Posted in Home Economics

Weaving for Kids

weaving for kids

Weaving for Kids

Does the process of knitting seem to take too long before you finally have a finished product? You may like to give weaving a try in your homeschool. We started to learn how to weave when my son was just a few years old, with a frame loom, and he was hooked!

Frame Loom

A Frame loom is the simplest kind of loom. It looks like a picture frame but with pegs along the top and bottom. Frame looms are generally inexpensive, and can be made of wood or plastic.

Once you have run yarn lengthwise (known as the “warp”), you use a large needle to weave yarn in and out from side to side (known as the “weft”). Frame looms are good for making small items such as place mats, but it takes time because you have to manually weave the weft in and out, in and out of the warp.

Rigid Heddle Loom

weaving for kids

Rigid heddle looms come in sizes that will fit in your lap (see photo) or on a stand or small table. With a loom like this, you can weave a scarf, potholder, or purse – and if you’re willing to sew them together you can make a bigger item such as a blanket.

weaving for kids

The rigid heddle itself is what you lift up and down to separate the warp. You then push the yarn (wrapped around a shuttle) through the space between the two sections. This space between threads is called the “shed”. Weaving goes a LOT faster with no weaving in and out of the weft with a needle; simply draw the shuttle from one side to the other, change the position of the rigid heddle (from the up to the down position or vice versa), then draw the shuttle from this side to the other and repeat.

Table Loom

weaving for kids

The table loom (see photo above) sits on a table and you use levers to create the shed. Throw the shuttle across the shed one way, throw the lever; repeat. The table loom is large enough to make small throw rugs and small blankets in addition to everything you can make on a rigid heddle loom.

When I took this photo of my daughter weaving on a borrowed table loom a few years ago, I also took a video. It’s amusing because the table loom is so big and she is so small, that she had to throw the shuttle across, go around to the side of the loom, throw the lever, go back to the front of the loom and sit down to throw the shuttle across and so on. It was fun to watch her get her exercise while weaving!

Floor Loom

Floor looms take up a lot of space, and sometimes even a whole room. You still throw the yarn across with a shuttle, but to create the shed between the warp, you use foot pedals (instead of levers as on the table loom). You can weave anything on a floor loom.

There are many more types of looms, and sub-types of looms. If your children are interested, explore more along with them. Then, enjoy making a simple loom together.

Make Your Own Index Card Loom!

You can make your own loom using simple 3×5 index cards and yarn! Look up “Learn How to Weave with Paper Index Cards” on Youtube for a step-by-step how-to video or watch here:

You can also print this pocket loom template out onto cardstock, which includes a shuttle and pocket loom. What you are making here is a rudimentary rigid heddle/backstrap loom. A backstrap loom is something you’ll see in many third world countries, with the warp stretched between two sticks, one strapped to the weaver around their back. You can also use this index card rigid heddle if you have a frame loom and want to thread the warp yarn through it so you can lift and lower it instead of weaving in and out. We’ve tried this and it works well.

More Ideas

If your children try the index card loom, love it and yearn for more (like mine did), consider purchasing a rigid heddle loom. My two children have enjoyed the “Cricket” by Schacht (the one pictured above, with both my son and daughter weaving) that we bought for them as a joint Christmas gift in 2010. They take turns weaving on it – usually making beautiful scarves of one, two, or three colours.

If you would like to study weaving more formally, Harrisville Designs has put together WoolWorks! a curriculum designed for Grades 3-8. Created for use in a classroom, this curriculum is easily adapted for use in your homeschool or local co-op. It comes in a binder, which I find very practical because I can easily add any extra resources or patterns I find to supplement the curriculum. This curriculum contains 12 Lessons, four of which concern weaving, including information on weaving and looms, and weaving around the world. Each lesson is full of ideas, projects, and photographs.

Weaving for kids can be an educational addition to your homeschool, especially when studying past history and cultures that weave. Children can also create beautiful woven items for themselves or as gifts!

Have you added weaving for kids to your homeschool curriculum? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Friday: Weaving a Scarf

Welcome to Fibre Friday! This week, I’ve been working on a pair of socks to give to my son for his birthday – my kids both love hand knit gifts, especially socks! If you have ever had the pleasure of wearing hand knit socks, you know how incredibly comfy they are. I’m hoping to have them completed before next Friday, when I’ll be casting on the Crosstown Convertible for the Ravellenic Winter Games!

As I’ve mentioned before, my children also enjoy the fibre arts in our homeschool. My 10 year old daughter is currently working on a special cosplay scarf for her brother. It is modeled after Natsu’s scarf from the anime series, Fairy Tail.

Fibre Friday

We all enjoy working with the portable Cricket loom I bought my kids for Christmas a few years ago.

