DIY Circular Weaving
Imaginative Crafts, Do-It-Yourself Projects and Video Tutorials by Robert Mahar, robert-mahar.com
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9” embroidery hoop
variety of yarn
1. To begin, create the weaving warp. Measure out about 6 yards of the cotton string and wrap it around a craft stick. Remove the outer embroidery hoop and set it aside. Tie one end of the string to the inner hoop – leaving a tail that’s a couple inches long – and then double knot it. Wrap the string around the hoop to create a warp that looks like the spokes of a bicycle wheel – to do this wrap the string in a figure-8 configuration, going down around the hoop on the side opposite from where you’ve tied it, through the center of the hoop and back up and around the opposite side. Give yourself about an inch between each wrapped. For the 9” hoop, create 17 spokes. You’ll have noticed that each spoke is composed of two warp strings – with the exception of the first one. When you’ve created the final spoke and before bringing the string down to complete that first spoke and tie it off – pause for a second in the center of the wheel and wrap it around the center of the intersecting warp strings. Wrap the warp string around the middle again at perpendicular angle to firmly secure it and then bring it down to create the second string in the first spoke. Tie the string end to the tail of the first spoke and then double knot it. Adjust the spokes to make them as even as possible and then place the outer hoop over the warp.
2. To begin weaving measure out a couple feet of thin yarn and tie one end through the eye of a weaving needle/plastic sewing needle. Bring the needle up from the underside of the warp. Leave a two to three inch tail on the underside and then and weave the yarn through three or four of the spokes in an over-under fashion. It’s easiest to weave toward the edge of the loom where the warp strings are further apart – and then using your fingers push the woven yarn as close to the center point of your warp as possible. Continue weaving to create a center that is roughly 2” in diameter – and then finish with the needle on the underside, tie the two ends of the weft yarn together and snip the tails.
3. Move on to a thicker bulky yarn – which you’ll find is likely to large to thread through your weaving needle. Instead of a needle, take a craft stick, cut a thin notch in one end with scissors or a craft knife and then slide the end of the bulky yarn down into that notch – this will keep is nice and secure as you work.
When you look at your warp strings you’ll see the over-under pattern the yarn has created. To incorporate with this second style of yarn, identify a spoke where the previous yarn was woven behind it – bring the thread up from the underside leaving a few inch long tail and weave over this spoke – continuing your over-under pattern.
4. Leave those tails on the underside alone until you’ve finished weaving your entire piece – you can then either tie them to adjacent tails or simply tuck them into the weaving to secure them. When finished, adjust the yarn to disguise any openings in the weaving.