Lessons In Fiber Art

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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.

Round Up: Fingerless Mittens

Nov. 2013

1.  Kumara Arm Warmers by Laura Zukaite

2. Elf clobber by schnuddel Kerstin (Variation)

3.  Mitaines Rainbow by Elise Dupont

4.  Gillean Wrist Warmers by Karina Westermann

5.  Catching butterflies by Tiny Owl Knits

6.  Reversible Fingerless Gloves by Kyoko Nakayoshi

Round Up: Costumes

Oct. 2013

1. Unicorn Hat by Brittany Tyler

2. Witchy Hands by Lion Brand Yarn

3. Incognito by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark

4. Ahoy Hat by Elizabeth Mautz-Redmann

5. Little Red by Erika Flory

6. Wear the wild things are HAT by tiny owl knits

7. Elven Hero by Audry Nicklin (I’m thinking Link from Zelda!)

8. Knitted Mask by Jennifer Hansenclose

9. Knit Angry Birds Halloween Bag by Crafts by Starlight

 

 

 

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. . .

Round Up: Back to School

Back to School1. Aemelia Book Cover by Franklin Habit

2. French Press Felted Slippers by Melynda Bernardi

3. George Sand by Katie Rose Pryal

4. Stadium Blanket by Allyson Dykhuizen

5. Sea Anemone Messenger Bag by Mel Clark

6. Lots of coffee beans by shika

7. Winter Ear Warmer by Elisa McLaughlin

8. Pencil Case by Doodlenoodle

9. Boutique Laptop Sleeve by Rachael Oglesby

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.

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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.

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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?