This woven ombré wall hanging by Alex Dao is the only January blues we’re allowing right now…
Woven wall hangings are a great way of bringing loads of colour and texture to any space. They’re not too precious to be touched, and add an instant element of modern cosy wherever you hang them. And thanks to the new breed of weavers such as Maryanne Moodie and Meghan Shimek, the craftsphere is awash with creative ideas and inspirational twists on this once-retro craft.
Like its cousin knitting, the act of weaving can be soothing – and even meditative. A loom on your lap and a cup of tea by your side makes for great winterval crafting. If you’re really short on time, then
a weaving sword can make things twice as quick – just open it up and pass your yarn needle between the open warp threads. Both weaving swords and the loom used in this project can be purchased from Maryanne Moodie’s Etsy shop.
You will need:
• 30 x 40cm
(117/8 x 15¾”)
• Yarn needle
• Sharp scissors
• Cotton thread for the warp
• A ball of white yarn and three balls of blue yarn in graduated tones
(we used Bernat Super Value yarn, but any will do)
• Wooden dowel
• Weaving sword (optional)
How to make a woven wall hanging
Warp your loom by tying a knot around the first tooth and winding it around the tooth on the opposite side. Repeat until you’ve threaded the full loom, keeping the tension springy and not too tight. Once you’ve finished, tie a knot on the same end as the first knot. Orient your loom so the two knots are on the bottom.
Cut a piece of your lightest blue yarn to roughly twice the length of your outstretched arms (ours was 1.5m (1½yrd)) and fold it in half. Tuck the two cut ends under the first two warp threads on the left side of your loom and let the ends hang down. Lift up the next two warp threads and pull the loop end of the yarn across the threads to the right. Then circle them under the warp towards the left, pulling the length of the yarn all the way through. Continue looping around two threads at a time until you reach the last two threads. Instead of looping around them, tuck your yarn under.
Pull your yarn loop across the first four warp threads on the right side of your loom and under the third and fourth threads, pulling through to the right. Continue looping across two threads at a time, as before, until you reach the last two threads on the left. Tuck under, as before, then tuck your loose ends in.
Thread your needle with white yarn and start a basic weave by pulling your thread over and under the warp threads until you reach the end of the row. Wrap around the last warp and weave back in the opposite direction.
Weave four rows of white yarn and start making a triangle by reducing the warp by two threads on each side, every four rows.
Cut 75 pieces of light blue thread to approximately 35cm (13¾”) each — these will be used to make the fringe, or Royal Yachting Association (RYA) knots. Lay five strands of yarn across the outer two warp threads on the right side of your loom. Pick up the left warp thread and tuck the ends of the left side of the yarn under the left warp thread and lay it over to the left. Pick up your right warp thread and tuck the right side of the yarn under the right warp thread. Gather the ends of the yarn in your hand and slide them up the warp threads and pull down to tighten. Repeat on the left. Add RYA knots every four rows until you’ve completed your triangle.
Lock in the fringe using a basic weave in white yarn until you’ve reached the top of the triangle.You’re repeating Steps 5, 6 and 7 with medium blue for the fringe. Again, tie RYA knots in a triangle.
Repeat steps 5, 6 and 7 using the darkest shade yarn.
Lock in the last layer of fringe by adding a few more rows of basic weave with your white yarn.
Tuck in loose threads and trim.
Slip or cut your warp threads off the loom and tie them off in pairs.
Carefully pull your weaving off the top of the loom and thread the dowel through the warp loops.
Cut a length of white yarn to 35cm (13¾”), loop it around each end of your dowel and secure with a simple knot. Trim the fringe to your desired length.
Alex first took a weaving class with Maryanne Moodie in spring 2014 and found it quickly turned into a full-blown obsession. She writes about weaving on her blog and peruses #weaving on Instagram on a regular basis. She grew up in Canada but now lives in Brooklyn. www.alexweaves.com