Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Needle Weaving on a Frame

Basic requirements are a bunch of threads. Yours will probably be in a less tangled state. Mine have been wonderfully tangled by rusty pups who think messy is better. Have a variety of threads, mat and shiny, thin and slubby....anything that you can thread through your needles. You will need blunt tapestry needles or bodkins. The curved giant thing lying beside the bowl was my mother's. Have no idea what it's for, but the curving is quite handy for weaving. Last but not least you will need a small frame. Mine is about 6" square made from an old wire hanger; but a small picture frame would work too.

Wrap threads around the frame in one direction. Knot them to the frame when you run out and start a new thread. The grey thread here is in fact string that was wrapped around one of my dye bundles. It has a knot right in the middle and I've decided to leave it right where it is. Now the weaving starts. Thread a needle, tie one end of the thread to the frame and weave over and under all the way across.

When you get to the other side, wrap your thread around the frame and weave back from whence you came! Go over the warps that you previously went under and so on and so forth. Carry on until you have completed quite an open grid. Do not worry if you go over or under more than one thread at a time. This is going to look more like darning than weaving.


Now go back in and weave in any direction you wish to. I have used a lot of rusted string...don't recommend this..other threads don't glide smoothly past them! Do you see my piece of knotted string that I left dangling in the middle... I like it! Basically your weaving is finished whenever you want it to be. It could be left more open than mine in which case you would see the cloth that you place underneath it. Mine is quite dense; but even from here you could carry on adding layers as long as you can get your needle through.


To remove it from the frame you could tie knots with the weft and the warp on all four sides. You could darn those ends back in. You could carefully applique it by hand to a background around the edges or of course a machine zigzag stitch could be used (but I find that too obvious myself).

Hope that at least gets you started.

Oh, and by the way, the beaver is back!
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23 comments:

  1. Will you embellish it further or leave it as is? Is your beaver a single, lone beaver or does he/she have a family?

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  2. Nice and tactile. I came over from Spirit Cloth. I will enjoy the rest of your blog now. Thanks.

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  3. i love this. the free form weaving appeals to me.

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  4. Thanks for the instructive post Penny. Amazing what can be done with little. Gilly

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  5. I just knew that you did it on the coathanger square you gave us! Thanks for the refresher course....it's a good post! Of course, I think we used it with tyvek and a bunch of other stuff. It was fun! I wish I had one of those giant needles! I wonder what it was originally used for?

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  6. i think the giant needle was for mattress work in th epast, but just what i don't know. How is it that even a simple exercise in your hands ends up more like a small masterpiece?
    If the frame could be dismantled then the sides could be pulled out without any cutting - leading to more possibilities. cheers, k.

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  7. Great to see this Penny. I am inspired to try it, make a frame from some wire and make little weavings with my needle. Thanks v much for posting.

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  8. might have to have a go at this penny, thanks for showing us how.

    xt

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  9. Penny, you really did it - you posted the "how to" - I am over-the-moon to learn this technique and so pleased you took the time to demonstrate and post. Like Deanna said, I am very attracted to the free form of it all...improvisational...yes!

    THANK YOU :>]]

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  10. I feel another "addiction" coming on...this is a lovely little piece!

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  11. Came to visit via Jude. You demonstrate this technique beautifully, thank you.

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  12. liking this
    nipped over from Jude
    wanting to explore some simple weaving with kids - this looks like a place to start
    thank you

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  13. also via Jude...and nonono..this is so tempting, so great

    thanks for sharing

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  14. Penny....TA DA!!!!!!!!!
    excellent oh excellent!!!!!

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  15. I'm here via Jude's blog as well....this is a great post and many thanks for the instructions and fine photographs!
    Patti/MissouriBendStudio

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  16. I have mattress needles and they are straight, about 8" long. I have a smaller needle like the one you show and it apparently would be used for stitching coarse jute sacks closed. I believe they were also used in sail-making.

    Anyway, lovely piece of cloth you have created.

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  17. This is cool. Thanks for the idea. I have a needle like that, but smaller. I thought it was used for some kind of upholstry. Don't know where I ever got it.

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  18. That needle looks exactly like yarn needles used for sewing up seams on handknitted or crocheted sweaters. Now that style could have originated in some other industry, but even today, you can buy little cases with knitting tools that have one of those needles with the large eye and bent tip for sewing up seams with the same yarn you knit the garment with. Plastic though nowadays :)

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  19. I came from Jude to see your lovely weaving piece. Loved your photo gallery. Thank you.

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  20. is it ok you are in my blogrol?
    I love you and your comment on my blog.
    They are healing so well the hedgehogs but eating a lot of tins of catfood.

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  21. I think Heather may have it..the needle is quite crude yet worn smooth. I think sewing jute bags closed might well be it.
    But then again "Anonymous" might be right with sewing knitted seams together!

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  22. I have one of those needles too. Mine came from the Royal School of Needlework when I did a whitework embroidery course with them years ago. We used it to lace the fabric for embroidery (the edges were reinforced with heavy cotton tape) to the sides of a slate frame. Here in the UK it's sold as a mattress or cording needle and you can buy straight or curved versions.

    Love your weaving - thank you for sharing the technique, I may have to have a go too.

    Helen (Essex, UK)

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  23. I'm one of those "I'll never weave" people but I can't wait to try this! Thanks to Jude Law at sprit cloth for linking to your beautiful work.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment, your thoughts are most welcome.