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!

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!

Painted Driftwood

Painting driftwood is a fun summer project that is easy enough that kids will enjoy it too.  There isn’t much to it, and there is no right or wrong way to do it.  So, let your creativity run wild with this one.  If you feel like you would like some direction in doing this project at home, there are a number of tutorials that can be found on the internet.  These are some of my favorite pieces.  Maybe they will inspire you like like they have me.
il_570xN.352111341by Jessica Turnbow

265571709246095927WJTkBbtpcoriginal source unknown

painted drift wood mobileon Gracefully Frank

jesssticksJessica Turnbow, has a cute shop on Etsy where she sells her painted drift wood.

Tutorial: Macrame Stones

Macrame StonesThese are a lot of fun to make, and super easy. Here is how it’s done.

steps 1-5

 

click the image to view it larger.

1. Tie a “belt” around the stone.  Then loop 2 pieces of hemp over the belt, making a total of 4 strands hanging down.

2.  Tie a square knot.  To do this, take the strand labeled {d}.  Loop it behind the center two strands, and over the front of the strand labeled {a}.

3. Wrap strand {a} around strand {d} and pull it through the loop on the right hand side of the knot.

4. Do the same thing as before, only opposite.  So loop strand {a} behind the center two strands, and over the front of strand {d}.

5.  Wrap strand {d}  around strand {a} and pull it through the loop on the left hand side of the knot.

6. Slide the square knot that was just made to position it around the belt.

Repeat steps 1-6  as many times as needed for the size of your rock.  The rock in this example has a total of 5 square knots.

Round 2Using four strands from two neighboring knots, complete a square knot as before.  Continue around the rock using strands from two neighboring knots, until the rock is covered with knots.

finalTo finish, you can either collect all of the strands into one large knot at the base of the rock forming a tassel, or you can tie several knots along the base creating a fringe.

You could easily add beads to the macrame or tie on little treasures to the fringe. Be creative and have fun with it!

A Yarn Holder for Camp

camping yarn

Throughout the summer months, we try to spend as much time as we can outdoors.  Our families LOVES going to the beach, camping, having backyard fires, canoeing, and biking to name just a few things on our list of activities to do this summer.  As summer vacation has been approaching, I’ve been working on a plan for keeping the kids entertained.  It’s clear to me that we will be spending a lot of time going from one adventure to another.  This means that my knitting will also be going from one adventure to another.  In order to keep my yarn untangled and clean, I made a yarn container to use while on the go.

These containers are great.  They are easy to make, don’t require any fancy supplies.  They can be made while on the go or in a pinch.  I consider them essential, to the summer survival of any knitter.

Here is how I made it.

Supplies

Yarn holder suppliesYou will need 1 plastic bottle, a pocket knife (or scissors), and some duct tape.

Directions

1. Clean out the inside of your plastic bottle, and take the label off.  Goo Gone can be helpful for getting any remaining glue off the outside of the bottle.

2. Cut the top portion of the bottle off.  You want to look for a place where the bottle is at it’s widest so it can easily slip over the bottom portion.

3. Cut off the bottom portion of the bottle.  Here you want to find a place that is narrower than the top portion.  Make your cut so that there is a 1/2″ section that easily slips inside the lid so that the 2 portions of the bottle over lap.

4.  The cut edges can be fairly sharp. It is a good idea to cover them with duct tape so you don’t accidentally hurt yourself.  The duct tape also can add a little bulk to the overlapping edges, making the lid fit snugly on top of the bottom portion.

yarn holder tapeI needed to add some bulk to the cut edges of mine, so I tore a strip of duct tape that was 1/3 of the full width of tape.  I wrapped this 1/3 section around the outside of the cut edge.  Then, I took the remaining 2/3 piece of tape, and wrapped it around the outside too (on top of the 1/3 section). There should be a portion of the duct tape sticking up beyond the plastic bottle.   Cut slits around the top portion of the tape that sticks up, and fold the tape over the cut edge.

5.  Do this again for the lid.

yarn holder top and bottom

Dream Catchers

UPDATE 5/4/15: I apologize for the quality of these photos.  I am currently working to rewrite this post with clearer images.

Creating a dream catcher is such a fun & meaningful project.  They are a lot of fun and simple to make. This tutorial will show you how to do the webbing.

MaterialsMaterials:

Hoop ~ this can be anything from the inside piece of an embroidery hoop (what I used for this demonstration), a metal ring, or a wreath.

String ~ any type of string can be used, cotton, hemp, yarn, wire . . .

Sewing needle can make the job a little easier, but it isn’t necessary for doing this project.

Dream catcher webbing1. First, tie the string to the hoop.  Then, wrap the string around the hoop as shown.  You want the string to wrap around it’s self to help hold it in place. I didn’t do this on my first dream catcher & I found it difficult to maintain the tension that I wanted on each stitch.

2. Work your way around the hoop.  Keep in mind the more stitches you have around the loop, the smaller the stitches will be. This is neither good nor bad, but just a different look.

