Years and years and years ago I found this tutorial online. I can’t even remember how I found it. It’s for doing weaving, but on a piece of cardboard instead of a loom. Since I’ve never done any weaving I figured it would be fun to try.
So I printed off the tutorial, put it in my folder/box/room of things to try and completely forgot about it. I mean, I knew it was there. I have a list of everything in that folder/box/room. I just never got around to it.
I noticed that there’s been a lot of art blogs on here recently. And that’s perfectly cool. Except that I’m not just an artist. I’m a crafter too. The brand is called CRAFTED by Colette. If I’d started it a year or so later, maybe it would be CREATED. Besides, I still enjoy crafts. A lot. I just forget to do them sometimes.
Apparently I’d prepared the cardboard when I’d printed the tutorial because it was attached to it with a bulldog clip.
I gathered some supplies and settled down to do it. Step one, wind the warp round round the card. Check.
Step 2, use a short ruler to wind through the warp and seperate the heights slightly. Check. Step c, thread your yarn on a needle and start weaving. Under one strand of weft, over the next, under the next. And so on. Check.
Step delta, weave thread back again, repeating the method for each strand of warp. If you went under it last time, go over it this time. Check.
It’s not snug against the first line because of a tip the tutorial gives. If you pull your yarn tight, you’re going to end up with bowed edges because you’ll be distorting your warp threads. The tutorial suggests weaving lightly, then using a fork to push the row down. (Picture taken later in the process – so ignore the continuity error.)
I kept going, and I did start to get a bit of a bow, but it would be nothing compared to if I hadn’t used the fork trick.
When I’d gathered my supplies I’d collected some small balls of purple and green yarns, because I love that colour combination.
I’d planned on doing mostly purple, with hints of green. When I unwound a length to start with though, I didn’t consider how many rows it would be. I realised shortly that for this sort of thing it’s easy to work out how much you’ll need – you just measure the board. It’s not like there’s a load of knots or stitches to use up more yarn. But because I can be a bit dense sometimes I didn’t think of that at first. My green patch was getting a little bigger than I planned. So when I messed up…
…I took that as my sign to change colour. The green was in the middle of the cardboard, and I figured I could put some purple below it.
The tutorial said to change yarn colours by just leaving a few inches of tail and we’d learn what to do with it later. I’d just need to use the fork to push it next to the green.
After a while I decided that using a straight needle was being a bit awkward – I kept finding it hard to come up between warp threads. So I switched to a curved needle for a bit.
It was coming along nicely. The colours were looking great, and it was fairly smooth and consistent.
I probably didn’t pick the best material for the warp threads though. I kept getting caught in the fibers, and then the weft wouldn’t push down smoothly.
Finally I finished the weaving. And it looked really pretty.
Before I finished it off though, this tutorial was double sided. It came with instructions for doing shape weaving on the other side.
It was a wee bit more complicated. My first attempt didn’t seem quite right, but eventually I got a semi-recognisable triangle.
I managed the second triangle okay, but it all got too messy with filling in the background. All the instructions say is: complete the coaster by filling in the space around the triangles. Which wasn’t really enough detail for a complete beginner. Do I do the whole piece top to bottom, or fill in the points first? I had a couple of attempts, then gave up. I’d do some research and come back to shapes later.
Okay, on to finishing off the pretty side. I cut the warp threads on one end, and realised they were too short for my chubby fingers to tie knots in.
So I had the genius idea of cutting the other end on the back of the card where the shape coaster should have been, so that there would be more warp thread length. Then I could simply slide the warp threads through, and have enough length on both ends to tie finishing knots.
Yeah, that didn’t work out so well.
Maybe it would have done if I’d used a more appropriate material for the warp threads, I don’t know.
But you know me, I couldn’t let that be the end of it. So I bought myself a cheap little loom from eBay, did a bunch of research, and had another go. Read all about that soon.