabric The dimensions depend on what people like. 80cm/32" is a fairly standard width, and what people like in length depends largely on the size of the user and style of wrapping- 4-5m is typical. In theory you can use plainweave just fine, but it needs to be a very fine and firm sett; twills will hold up better under the intended use. Because they're typically cotton, the surface can't be felted or fulled for strength.

How are you finding the Ashford 5/2 to compare to UKI or Lunatic Fringe (if you've used those)?
 
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C. Hunter wrote:Lovely!

Babywraps are basically just fabric The dimensions depend on what people like. 80cm/32" is a fairly standard width, and what people like in length depends largely on the size of the user and style of wrapping- 4-5m is typical. In theory you can use plainweave just fine, but it needs to be a very fine and firm sett; twills will hold up better under the intended use. Because they're typically cotton, the surface can't be felted or fulled for strength.

How are you finding the Ashford 5/2 to compare to UKI or Lunatic Fringe (if you've used those)?



Thanks.

I'm really enjoying the 5/2 so far.  It handles a little like silk but has the common sense of cotton - if that makes any sense.  I used some earlier in the month to teach rigid heddle weaving and that went well.  I'll know more about this yarn once I get the loom dressed and start weaving with it. 
Sorry, I don't know the other makes, yet. 

I'm still fairly new to weaving - well, been at it off and on for 10 years, but still feel like a novice.
 
C. Hunter
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Hey, you've been doing it longer than me! I've only been doing this for 4!
 
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C. Hunter wrote:Hey, you've been doing it longer than me! I've only been doing this for 4!



Not really.  Until about 6 months ago, I was extremely self-taught.  Somehow I could make cloth, but when real weavers saw me doing it, they weeped and had to go lie down for a while - Apparently, I did everything 'wrong'.  My finished projects were never quite what I wanted, so about 6 months ago, I started learning the more conventional method of weaving.  I haven't taken any classes yet, so don't understand more than the basic theory of weaving.  But I'm enjoying it.  There is so much to learn.
 
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