Today we have a fun project from our content manager, Francine Thompson. Francine helps keep our blog posts organized, hunts down photos and links, and makes sure we’re locked and ready to publish after we’ve shot, written, and produced content for the website. She’s also is a talented designer and has a great sense of style! I’m excited to have her on the blog sharing a DIY weaving tutorial. Take it away, Francine!
Are you ever just itching for a one-day project? Something you can sink your teeth into for a few hours, finish, and admire all in the same day? I get that feeling at least once every weekend and I finally found something that truly satisfies it: weaving. Not underwater basket weaving like people joke about, but actual yarn and loom weaving. A basic wall weaving is incredibly easy to create and adds a unique homeyness to any spot in your house. There’s also something quite meditative about the process. You can even weave while catching up on House of Cards or re-watching West Wing on Netflix! Nothing better than that.
Before you get started, I’d like to give you a few things to focus on to make your weaving look extra eye-catching:
Depth: Flat weavings can look super chic and interesting. But weavings with different amounts of dimension can look even better. To give your piece some depth, you can leave some sections of your weaving without any yarn. This way you can see through it to the wall behind it. You can also use a variation of thin and bulky yarns. Different layers of tassels are another easy way to add volume.
Texture: Yarns come in so many different weights and looks. This is crucial when adding texture to your piece but different yarns aren’t the only way to give your weaving different surface qualities. Try alternating between different stitches, pulling sections of your yarn forward, or adding tassels, leather pieces, or wood.
Design: I don’t normally plan my weaving designs out but I highly recommend you do if you have a specific look you’re going for. If you want something more organic-looking, go for curvy lines and lots of wool roving. Straight lines and blocks of color work tend to look modern and minimalistic. Or you can do a mixture of the two; it’s totally up to you! The most important aspect to mull over is the overall design of the piece, which includes choosing your colors wisely and thinking before you start stitching!
What You’ll Need:
Step Zero: Look at Pinterest, Instagram, or your preferred platform for some inspiration. Get an idea of what you want your weaving to look like. There are so many stunning weavings out there. Yours can definitely be one of them!
Step One: Assemble the loom.
Step Two: Use your twine to tie a double knot at the bottom left corner of the loom.
Step Three: Wrap the twine over the top of the loom and back underneath the top of the loom. Then wrap over the bottom of the loom and back underneath.
Step Four: Repeat Step Three 10-20 more times, making sure the twin stays taut. This will be your warp, or the vertical base of your weaving. The yarn that you weave horizontally is called the weft. Tie another double knot at the top right corner of your loom.
Step Five: Thread your needle with the yarn you want at the bottom of the weaving, leaving a 4-inch tail. We’ll be weaving from the bottom to the top. Roughly measure out a foot of yarn per line of weft you would like in that yarn. For example, I wanted about 10 lines of navy blue at the bottom of my weaving so I measured out about 10 feet of navy blue yarn and then cut.
Step Six: Use your needle to go under the first warp, then over the second, then under the third, and on until you reach the other side of your warp.
Step Seven: When you reach the right side of your weaving pull the rest of your yarn through. Leave a 4-5-inch tail on the left side. Pull the yarn on the left side down toward the bottom of the loom, creating an arc shape.
Step Eight: Using your fork, push the middle of the arc down. You’ll feel the tension increase in the yarn so your weft will stay tight. Continue pushing the right and left sides of the arc down until the row is straight. First row done!
Step Nine: To start the second row of weft, go around the far right warp and under the warp to its left. Then over the next, then under, etc.
Step Ten: Repeat Steps Six-Nine until you have your desired section of one color, or until your yarn runs out. If your yarn runs out and you would like more of the same color, simply tie the end to the end of another cut piece of yarn and keep weaving.
Step Eleven: Leave a 4-5-inch tail at the end of the section. I’ll show you how to hide those on the back of your weaving toward the end of this tutorial.
Step Twelve: If you want to add some interest and texture into your weaving, you can add some Rya knots, which are very simple to create. First cut some short pieces of yarn to double the final length you want your knots to be. If you’re using a thin yarn, cut 5-10 pieces of yarn per knot, depending on how thick you want them to be. 3-5 pieces of bulky yarn will give you pretty thick knots. I cut 8 pieces of thin yarn for my knots.
Step Thirteen: Gather your pieces of yarn for one knot and put the ends of them under of your two warps from the left side.
Step Fourteen: Put the opposite ends under the two warps next to the ones you threaded in the previous step, from the right side.
Step Fifteen: Bring both ends up through the middle and and put them under the loop you created in Steps Thirteen and Fourteen.
Step Sixteen: Gather the ends and pull them taut, creating a knot.
Step Seventeen: Repeat Steps Twelve-Sixteen for each Rya knot you would like. I only did five for this weaving but feel free to do more, less, or a whole row.
Step Eighteen: Continue weaving per Steps Six-Eleven, switching colors and section sizes as you please.
The green that I used in my weaving is wool roving, which is a thicker and fluffier type of fiber that works well for adding depth and texture. I usually weave roving with my fingers because it’s so thick and easy to work with. I pulled every other loop of roving in my weaving up a little bit to give some visual interest.
I added some more roving and Rya knots to the top of of my weaving. Notice how you can trim the knots in different lengths to give your weaving some pop.
Step Nineteen: Tuck in the loose tails from each section of weft once you think you’re weaving is done. Turn your weaving to the back to start the process. Thread each tail through your tapestry needle and stitch them through a three-four loops of yarn. Pull the yarn taut then trim the ends. Repeat for each tail. Easy as that!
Step Twenty: Flip your now cleaned-up weaving back over to the front. Trim each of your warp strands at the top of your loom. Double knot them in twos at the top of the weaving.
Step Twenty-One: Now you’ll need to tuck them in just like you did with the tails in Step Nineteen. Thread the tails from each knot in Step Twenty through your needle and stitch them through three or four loops of yarn on the back of your weaving. Repeat for each knot’s tails.
Step Twenty-Two: Place your dowel at the top of your weaving. Cut a piece of warp twine or a piece of yarn about two feet long. Thread the twine/yarn through your needle and leave a tail. Double knot at one side then stitch the twine or yarn through each knot from Step Twenty-One and over your dowel. This should secure the dowel to the top of your weaving.
Step Twenty-Three: Cut another piece of yarn, double knot a loop at each side, and place on either end of your dowel. This will be the yarn your weaving will hang on.
Step Twenty-Four: Repeat Steps Twenty and Twenty-One with warp strands at the bottom of your weaving.
That’s it! You’ve finished your weaving.
Images by Shelby Moring
BY Kate Arends - September 24, 2016
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.