Many creatures weave as a necessity for life. Birds weave nests. Spiders weave webs. Humans weave material to make fabric for shelters, nets or baskets to hold items, and clothing to protect our flesh. It’s a very useful skill. Now that spring has sprung, grasses and weedy plants have grown tall, made flowers to attract pollinators, and are producing seeds for next year’s growth. Many of these plants can be harvested for simple weaving projects!
What you’ll need
- Two sticks any length or a “Y” shaped branch or anything you can tie strings across
- Something to cut the string (scissors, knife)
- Weeds! Look around your house, in your backyard, at the local park, open space, between the sidewalk and the street, or anywhere the soil has been disturbed. Look for the longest and tallest plants. It will make for better weaving.
What is a weed?
- Weeds can be any unwanted plants in a garden. Typically, weeds are removed to allow room for other plants to grow. For this weaving project, you can use long grasses like oat straw that grow abundantly in our open spaces.
1) Tie multiple strands to connect your sticks. Simple knots will work. Tying your strings tight can make it easier to weave in and out of. How many strings you choose is up to you. I used 20 strings in my video. More strings may create a tighter weave.
2) Find a comfortable place to begin your weaving. Hanging your piece works well or placing it on flat ground.
3) Start threading or zig-zagging long pieces of grass or other plant material alternating in front and behind each time you come to a vertical string.
4) Once you’ve come to the end of one side, start a new row weaving back towards where you started. If you don’t have enough material to make it to the other side, you can end there and start your next row with a new strand of grass.
5) Each time you start a new row, your zig-zag should go on the opposite sides of the vertical strings as your previous row.
6) Continue weaving until you are satisfied with how big your piece is. You can weave in different materials to create different patterns, or add fun items you found outside like feathers, flowers or animal hair.
7) Once you are done weaving, trim off any ends or leave them hanging if you like how it looks.
8) Hang your new weaving outside by a garden or patio, or inside on a wall. You can use it as a shade for your window, or a placemat for your kitchen.
This project was inspired by The Best of Making Things: A Hand Book of Creative Discovery by Ann Sayre Wiseman
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