Inspiration Board: Weaving

Weaving

Weaving by Marianne Werkmeister

Weaving by All Roads

Weaving by Maryanne Moodie

Nature inspired weaving y Alchemy

Circular weaving by Craftophilia

Intro to Weaving

Lessons In Fiber Art

IMG_8998

This fall I have been teaching some handwork classes to the kids at the homeschool co-op our family is apart of.  We started of with cleaning raw wool & cotton fibers.  Then we hand carded & spun the fibers into yarn.  We did some wet felting & we made some natural dyes using walnut, tumeric, & black beans.  Now the kids are working to weave the fibers we dyed.  I have been so happy with how the projects are turning out.  Mostly it’s been a great reason to try out all of these amazing projects that I’ve been meaning to try for years.

I’ll have more pictures of the finished weaving projects soon.

Wedding Guest Dream Catcher

wedding dream catcherI love making dream catchers. They make fantastic time keepers, and are a great way to honor a special moment in your life.  This past weekend my sister got married, and instead of having a traditional guest book, I made her this unique dream catcher.

signature

All of the guests were asked to sign a ribbon that was then tied to the dream catcher.
Now my sister and her new husband can hang their dream catcher in their house, and always be reminded of the love and support that surrounds them as they chase after their dreams!

wedding catcherCustom wedding guest dream catchers can be ordered in the shop!

Woven Treasure Found

goodwill weavingI found this unfinished weaving at my local thrift store.  Isn’t it beautiful? I’m not sure what I am going to do with it.  I don’t have the skills required to finish it, but I couldn’t stand to leave it setting there on the shelf, all rolled up and unappreciated. Maybe it will find it’s way into a different kind of weaving project of my own. My creative wheels are turning. . .

Weaving 101

A weaving is made up of two sets of threads, the warp and the weft.

The word warp (from the Old English word, weorpan), means “that which is thrown across” and refers to the set of lengthwise yarns that are held in tension on a frame or loom.

When choosing a warp yarn, consider the strength of the fibers.  Because the warp is held under tension throughout the process of weaving, warp yarn should be strong. Traditional yarn choices are wool, linen and silk, however, in more recent decades, cotton has also become a fine choice.
warped loom
WeavingThe word weft (from the Old English word, wefan), means “to weave” and refers to the yarn which is drawn through the warp yarns to create cloth.  This can be any yarn, fiber, ribbon, fabric, ANYTHING. Between the weft and the warp, the weft is typically the most visible of the two.
To weave, use a long needle to weave over, then under, over, then under each of the warp threads until you reach the other side. Pull the working weft yarn across the loom.

A weavers comb is a useful tool to help make the weft tight.

weaving combWhen pulling the weft tight, be mindful of the tension.  If pulled too tightly, it will cause the warp to pull in on the edges. The ends should remain slightly loose allowing the warp to lay flat without distorting the sides.
tension
To begin a new yarn, weave the working yarn through half of the warp threads.  Then, with the new yarn, begin where the previous yarn ended.  Push any loose ends to the underside of the weaving.

changing colors

FinishingHow to remove the weaving from the  loom will depend on the type of loom being used.  For this type loom, simply pull the weaving up over the nail heads.

Once free from the loom, it is ready for finishing.  There are a number of ways to finish the ends.  One way is to whip stitch around the warp threads.  To do this, lay the warp horizontally across the top of the weaving, folding the warp toward the center.  Then, use a yarn needle to whip stitch over these threads.  Once half-way across the top, begin folding the warp the opposite direction so that all of the ends are facing the center of the weaving.  Do the same thing to the other end of the weaving, and it is ready to be displayed.

[] :: [] :: [] :: [] :: [] :: [] :: [] :: [] ::  [] :: [] :: []

The loom used in this tutorial is a great little loom that is easily disassembled for travel.  It is made from reclaimed exotic hardwoods, and is available in the shop!

Wedding Day Weaving

Wedding kiss

In celebration of my of 14th wedding anniversary, I wanted to share with you a weaving I did a few years ago honoring our wedding day.

My husband & I got married on the beach of Lake Michigan at sun set.

wedding party

Wedding weaving explainedclose ups wedding weaving

I love the idea of honoring special textiles in our lives by including them into art pieces.

[] :: [] :: [] :: [] :: [] :: [] :: [] :: [] :: [] :: [] :: [] :: [] :: []

dream catcher copyI’ve also written about a dream catcher that I made last Valentine’s Day using strips of fabric from my wedding & bridesmaid dresses.

What are some ways that you have preserved special textiles from your life?

Medieval Book Repair

Lagat_hal3_1

Photo: Uppsala University Library

I am always inspired by the artistic work of the medieval monks.  The patience and dedication that they practiced in hand writing manuscripts was an act of worship and it shows. Their penmanship is an art form all on it’s own, and the illuminations are incredible. I am inspired by the devotion of the monks who faithfully sought to honor God by hand writing the bible in hopes that others would be able to read God’s words.

They used parchment when making these ancient books.

Parchment  is a thin material made from hide; often calfskin, sheepskin or goatskin, and often split. Its most common use was as a material for writing on, for documents, notes, or the pages of a book, codex or manuscript. It is distinct from leather in that parchment is limed but not tanned; therefore, it is very reactive to changes in relative humidity and is not waterproof. Finer-quality parchment is called vellum. – Wikipedia.

Runt_hal4_1

Photo: Uppsala University Library

Often there were small holes in the parchment that was made.  After a book had been written, the monks would then go back and “repair” these holes by embroidering around the edges with silk thread.  The result is beautiful!

You can read about this method in more detail at  Uppsala University Library.

Snake Grass Weaving

This is a great project to do with kids while camping!

Snake Grass Weaving

Materials

Snake grass likes a lot of moisture, so look for it near wet areas like creeks, rivers, lakes, ponds, and marshes.  You will only need one long one that has at least 3 sections to it.

Yarn

Scissors

Yarn needle (optional)

1. Find a strong reed of snake grass and take it apart into it’s sections.   Make sure that it is big enough to fit the yarn inside.

2. The center of each section has a small “plug”.  I was able to use my scissors to scrape it out.  You could also use, a yarn needle or even a small piece of driftwood. You’ll find that each section also tapers a little where it joined the section below it. I used my scissors to cut of this section making it easier to slide up and down my yarn.

3.  Decide how wide you want your weaving to be.  The more strands that you have, the wider the weaving will be. Cut the yarn to the desired length and tie all the strands  together. Thread each strand of yarn through one section of snake grass.

4. Tie the working yarn to the last strand, and begin weaving.  When you are running out of snake grass, simply slide each section down to provide more work space.

When you have finished, pull the snake grass off and tie the ends together.  I just used one big knot to finish, but if you are doing a wider weaving, you may want to do several smaller knots across the bottom.

Have fun!

Fireweed at Exit Glacier

flower-glacierAs the glacier at Kenai Fjords continues to recede, it leaves in it’s wake a desolate landscape of steep cliffs and jagged rocks.  However, over time, plants do begin to grow, and Fireweed is one of the first plants to lay down roots.
IMG_6601
IMG_6602