Tuesday, August 2

How I Started Weaving for Under $30

For years now I've admired the gorgeous woven wall hangings of others, sadly, I could never afford one for myself. With some extra time on my hands, I decided I would give some of the internet tutorials I had seen a try, my only remaining hesitation -- getting started with a new hobby requires money. And I had none.

This is what I did: I tromped down to Micheals and bought an eleven dollar picture frame (just the frame, no back, untreated wood). I came home and with the help of a friend hammered a bunch of short finishing nails on two ends of the frame about a cm apart. It's not perfect, but I tell you for eleven dollars it's about as perfect as it can get.

Top left, my tools: a tapestry needle, chopsticks, scissors, and a plastic fork. Right image: all my weaving supplies in one place! 
There are a lot of nice, helpful tools you can purchase for weaving including combs, shuttles, and shed sticks. The only thing I absolutely had to buy was a plastic weaving needle, and I improvised the rest. For a comb, I have a small plastic fork from a bento box I no longer own and for both a shuttle and shed stick I use wooden chopsticks. No joke. As a bonus, they're easy to store (and replace).

Some different ways I use chopsticks while weaving. On the left, as a shed stick, and on the right as a shuttle. 
 I picked up a few lovely skeins of wool on clearance at Micheals, and had a few left over in my closet from other projects. Lastly, I spotted this cute felt container at a local greenhouse while shopping for plants and picked it up for 4.99. I think it's hilarious that felt storage totes can be so expensive, but apparently are equally good for planting things in. In any case, it holds my wool and chopsticks perfectly.

My first few weavings are semi-presentable and I'm sure in time I'll become deeply ashamed of this post, but for now, every weaving teaches me new lessons and I'm seeing an improvement as I go which is exhilarating! Now someone just tell me what to do with all of these wall hangings before my house gets lost in them...

My first weaving on the left, third in the center and most recent on the left. The last weaving was made using a pattern downloaded from The Weaving Loom.
If you're interesting in learning more about weaving wall hangings like these, I've got three pinterest boards up with more information. For shop listings, tools, looms and the like check out my Weaving Supplies board. I also have a Techniques board with tutorials, and an Inspiration board. theweavingloom.com is also a great resource.

Have you ever tried weaving? Leave me tips in the comments!

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