I tell my visitors to the Hale Farm weaving room, that some of the pieces that I make are put into the Market Place Museum Store, but many are placed in the buildings to make those buildings look like a home when they visit.
I am always looking, on my walking tours of the Hale Farm buildings, for a floor that needs a rug or a kitchen that needs a towel or two, a window that needs a curtain or a bed that needs a blanket.
In the Goldsmith House, just off the kitchen, you will find a small room, set up as a hired-help bedroom. Here is where I found a bed that needed a blanket and asked the Medina Spinning & Weaving Guild to help with the project.
My blanket inspiration came from the book Of Coverlets The Legacies, The Weavers by Sadye Tune Wilson and Doris Finch Kennedy. Weaver Mary Ann Alexander Parks from Lincoln County, Tennessee, wove a blanket for her son, Benjamin N. Parks in the 1890’s. The blanket was described as plain weave, with weft bands(stripes) of rose-orange near the top hem. The picture also showed a row of cross-stitch along the top hem.
We gave out gallon-size bags of wool roving to guild members who would like to participate, each with a handspun sample yarn to match. Our guild spinners were Karen Babb, Cris Voorhees, Claire Bourquet, Laura Enoch, Nancy Page, Elaine Hicks, Diana Phillips, Jeanne Weber, and Vicky Bryg and we began with a Spin-In Day, held in the lower-level room of the Hale House.
Visitors could watch and talk to the guild spinners that day, with their many different types of spinning wheels and stories.
I warped the 4-Harness loom with purchased 8/2 unmercerized natural colored cotton at 16 ends per inch in a 8 dent reed. The 36” width had 546 ends and was 4 yards in length. This allowed a blanket of 72” and a 20 inch sample piece that stays in the weaving room display. I enlarged the picture of the blanket to help determine the stripe pattern. Several skeins of the handspun wool was dyed in our Hale House dye site with Madder Root for the described rose-orange color of the stripe.
I wove the blanket during the 2018 season and look forward to “making the bed”, in the little bedroom just off the kitchen in the Goldsmith House, with a new blanket next Spring.