I’m figuring that I’ll have caught up with my Christmas 2014 posts just in time for Christmas 2015 at this rate. In truth I could just post every day for a few weeks, but then I run the risk of boring you all to death, so I’m hoping that despite this being another ‘Christmas’ themed post, it’s still interesting?
It comes as no surprise I’m sure, to hear that I love all things fibre and have been fascinated by weaving for some time. Rather embarrassingly, I actually own several looms, I say embarrassingly because I’m not sure who I was trying to kid when we purchased a giant floor sized loom years ago. Truthfully, my intentions were good at the time and it was a complete bargain, but really???
My smaller, more manageable looms sometimes see the light of day and I was very lucky to have spent the day Tapestry Weaving with the very talented Pascale de Coninck many moons ago now, but lets face it, I’m more than likely to be found with my needles.
I like to get the children I teach to have a go at making a secret Christmas gift for their favourite person, but it can be difficult to come up with something suitable. Some of the girls (they’re all girls at the moment) have been knitting with me for a couple of years now, whilst some are new to the hobby and need a little more time.
I spent ages researching different ideas and kept coming across weaving, particularly for wall hangings. They seem to be everywhere at the moment Pinterest is full of them and they’ve even made it in to several magazines.
Having taught weaving to a group of children before I dug around and discovered an old loom I’d made with strong cardboard years ago and copied it, cutting ‘teeth’ out every 1.5cms. Ensuring you have an even number of teeth to give you an odd number of wraps will make things easier (we had 9 warp threads) . I wrapped the warp threads and tied them at the back so the girls could crack on with the weaving.
Using a plastic needle threaded with the yarn of their choice, they wove a basic over and under weave, remembering to wrap the yarn the opposite way on each following row. We had a couple of mishaps with un-weaving to begin with
There were a few things I knew we’d struggle with, with the girls because of our limited time – namely the ends so I searched children’s weaving on Pinterest and happened upon artblog.com which used tape to secure the ends – perfect 🙂
Every time we added a new colour we used masking tape to secure the old and the new ends to the board. Try to make sure your masking tape is the easy lift decorating one or else you could end up damaging your fabric.
Having filled their looms we worked on securing the warp thread ends. Firstly I ran a line of tape up along one side of the warp threads on the back.
Before cutting them straight down the middle.
Flipping the work over to the right side, we knotted the warp thread ends into bunches of three. Then lifting the tape on the back off we did the same at the other end.
The tricky part was removing the weaving from the board, ideally when you weave the ends are woven in as you go, but that would have been far too time consuming.
I had the wonderful task of peeling of the little bits of tape so we could lay the ends flat against the back of the piece.
After a little trim, here’s where the magic from Bar Rucci’s post comes in handy – Gaffer Tape 😍 Using the super strong tape I ♦obliterated♦ the ends. The tape also made the weaving firmer and less likely to sag. Win, win 🏆
You can never have too many pompoms, so we added three to our wall hangings, which we tied to one end of the warp threads. Covering our ends with a little more gaffer tape.
Lastly, we ran a stick through the top set of warp threads to hang our wall hangings with.
Pausing here to thank my ever suffering sons – Durahn and Kye 👼 👼 Who kindly went off hunting high and low for suitable branches, which they then cleaned and de-barked for me. Not that they had a choice you understand?
Weaving is a great way to use up odds and ends of yarn and you can add lots of interest with funky fibres or strips of material. Each of the girls chose their own colours and textures making each piece individual.
I think you’ll agree the girls wall hangings turned out lovely and festive (even the ones that are back to front 😶)
I think they all enjoyed it?