Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DIY: That 70's Craft

Well, kids, whatcha see here is prolly the most tackiest of my DIY's to date. And that's really saying sumpin, having created such tacky-tastic gems as this and that and, oh, a lil bit of WTFunk-is-that?! But, when I got it in my head that I needed to create some woven mobiles for my art room (I have no earthly idea where these ideas come from but I seriously blame the high voltage of sugary cereals that I consumed as a child. Some folks have LSD flashbacks, I have Cap'n Crunch Cranium, y'all), for some reason, weaving on an embroidery hoop came to mind. Which is kinda odd seeing as how 1. Weaving is not my most favorite thing as it's repetitiveness bores the crap outta me (even though it's my fave thing to teach!) and 2. This DIY looks so 1970's and, well, I just don't dig the '70's, y'all.
But let us first talk about where this idea came from, shall we? Y'all might recall that my seriously awesome second graders created these circle loom weavings this year. Whilst decluttering this summer (which only lasted a day before I put everything back and decided I needed to keep it alllllll as we hoarders are prone to do), I stumbled upon my cache of embroidery hoops. I set aside a class set and just kinda had a staring contest with the rest. 

"What am I gonna do with you, hoops?" 
"DUH, make us into something totally tacky. It's what you do."

Embroidery hoops, these days, I tell ya. No respect for their hoarders.
Speaking of starring contest, if you look deep into those kitten eyes and say "Asha!" three times you'll soon find yourself under her magical cat spell and feeding her way more than her daily allowance of cat food, cheese and whipped cream. True Story: I left a container of pesto unattended for a full 30 seconds on the kitchen table and this fat cat was face deep in the stuff. Word of Advice: Don't eat the pesto at mi casa, ermkay?
If you decide that you need some totes tacky weaving wonders in your life, you'll need to scrounge up the following:

*  Embroidery hoopage

*  Yarn. I liked using the thicker stuff because it made the weaving process go by a lot faster.

*  Um, that's it! Let's do this people!

Since warping el loom-o can be a touch confusing (and if you don't know what "warping" means, no worries! Ima getting there), I thought I'd lay this whole process out for you in a coupla formats. Just below you'll find I made a short clip of me warping the loom and starting the weaving process. However, if you're like me, you also like step-by-step visuals which I've also provided. Because I'm a giver, y'all. 
Video footage-ness. I do hope I made something close to sense although my money is on nonsense. 
If you didn't understand the video or just can't stand the sound of my voice (you and my husband both), then lemme lay it out for you step-by-step style, kay? Here we go:

1. Begin by tucking the end of the yarn under the hoop's screw (heehee), wrapping the yarn around the back to the bottom, wrapping it around the front again and tying the long end to the short end in a double knot. See photo, please, as that sentence made no sense.
2. Yay, double knot! Adjust the knot so that it is centered. What we're gonna do now is warp the loom. That's fancy talk for wrapping a buncha strings around the embroidery hoop for us to weave over and under. So, to get started, flip the hoop over so that the knot is on the back. 
3. Like so. 
4. Now, let's begin rapping, ermay, Eminem? To do this, you'll be wrapping the yarn around the hoop. I have not cut the yarn from the skein as I don't know how much I'll need. You can cut it when you are finished. 
5. As I'm wrapping, I'm bringing the yarn around the loom. As I go, I'm pulling it just tight enough to hold the yarn in place. Since the wooden hoop has a little tooth to it, it holds the yarn in place as I go. However, I can adjust it and evenly space the yarn by simply scooting it around the hoop.
6. The goal is to end up with an odd number of strings wrapped around the loom. It doesn't matter what that odd number is so you can experiment to see which look you prefer. For the first timer, I'd go with a lower odd number so that there aren't so many warp stings to weave over and under. I decided to do 13 so Ima gonna keep going till I get there. 
7. Still going...
8. And, viola!, I've got 13 wraps around my loom! Now take a moment to cut your warping yarn (I cut mine the length of my loom and about 3") and evenly space out your warp stings.
9. Now that our loom is warped and ready to go, let's weave, kay? That rogue piece that you cut free from the yarn is now your weaving yarn or weft yarn if we're gonna use our vocab correctly. When you begin to weave, it does not matter if you go clockwise or counter. However, whichever direction you decide to go, be sure to stick with it! In this photo, I'm weaving counter clockwise and staring by going over the first set of warp strings (both top and bottom of the warp strings) and then under.
10. Keep going over and under...
11. And then pull that weft yarn tightly so that what you've woven gathers in the middle and looks like a mess. And then resume weaving.
12. When you run outta yarn, simply tie your new piece of yarn to the last. And keep going until you have a big fat furry weaving like this one...

13. BOOM! Super Tacky Woven Delight. Your inner hippie love child will thank you. By the way, to end this, simply tie the last piece of yarn you are weaving with to one of those weft strings and you're finished! I plan to loop a piece of yarn though the top of the hoop and hang these fun furry guys in my art room. We'll see how the Fire Marshall feels about that, ahem.
OH! I just wanna mention that those step-by-step photos wouldn't have been possible without the hubs. He's on vacation this week which means a coupla things:

1. He's on blog photography duty. 

2. He's honing his DIYing skills. Which, you gotta admit, could use some work. When I told him I'd broken my glasses he informed me, "I'll fix them!"...and this is how they were returned to me. When I gave him a questioning "Are you for realz?!" look, it was met with a "BOOM! Nailed it." 
 Yeah, much like I did these Totes Tacky Wild -n- Wacky Woven Wallhangings...BOOM! Nailed it!

For more weaving fun, you can check out these blog posts:

Circle Loom Weaving

Tree Weaving

A Woven Pouch

Cord Weaving

Have fun, y'all!


  1. This may have to be an ugly craft night project.

  2. I wish I had gone to your class on weaving! I do not have any embroidery hoops but your reference to "Captain Crunch" made me a follower! ;)

    1. Hey buddy! Well no worries that you didn't attend, all the directions that I gave in the class are listed right above. I showed them how to create a woven pouch, so you could start there. It's easy! lemme know if you have any questions!!

  3. Anonymous7/26/2014

    Cassie, checked your other inox of facebook yet, please check if you didnt

  4. These remind me of our CD Weavings- the fluffier, bumpier, hairier the yarn, the better! :D Oh, and the best ones have yarn color combos I'd never think of- like an old scrappy quilt. When we hung 500 of them together, it looked fabulous, even if the individual weavings were….interesting. :D

  5. Where did the bumpy yarn come from?

  6. Awesome! I'll make it tomorrow :) Thank you for sharing!


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