Weaving for the Summer

There’s something about warmer temperatures that makes me want to weave!  Maybe it’s being able to play with yarn without it sitting on my lap? Or being able to experiment with color and texture, without ending up with a wonky hat? What I do know is — it sure is fun!

Supplies Needed:

The first step is picking out what yarns you’re going to use — I started with a big pile of cream, and tan yarn with a pop of pastels. I knew I wasn’t going to use all of these, but it’s fun to have a lot of options!

The next step is to make your loom!  I used a piece of foam board that I cut to 14 inches x 12 inches. Using your ruler, measure down from the top and bottom of the board about ¾” of an inch (or 1 inch, it’s up to you).  Then make marks for the yarn slots that are ½” apart, on the top and bottom of the board.  Using a cutting board and a craft knife (or scissors, they work well on cardboard), carefully cut each slot down to the line you drew.  Go slowly when you do this and be safe.

The next step is warping (wrapping) the loom.  The warp is the yarn wrapped vertically on the loom. I picked With Love in Aran.  To warp your piece of foam board, leave a long tail (10-12 inches).  Insert your yarn in the top right notch. Bring the yarn down, to the bottom right notch, and push the yarn into the notch, wrap around the back, into the next notch on the top, and down to the bottom again.

Continue doing this until you get to the last notch, leaving a long tail, and tie the two tails together. Don’t pull the warp too tight; you should be able to lift it easily.

The front should look like this:

 

Now it’s time to get weaving!

Remember those construction paper placemats you made in kindergarten? That’s exactly what we’re about to do with our yarn- over, under, over under.  Cut a few yards of your first yarn and wind it into a loose ball or wrap it around a small piece of cardstock or cardboard as a shuttle.  I decided to use With Love in Aran first, and began weaving from the right side, leaving a 4-6 inch tail at the edge. When you start the next row, be sure you loop around the last warp yarn.  When you reach the right side again, gently push the yarn down to the first row.  If the shuttle doesn’t work for you, just loop the yarn in a loose ball, and use your hands or a crochet hood to pull it through, whatever works best for you.

     

As you continue to weave, be careful that you’re not pulling too tightly as you reach the ends. The photo on the below left is what you want to avoid: your warp yarn should always stay straight up and down (on the right), not pulled in.

     

I kept weaving with the Aran until there was about an inch of fabric on my loom.  Then I decided it was time for some fringe tassels. For each tassel, I cut 4 pieces of Treasure, about 10 inches long, gathered them together and folded the group in half, positioning the center over 2 strands of warp yarn. I tucked the ends around these two strands to create the “knot” for the tassel. Follow the image below to do the same.  Gently pull the ends down towards the bottom of the loom, pulling snug, but not too tight. Remember to keep your warp yarn straight.

       

I added one more layers of tassels over this row.  To start the next row, tuck the ends around the warp strands that are “between” the original knots, so they start to overlap each other.  Don’t worry about how neat the ends look, since we’ll trim them up at the end.

Because I wanted tassels on just one corner of this piece, I had to weave up to them with other yarn. I stuck with Treasure. As you reach a tassel, loop around the warp strand right before it, until your weaving is as tall as the tassel, then weave over the tassel on your next pass.

Of course, if tassels aren’t your style, you don’t have to do them. Or you can keep weaving with your plain yarn longer, so the fringe ends up in the middle, or wait until you get to the end, and they’ll be on top.  Every time you switch yarns, remember to leave yourself a long tail, and to keep your weaving pattern going (over, under, etc.).

As I wove I added new yarns, and more tassels, always weaving up to the tassels before crossing over them, so the plain yarn stayed even. Here’s a few “in progress shots”.

When you get close to the top of your loom, it’s time to stop.

 

Cut the warp along the back of the loom, in the center so you have plenty of yarn to tie knots for in the next step.

To secure your weaving, carefully tie knots along the top and bottom edges.

 

Now it’s time to weave in the ends!  I used a Susan Bates Finishing Needle and it worked great!

      

If you made tassels, trim your fringe now, I layered the lengths so they have more dimension.

Now it’s time to figure out how to attach your weaving to whatever you’re hanging it on.  I found a stick out in the yard and trimmed it down, but you could also use a dowel, spare knitting needle or bamboo.

First I tried tying it on with the warp left on the top of the loom.  If you pick this option, you can leave the tails long, or trim them down.  I would recommend not tightening the knots until you’re happy with how the piece is hanging.

            

I wanted to try using With Love in Aran to “stitch” the weaving onto the stick next, so I wove in the tail ends of the warp and cut a new length of yarn.  I fastened this to the piece, and began stitching through the knots on the top, over the stick and into the next knot. I liked this way the best, as it’s easier to adjust how far from the stick everything hangs.

The last step is to hang your piece of art up in your home or office, and enjoy!

I hope you enjoy weaving as much as I do.  Remember to experiment with color and texture and most importantly, have fun!

Happy weaving!

Yarns used

 

Want to see more weaving? Check out last year’s blog here:

Summer’s Fun Craft – Weaving