Weaving at home, with materials you already have!

Whether you’re looking to occupy kids, fill newly acquired spare time, or just get in touch with your creative side, weaving is an easy thing to do. Importantly, most people can do it without buying anything!

So here are some ideas to suit what you have on hand (the internet can provide further instructions where you need them):

“I have paper, scissors and glue…” – Take your paper, fold it into equal sections and then cut along the folds to make strips. You can then weave these over-and-under each other and glue the ends to hold it in place. Make paper place mats, a table runner or a bit of minimalist art for the wall.

“I have a small box / shoe box and wool…” – Wind the wool yarn around the box trying to keep the strands an equal distance apart . Pick a side of the box to create your weaving on, then use more yarn to weave over-and-under the first threads (easier with a needle, but you can use your fingers!). Slide off the box when you’re finished. Make a bit of wall art, a mat, or a little bag.

“I have an old picture frame and some wool…” – Wind the wool around the picture frame and weave, either one set of threads like in the box example, or weave the front and back strands of wool together to make a piece of art.

“I have some cardboard, craft knife, different coloured yarn/thread…” – Cut a rectangle of cardboard that you can hold comfortably, wind the yarn/thread around it. Cut your yarn into different lengths and weave it (fingers or a needle) over-and-under the first threads, in sections to make areas or lines of different colours, pushing the yarn/threads close together. This little tapestry can then hang on the wall, or be propped on a shelf.

“I have a matchbox / shoebox, thread, some small beads, a needle and something to make cuts with…” – Take the base of the box, cut little slits around the top edges to hold the yarn. Cut strands of equal lengths (you can go longer than the matchbox) and lay them across the base, using the slits to hold them. Weave over-and-under with the needle, adding a bead here and there. With a matchbox: Once you’ve woven the part on your tiny loom, carefully take it off, put a new section in the slits and keep weaving! Good for bracelets, teddy bear collars and other small decorations.

“I have some dense foam, nails and yarn/string…” – Make a pin loom using the nails as the pins and inserting them firmly into the foam. Then you wrap the yarn in a zig-zag between the nails. You can then weave over-and-under using your fingers or a crochet hook. Again you can make a little art piece, a bag, or make lots of squares and sew them together.

“I have a sturdy shoebox, craft knife, ruler and some yarn…” – This is all you need to make rigid heddle loom! Use the base of the shoebox as the frame and create slots and holes in the top of the shoebox, cutting it down in size to fit inside the bottom half. You can use the left over card to make small back and front bars if you want to get fancy! A bit more of a project, but a lot of fun. You can use it to make cloth for little bags, mats or pieces to be sewn together into a larger piece.

“I have a stiff cardboard, a craft knife, a hole punch and some yarn…” – This one is a bit more full-on, but with these materials make yourself cards for card/tablet weaving, and a cardboard shuttle. You can create a warp using your body and a doorknob back-strap weaving style, or make a frame out of a box. It come with a learning curve, but this makes beautiful bands.

“I have a picture frame / some wood for a frame / large piece of solid board, nails, a hammer and two colours of yarn…” – This is what you need to make a pom-pom blanket! It’s not what you’d traditionally call weaving, but includes a frame and the enclosure of threads so I think it fits! Worth watching a video on how to do this, but essentially you make a big version of a pin loom, and use one colour as a base and the other colour gets wound on, tied down and cut to make the pom-poms. Makes a fluffy fun blanket!

Happy weaving!

A little craft distraction

So, there’s not a lot of weaving happening at the mo, but there has been some “french knitting” action! Yes, after many years in storage, the “knitting Nancy” that I’ve had since I was a kid is back in action.

I’m (attempting) to make a hat. We shall see how the construction phase goes, but first yo have to knit the tube. Good thing I like doing stuff with my hands while watching movies…

A ball of 8ply cotton and a wooden knitting nancy

 

Commission delivered!

So, here is the set of scarfs that I’ve been knitting…

A pink, knitted scarf for mum and for bub

I’m very pleased with how they turned out! This photo makes them look like they’re different shades of pink, but that’s just the lighting; they’re the same yarn. Well, one is 4ply and the other 10ply, but you know what I mean.

This is cotton, knitted on oversized needles for the ply, in a 2-2 rib. I’ve knitted a scarf for myself like this in the past and the result is a lovely “squishy” fabric. Also gets an almost scalloped edge going on the ends which is kind of nice.

Not the warmest, true, but a nice bit of extra cover around the neck. I’m hoping my friend’s wife like’s them.

What a fascinating fibre

So, following on from my last post I have now seen and touched some lotus fibre!  Here’s a pic:

Brown and white woven lotus fibre scarf

It is definitely a lot like linen in feel, but has a sheen that’s really silky. The cloth had a great drape and that surprised me because it had a… stiffness? density? I’m not sure what the word is, but it was like I could imagine linen of a similar ply feeling like.

The muted colours of this scarf are lovely too, don’t you think? And the pattern is part colour and part different ply yarns which made for a very attractive scarf!

Lotus flower fibre

Someone I work with, who is a keen traveler, has found out that I weave. As a result I’ve been shown a range of wonderful photos of the workshops he visited in Myanmar where they make cloth from lotus flower fibre!

The locals harvest and process the lotus plants and then spin it and weave the yarn into cloth.

With any luck he will remember to bring in the scarf he bought for his wife and I will be able to report back on what this interesting fabric feels like! Having a look online it gets described as a cross between silk and linen in feel, which sounds fascinating.

Undoing a bendy scarf

About four years ago, I decided to knit myself a striped cotton scarf. Carrying the three colours up the sides was a lot of fun and I was loving how it was coming together. Then I put it down one day and noticed it had developed a curve!

Obviously this was something to do with carrying the colours and one side had developed a much tighter edge than the other. Incrementally this had caused my scarf to curve.

With great sadness I began to unpick it…

Jump to a recent tidy up where I found the half unpicked project languishing in a bag. It was a sad sight. Three balls of unravelled scarf and a big tangle of yarn leading to the considerable amount yet to be unpicked.

the stripey scarf in blue, green and purple

Unpicking three colours is not so much fun, but I’ve been quietly doing bits and I’m almost done now. Once finished I think I’m going to use those balls to warp my loom and see if I can’t do an enjoyably stripey scarf that way!!

Amigurumi – the cutest yarn craft

Super-cute yarn animals might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I have to say I love making amigurumi! A couple of years ago I learnt some basic crochet stitches, and bought a bag of stuffing, so I could create these little guys and it was so much fun.

The best ones went under the charity tree at my office in the hope they’d brighten up the holiday season for a child somewhere, but I quickly had a surplus and had to stop. Here are some yarn friends that didn’t make it to the tree…

A cute yarn sheep and bearProbably the funniest thing about my amigurumi exploits is that you make them in many sections, so I have a leftover box of tiny ears, arms and legs. Gruesome and cute!