Mar­sha Smith shows you how to use dif­fer­ent tex­tures rather than tricky weav­ing tech­niques to cre­ate your own gor­geous hand­crafted wall hang­ing.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - Contents - MAR­SHA SMITH

Mar­sha Smith weaves some dreams

What you’ll need The quan­ti­ties given here cre­ated a wall hang­ing mea­sur­ing about 23cm wide x 80cm long, in­clud­ing tas­sels. The amount of ma­te­ri­als you need may vary, de­pend­ing on the size of the hang­ing you make and the weight of the yarn you use.

Old pic­ture frame – a flat frame with the glass re­moved Pen­cil/ruler/ham­mer Ap­prox­i­mately 50 tack nails 1 x 50g ball thin yarn, to use for loom base Va­ri­ety of yarn tex­tures and thick­ness, in sim­i­lar tones (I used 3 x 50g balls white, 3 x 50g balls beige and 1 x 50g ball tex­tured yarn) Ap­prox­i­mately 24 wooden beads Ta­pes­try nee­dle 2m lace 2 sheets of felt (white and cream) 2m pom­pom ball fringe 50cm faux fur trim Piece of branch, drift­wood or dowel

Steps Mak­ing your loom

On the top and bot­tom of the pic­ture frame, use the ruler and pen­cil to mea­sure and mark 1cm in­ter­vals, en­sur­ing those along the top align with those on the bot­tom. Ham­mer in a nail at each mark, just far enough for it to be firmly em­bed­ded. The num­ber of nails will de­pend on how wide you want the hang­ing to be. I used 23 nails top and bot­tom. To make the cords for your loom, take the thin yarn and make a large loop around the first nail, ty­ing the yarn to­gether away from the nail. Don’t tie a knot di­rectly onto the nail as you won’t be able to re­move it once fin­ished. Now loop the yarn around the cor­re­spond­ing nail on the op­po­site side of the frame, then bring it back down to the next nail. Con­tinue loop­ing it around each nail, run­ning it up and down the frame, un­til com­plete. Tie off onto the yarn, not around the nail. The cords should be slightly taut and not too saggy.

Mak­ing tas­sels

For this de­sign you need 23 tas­sels. For each tas­sel, cut 7 x 80cm lengths from two or three dif­fer­ent types of yarn. Hold­ing the 7 strands to­gether, fold them in half and feed the looped end over the first cord and un­der the sec­ond. Take the loose ends of the tas­sel and feed them through the loop, pull un­til you’ve cre­ated a knot (see pic A). Now gen­tly pull the ends so the knot sits un­der the nail base and hangs down. Note: Ev­ery nail has two cords (pieces of yarn) feed­ing off it, there­fore there is one tas­sel to ev­ery nail. Con­tinue cre­at­ing your fringe, one nail at a time, un­til you reach the end.

Add your beads

Care­fully un­hook one of the top cord loops from around the nail. Thread a bead onto this dou­ble strand (see pic B) and re-hook back onto the nail. Re­peat. Note: Beads were only added at ev­ery sec­ond nail (see pic C). If you wish to add a sec­ond row of beads, this is the time to do it, as there is less risk of los­ing all your newly wo­ven yarn later on. Sim­ply push the sec­ond row of beads out of the way un­til you’re ready to in­cor­po­rate them into your pat­tern.

Start weav­ing

Choose your first yarn and thread it onto the ta­pes­try nee­dle. Make sure you have a long enough piece to cre­ate the num­ber of rows you want. Be­gin by ty­ing the end of the yarn to the out­side cord, just be­low the first row of beads. Weave the yarn over and un­der alternate cords, pulling it gen­tly through un­til you have reached the end of your first row. Re­peat the weav­ing process in the op­po­site di­rec­tion just above the first row. Each time you start a new row, make sure you are weav­ing in the op­po­site for­ma­tion, go­ing un­der the cord when the pre­vi­ous row went over it, and vice versa. Be care­ful not to pull the yarn too tightly around the out­side cords, as this will make the fin­ished prod­uct bowed and un­even. Weave be­tween the beads, tak­ing the yarn be­hind each bead as you do so. Af­ter weav­ing a few rows, you’ll need to start squash­ing them up to­gether – use your fin­gers or a fork for this. When you are ready to move onto the next yarn, you need to tie off your fin­ished line. Hook the yarn around the back of your loom and weave it over and un­der a few of the cords. You may like to tie a knot, but it is not nec­es­sary. Now comes the fun part… de­vel­op­ing your de­sign! Think about what tex­tures look good to­gether and how thick you may like each band. Add in a cou­ple of rows of lace. Try cut­ting a strip of faux fur and felt to make your pat­tern in­ter­est­ing and more tex­tu­ral. Add some pom­pom fringe as well. Al­ways re­mem­ber to weave in the op­po­site for­ma­tion from the row be­fore. The best thing about the weav­ing is there are no rules and the tech­nique is sim­ple. You may like to try other weav­ing tech­niques, such as the “soumak”, which ends up look­ing like a braid (there are tu­to­ri­als on­line), but it’s not nec­es­sary for the fi­nal re­sult. Try fluff­ing out some of your yarn or com­pact­ing the rows more loosely than others for var­ied ef­fects.

Ty­ing off

Once the weav­ing reaches the top of the frame, you need to at­tach ex­tra pieces of yarn to the cords that loop around each nail. This will stop your weav­ing from com­ing apart and make loops to thread your hang­ing wood through. Cut lengths of yarn about 15cm (one for each nail). Thread the yarn be­tween the two cords of the nail and tie a firm knot. Make a loop and tie an­other knot close to the top wo­ven edge. The re­main­ing yarn should hang down the back. Now you can re­move your fi­nal weav­ing from the nails. Fi­nally, tuck any knots or loose strands away neatly on the re­verse side. Now hang it and love it!


Pic A

Pic B

Pic C

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