Weaving is a great stress-relief craft!8:51 AM
My new way to relieve stress is to weave goofy wall-hangings on my adorable mini-loom. My handmade maple loom from Fringe Supply Co. is a nice hand-held size and comes with wooden tools that make weaving super easy. If you're looking for a cheaper solution, you can make a quick mini loom by putting notches in a piece of cardboard (but you won't look as adorable while weaving).
As you can see above, the loom has all these teeny notches at the top and bottom. You load it up with the skinny string, which are called your warp threads. It's one super long piece of string that you tape to the back of the loom, then bring it down to the low edge, bring it over two notches, then back up, around the back two notches, then down again. Here's the back:
I like to start with fringe. Always start with fringe! First, cut a whole bunch of yarn strands the same size.
To make each piece of fringe, wrap a strand around two adjacent warp strands. Then pull the resulting loop out a little. Put the two ends through the loop and pull it tight.
Wooo!!! Tassel fringe!!!
Once you've done a row or several of fringe, it's time to start weaving!! Cut a length of yarn and wrap it around the shuttle (the one that looks like a messed up wrench), as seen below. This yarn, which you'll weave back and forth across the warp strands is called the weft.
Then you use the needle stick to "pick" every other strand of warp thread, so it's easy to tell which ones to go under and which ones to go over.
Now it's finally time to do some weaving!! Bring your loaded shuttle stick across the warp threads, making sure to go under the ones that are picked up and over the ones that are not picked up, as shown below.
Leave a 2" tail of yarn where you begin. When you change colors, you do the same thing: start with a new color of yarn, wrap a length of it around your shuttle, and leave a tail. Any tails that you leave can be weaved in at the end using a finishing needle (a 2" plastic needle).
Just keep weaving until you get to the end. Then pull the warp strands off the bottom edge of the loom, and lightly pull on your weaving so all the weft strands slide toward the bottom and the warp strands disappear into the bottom of the weaving.
Once this is done, you pull the warp strands two at a time off the top, cutting them, and tying each pair together. If, like me, you forgot to have an even number of warp strands, then tie three together. (Let's not be perfectionists about it.) And then you've got an adorable little weaving to put on the wall or use as a potholder or the front of a pillow or whatever.
Mine is green so I can hang it up for St. Patrick's day!