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Topic: Beautiful and easy monk's cloth blanket **tips added**  (Read 8506 times)
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tiegh
« on: April 04, 2006 12:51:35 PM »

I made this blanket several years ago.  I worked on it off and on for a summer when I lived at my parents' house.  If I remember right it took about an hour to finish a row, so that's 28 rows.  With finishing time I would say it took about 30 hours to do.  It's really light but still warm.  I sleep under it during the summer because even though it's pretty warm in my room I still can't sleep with no blanket at all.  Call me crazy.  So far I've made three of these blankets but I gave one away to a friend for her wedding.  If anyone is interested I'll post a tutorial with helpful tips I discovered along the way.  There are also books available, and I found a good list of them online.

http://www.velona.com/items/categories/huck.html


This is the whole thing on my bed.



Here's a close up of the detail.



And a super close up of the detail. 


I have another purple blanket on my futon which is almost done.  It has been waiting for me for about a year now, but I still use it.  Maybe I'll get around to taking pictures of it too.  The nice thing about these is that you buy the whole length of cloth at the store and then weave on it.  Like decorative stitching but all over.  If this doesn't make sense, please ask and I'll try to clarify.  Thanks!!


Edit for some tips...

First of all, Monk's Cloth can be found at craft stores like JoAnn's or mega-marts like WalMart.  There are lots of colors, blue, green, purple, red, black, white, yellow, some pastels, um... more I'm sure.  I like taking the whole bolt of Monk's Cloth over to the yarn section so I can pick what will go best with it.  I bought the Red Heart yarn.  I buy at least 2 1/2 yards so I can make sure it will be long enough after washing.  If the person cutting the cloth for you doesn't know what s/he's doing, tell them to pick one of the horizontal strands (there are really four strands, but consider them as one all the way across) and pull it so the rest bunches up around it.  Cut that one and you'll have a nice line to cut all the way across on the vertical strands.

When you get it home, resist the urge to start your pattern on it.  You definitely want to use a sewing machine to zig-zag along the cut edges so it won't unravel.  If the long sides look questionable, sew along those too.  Now put it in the washing machine and dryer to shrink it.  I know this takes forever and you just want to start, but it will shrink the material and make the whole blanket look much better.

Now you're ready to go!  No, not really.  You have to find the center of the blanket.  It's tedious, but I took a long piece of yarn and sewed right along the edge of the long side and every 10 bars I made a loop so I could count them when I was done.  Do the same with the short side.  Find the center of both and then find the center of the blanket.  

Finally you can start!  I recommend getting a book like one of those on the link I have above.  It will give you a pattern to follow, which is more important than the other directions in it.  Here's a moment of brilliance I had.  Scan or xerox the pattern and take your crayons or markers and color each row to correspond with the same color of yarn.  Or make your own pattern.  Here's a pattern from a book.  It's not the same as the pattern on the blanket.  



The gray squares are the vertical strands, but you stitch horizontally under them.  Each of the points of the triangles are made by going under two of the strands, not all four, then up to make the top stitch, then back down and under the remaining two strands, then on to the next four.  Maybe this will help if you want to make your own pattern.  As far as length goes, it's better to have too much than to run out before you get to the end of the row.  For example, I think on mine the yellows were 3x the width of the blanket, red was 2 1/2 and blue was between 1 1/2 and 2.  The small inside row was 1 1/2 the width.  Something like that.  

So for the fun part of sewing on it.  Start in the very center you found.  It should be a vertical strand in the center.  Stitch under it and pull the sides of your yarn even.  I'm right handed, so I sewed left first then flipped the whole thing around and sewed left again.  Which was right.  So one whole row is done.  After that I would sew  all of one side of the middle row (top and bottom), then flip it around and do the other.  Then one whole triangle side, then the other.  Just alternate directions so the fabric doesn't warp.

Stitch all the way to the side of the fabric and out the ends of it.  You want the yarn all the way to the edges for finishing later.

I used a triangle wedge pillow to keep my stitches flat and even and it also put it at a comfortable angle to work.  Sometimes I sat on the pillow and sewed on the coffee table.  Whatever you do, just have the part you're working on rest on a flat surface so the tension is even.

When you have the whole blanket covered, zig-zag around the long sides to keep the ends of the yarn in place.  This is why you want the yarn out the edges of it.  Then trim the extra pieces of yarn off.  

Crochet around the edge of the blanket.  I did one stitch in every other hole along a horizontal strand so it was spaced consistently.  When you get to the end of a row, chain one and keep going on the next side.  Just work the edges in when you get all the way around and you're done.

If something isn't clear and I'm able to take a picture of it on my blanket, let me know and I'll post a pic.  I'm a visual learner, so I totally understand.

If you make a blanket please, please please post it!!!  I love seeing how different people approach the same idea.  Thanks!

tiegh
« Last Edit: February 10, 2010 11:58:48 AM by jungrrl - Reason: fixed picture(s) » THIS ROCKS   Logged
chipper
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2006 01:20:54 PM »

Your blanket looks beautiful  I have been thinking about trying my hand at this.  I would love to hear your tips!
--chipp
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rangersarah
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2006 04:52:17 PM »

Wow, that is absolutely amazing!  It's beautiful!  I've never visited this section of craftster before but now I'll frequent it.
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TwiztidBlood
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2006 04:56:07 PM »

thats gorgous!
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I just moved to a new loft, please contact me for my new mailing address!
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peachymanaangel
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2006 05:59:52 PM »

It beautiful! The colors sing. I would love a tut.
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http://peachymanaangel.livejournal.com/ for blog fun
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kylacrawford/ pictures. When words only get in the way
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AriadnesThread
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« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2006 07:39:33 PM »

I love this, and you did a meticulous and stunning job.  It's beautiful.
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chipper
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2006 07:37:28 AM »

Fantastic tips!  You are my monk cloth hero!  Smiley  I can't wait to try this now. 
--chipp
(me yelling to the kids-"get dressed, we're going to jo anns!"  Smiley
thank you!!!
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aglarannaelf
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2006 07:50:23 AM »

wow, i totally want to try this now!  wonder if my library has any books...
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BethieB
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Welcome to the nuthouse, enjoy your stay! :D


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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2010 01:05:15 AM »

Well.  No one has said anything on this thread for a lot of years, but I'm going to say something anyway!

I love your blanket, it turned out wonderfully.  My mother in law taught me about this a few years ago and made a gorgeous blanket.  I am about to try my hand at it now, already have the piece of monk's cloth prepared.

Just one thing I wanted to add to this...according to my library, this technique is called Swedish Weaving. I don't know if it's called that everywhere, but I figured I'd mention it in case anyone reads this thread and had some questions, should make googling and finding info at the library easier Cheesy
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My blog: http://messymama.wordpress.com
Am taking a crafting/posting hiatus and formally withdrawing from all the CAL's I was in.  Need time to recharge and rewire.  But, I am still lurking and loving you guys like crazy, keep posting the amazing projects!!!  You all rock!
francorios
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2010 01:14:30 PM »

I've recently been looking for info on monk's cloth and swedish weaving.

This kind of example is exactly what I've been looking for!

I know this is a few years later, but thank you for posting this article.

Have a joyful day!
Franco Rios
Sacramento, Calif.
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