Weaving Without a Loom

etsy-blog-weaving-largeYesterday Etsy shared with us a great tutorial by Clare McGibbon showing us how to make a weaving without the use of a loom.  It’s a great tutorial with easy to understand instructions, and clear images.

Go check it out & try making a weaving a yourself.

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!

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.

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.

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Dream Catcher Kits are now available in my shop!

Sick Days

I just love it when the kids at school are so willing to share . . .

This week my children brought home with them strep throat & have been ever so generous in sharing it with dad & I.  My day Wednesday was cut short by a teeth grinding migraine. Thursday found me with a lingering headache & a flaming sore throat.  My daughter was up the entire night crying with an earache.  You know it’s bad when your 9 yr old is waking you up every hr with crying all night long.  Friday morning we went to the doctor first thing when the office opened.  The poor thing has an ear infection & strep throat. She finally did sleep – most of the day, which was great because then I too could catch up on knitting, sleep.

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I have found that I have a love-hate relationship with illness. On one hand it isn’t any fun to feel crummy, but on the other hand, I love the slower pace that it allows for. I don’t one bit, mind laying in bed for a day knitting & drinking chai tea. I don’t mind how my children find it within themselves to “get along” in order to help mom. And, I certainly don’t mind being left alone in my quiet room to knit I mean rest in order to get well again. Today, I am feeling much better.

Since this is the time of year when people seem to feel under the weather, I though I would share a recipe for my favorite chia tea concentrate.

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IMG_0096What is your comfort food for days when you are feeling under the weather?

The Hobbit

Ori's fingerless mittens

Over the holidays my husband and I went to go see The Hobbit.  It had been far too long since the 2 of us went to see a good movie & I LOVED every minute of it. Just as in The Lord of the Rings everything about the film was great.  It pulled me in, sparked my imagination, and of all things, inspired me to knit!  The costumes in this movie were fabulously hand knit.  I left the theater with about 4 new knitting patterns swimming in my head.  I hope to complete these 4 designs and create a series of patterns from The Hobbit.  The first pattern is for a pair of fingerless mittens that Ori the dwarf wears.  The pattern can be purchased here.