For now, it's getting down to the wire and almost time to start wrapping gifts. My own personal little tradition (In our house, I'm Santa, BTW) I like to spread out everything in the living room, put on "White Christmas" and get'r done all at once on Christmas Eve.
I mentioned in my last post the mini weavings. I've seen several that have inspired me and after checking out some tutorials, I dug out my yarn (and bought a little more), made a mini loom and started in. I think I made over a dozen. They really don't take very long, once I got it all figured out. And they're a nice mindless craft to do while watching TV.
Above is a weaving along with the fixings for my girlie friend gift. A Diet Coke or Dr. Pepper, a lime and a bit of Coconut Syrup in a small glass vial. Wrapped in a cello bag with some newsprint and shred mix. Tied with a ribbon and the weaving on the outside. When I write up a tag, I mix rubber stamps ("for") and calligraphy (their name) and I hand write (my name).
FOR THE LOOM
Sturdy Board cut to about 4"x6" (1) + 4"x1.5" (4) - You can choose your size
Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks
Hefty Scissors or Box Cutter
1. Cut down the board and two strips for each end (4 strips total). I happened to have some packaging from a Mac box and I liked that it was coated and sturdy. Cardboard would work too, but I think it could fall apart from the yarn being pulled in and out of the slits.
2. Hot glue two strips to each other. Hot glue each of the strip stacks to the main 4"x6" board, one 1/2" down from the top and the other 1/2" up from the bottom.
3. Snip slits from the stacked strips to the top edge. I cut 5 about 1/2" apart. Do the same at the bottom. See photos below.
FOR THE WEAVING
Choose 3-5 different yarns with a mix textures. I had a thin cream with gold, a couple of chunky, and some standard bold colors.
Pack of Tapestry Needles - I like these for their fat tips and large eye to thread the yarn. I also like a pack of 4-6 to have several yarns threaded at once to switch back and forth easily.
1/2" Gold Jingle Bells
A Stick from Nature about 4"-6" long and 1/4" in diameter
Wide Tooth Comb for pushing up the yarn
1. Cut five strips of yarn to a desired length. I've done short and long and in the end I preferred the long. 16" strands folded in half are great.
2. With one piece of yarn folded in half, hold the folded part to the stick and pull the ends through. Repeat for all five strands of yarn.
3. Pull each "set" of yarn strips through the top slits of the loom. Each set has it's own slit. The stick should be pulled closely at the back of the loom.
4. Pull each set of yarn strips straight down and through the bottom slit. Repeat for all five sets.
5. Turn the loom over, and twist the excess yarn, and tape to the back. You've created the warp and are now ready to start weaving.
6. Thread each of the pieces of yarn about 14"-20".
7. Start with whichever you'd like at the top leaving about 3" of yarn hanging out at the top. Weave up and down through each of the pieces of the warp. If you pull tightly, the weaving will warp in. If you leave it too loose, the yarn will bubble. I kind of like the variation of it going in and out, but some may not. Use your comb to push up each row.
8. You can add different bits of color or texture by weaving to a point (see the bottom left photo) and filling in with another piece of yarn.
9. I keep weaving until they are about 3"-4" long.
10. On the back side, I leave 2" ends near each other to tie a knot and then dab a bit of fray check and cut. I take care of all of that business with the knots on the back before I undo the warp.
11. When you're finished weaving, carefully take off the tape on the back.
12. Starting on one end, I undo the warp. One slit at a time. Tie the yarn in a square knot and move on to the next slit until all five are knotted.
13. At the top, carefully pull the stick side of the warp out of the slits. Thread the top starter piece of yarn and weave it back into the top, fray check and cut.
14. *Optional - Thread a bell on one side or in the middle and tie with a square knot.
15. With all of the warp threads hanging down, you can cut them straight across, or angle cut them. You can also stagger cut them, which is what I like the best when they're long.
16. Cut a 7" piece of yarn and tie it to the stick on each end to enable your weaving to hang. I also fray check these knots.
Next, I'd like to try a larger weaving with more official equipment. P.S. You can also see my little helper below. She likes to pick out color combinations with me.