3. Now, you are going to work your way around the hoop a second time. This time, you want to place your stitch on the section of sting between the first stitch and theplace where you tied the string on.

4. Continue working your way around the hoop making stitches between the stitches of the previous round. Look at the arrows on image 3.

5. Keep going around the hoop making stitches between the two stitches above it until you can’t go any further or you decide you are done. Tie the string in place.  You may want to use a tiny dab of glue or clear fingernail polish to help secure the knot.

WebbingThere are several ways to get creative with the webbing. Here you can see the difference having more or less stitches around the hoop.  You can also add tiny beads anywhere you like by threading it onto the string & holding it in place as you work the next stitch.  Another idea is to switch colors as you go.

From here the possibilities are endless. Try wrapping strips of leather, or fabric around the hoop, or painting the hoop. Tie different ribbons, & yarns onto the bottom & sides. Tie feathers, stones, sticks, dried flowers, charms, anything to the ribbons.

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

Dream Catcher Kits are now available in my shop!

Valentine Truffles xoxo

IMG_0099These valentine truffles are the PERFECT gift for a fiber artist/scrapbooker/art journalist.  They are crocheted chocolate (or white chocolate) on the outside, & in center, there is a fiber surprise! There might be a few yards of silk ribbon, some antique buttons, novelty yarn. . .

On the bottom of each truffle, there is a little “tag”.  Pull on this tag until the crochet stitches begin to unravel (you may need to help it along bit to get it started). As the truffle unravels the filing is  revealed.

You can find a pattern for making these truffles here.  They would make a great party favor for a knitting circle’s valentine’s day party!

I will be offering one lucky follower this valentine’s day gift of 6 assorted truffles to say “Thanks for being apart of my knitting circle!”  For your chance to win, just click on the “follow The Fiber Nest” button on the sidebar.  The winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day!

xoxo

Valentine Truffles xoxo

IMG_0099These valentine truffles are the PERFECT gift for a fiber artist/scrapbooker/art journalist.  They are crocheted chocolate (or white chocolate) on the outside, & in center, there is a fiber surprise! There might be a few yards of silk ribbon, some antique buttons, novelty yarn. . .

On the bottom of each truffle, there is a little “tag”.  Pull on this tag until the crochet stitches begin to unravel (you may need to help it along bit to get it started). As the truffle unravels the filing is  revealed.

You can find a pattern for making these truffles here.  They would make a great party favor for a knitting circle’s valentine’s day party!

I will be offering one lucky follower this valentine’s day gift of 6 assorted truffles to say “Thanks for being apart of my knitting circle!”  For your chance to win, just click on the “follow The Fiber Nest” button on the sidebar.  The winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day!

xoxo

knitted tissue cozy

IMG_0039 copy

mka101536_wi08_tissue_lAs I was looking for some handmade stocking stuffer ideas on Pintrest, I came across these felt hankie holders made by Martha Stewart.

It gave me the idea to create some knitted ones.  Here is a pattern I came up with while making some.

Materials:

worsted weight stash yarn in 2 (or more) colors (or any yarn that you prefer for the project)

a pair of straight needles US9 ( or an appropriate size for your preferred yarn)

a yarn needle

>>>>

i-cord co front

Using an i-cord cast on, cast on 20 stitches in the contrasting color (cc).

IMG_0028Switch to the main color (mc) yarn and knit in stockinette stitch for 6.5″ ending with a knit row.

With the cc yarn purl on row.

icord BO frontBind off using an i-cord bind off.

Turn the knitting wrong side out and fold so that the two i-cords overlap slightly in the center and sew the top & bottom shut with a mattress stitch.

Weave in all the loose ends.

Embellish with a crocheted edging, or embroidered designs.  You could also add some ribbon or buttons.

boys tissue cozy

Twining

“Twining” is a verb meaning to wind or spiral around something.  It is a term to describe an old method used in creating baskets & bags.  In honor of Thanksgiving, I thought it would be fun to share a historic handcraft that was used by the Native Americans & probably the Pilgrims as well.

made by the Nez Perce

Many artifacts have been found all over the world showing us beautiful examples of how this technique has been used in many different cultures.  It is a simple technique that both children & adults will enjoy using.  It can be used in making very basic items or elaborate artful pieces.

I was introduced to the skill of twining this fall at a historical reenactment. A woman was making a bag & was kind enough to show me how she was making it.

To start with, she had looped a piece of twine the size she wanted the bag to be & secured it. This was to be the base of the bag.

Then she cut pieces of twine to a length that was twice the size she wanted the finished bag to be.  She draped these pieces over the initial loop to create her warp.
She cut enough pieces to go all the way around the loop laying the pieces side by side.

To make the warp stay in place, she simply started to twine the weft around each pair of warp strands, twisting the weft after each pair.

She continued to work the weft in this way until she had gone around the bag several times.  Then, she would create a gap & start again an inch or so farther down. I really like the look of these bags that she was making & think they would be great market bags. They look to be very strong & durable.

I had hoped to make a twined bag myself & post a tutorial for you.  However, with this being my first twining project, it is looking a bit rough. A tutorial will come later.