Fibre Friday

I think if she works at it for about another hour, she’ll have the scarf complete and can wet finish it and present it to her brother, who is anxious to see it all done!

Fibre Friday

What are you working on this week? Have you chosen something to cast on when you start watching the Olympics next Friday?

[inlinkz_linkup id=367601]

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Resources, Reviews

WoolWorks! Curriculum Review

PhotobucketFor Fibre Arts Monday this week I thought it would be fitting to share a Fibre Arts curriculum. I received this curriculum in exchange for an honest review 🙂

Harrisville Designs provides fleeces, yarns, looms, educational toys and more for those who love fibre and the fibre arts. They have also put together WoolWorks! a curriculum designed for Grades 3-8. Created for use in a classroom, this curriculum is easily used in your homeschool or local co-op. It comes in a binder, which I find very practical because I can easily add any extra resources or patterns I find to supplement the curriculum (for instance, instructions for making a spindle with a CD for the spinning lesson). This curriculum contains 12 Lessons:

Lesson 1: A Brief History of the Sheep Around the World
Lesson 2: The Science of Wool
Lesson 3: Humans Discover Textiles: Felting
Lesson 4: Simple Machines: Spinning
Lesson 5: Nature’s Rainbow: Natural Dyeing Dyeing Nature’s Rainbow
Lesson 6: Braiding
Lesson 7: Introduction to Weaving
Lesson 8: Weaving Around the World

Lesson 9: Introduction to Looms: The Rigid Heddle
Lesson 10: Tapestry Weaving

Lesson 11: From Grandma’s Knee: Learning to Knit

Lesson 12: Domino Knitting

There are some very easy, quick, and fun things to felt with your children’s little hands and some fibre in lesson three 🙂 Each lesson is full of ideas, projects, and photographs.

One of our favourite parts of this curriculum is the map of sheep around the world. We were already knitting and spinning in our homeschool and doing some simple weaving on a frame loom before we started using this curriculum, but since then we are also weaving on a rigid heddle loom, as I have shared in some previous Fibre Monday posts. After being inspired by the felting lesson, we’ve also experimented with needle-felting 🙂 I used this curriculum with my 7 year old and 12 year old, and also for some ideas for an interactive fibre demonstration with children at our local library. Although recommended for Grades 3-8, I believe it would be great for Primary (Kindergarten) through Gr. 8, and even perhaps beyond.

WoolWorks! costs only $39.95 US plus shipping (9.50 in the US and 11.95 in Canada). Or you can pick u individual lessons for 7.50US. Check out some of the great crafting kits and tools Harrisville Designs has on their website while you’re checking out WoolWorks!

 

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

 

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Arts Monday! March 14, 2011

It’s Fibre Arts Monday once again!  Since I am no longer sitting backstage in a musical waiting to go on this week, I haven’t knit anymore of my lace scarf.  However, I did get started on a baby project.  I won’t tell you what it is, because the friend whose baby-to-be I’m knitting it for, might see 🙂

My daughter did get the very first scarf she has woven on her Cricket loom all done!  Here it is:Photobucket

 

I’m enjoying participating in Fibre Arts Monday!  If you would like to participate as well, go to the Teaching Good Things Blog for more information.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

 

 

 

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Arts Monday! March 7, 2011

It’s Fibre Arts Monday once again!  I’ve been so busy with my rehearsals and performances of Oklahoma! at our nearby university, that I haven’t had a chance to post about what we’ve been doing fibre-wise.  On February 26th, we had our annual Knit Fit Knit-a-Thon at the library here in Sydney and knit items for charity – I knit a sleeveless sweater out of some nice bulky yarn (no picture taken though, oops).

The good thing about having been in the chorus of a  musical lately, is that I had a lot of time to work on my suri lace scarf backstage.  Here it is so far.  Photobucket

I’m enjoying working in lace, and I think I’ll do so again sometime in the future.  Now I have to start thinking of what exactly I’m going to cast on and knit for my friend who’s expecting.  I’m thinking of starting possibly with Ann Budd’s Baby’s First Sock (free pattern at www.knittingdaily.com) or possibly an afghan.  Decisions, decisions 🙂

My daughter has pretty much finished weaving her scarf – we just have to weave in some waste yarn and get it off the loom.  We should be able to show the finished scarf next week!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

 

 

 

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Fibre Arts Monday! Feb. 14, 2011

Fibre Arts are a BIG part of our home and our homeschool.  We handspin, knit, cork, weave, sew, and kneedle-felt.  So, I’m joining Teaching Good Things in posting weekly about the Fibre Arts we’re working on.

This week, I’m knitting the Suri Lace Scarf from Creative Knitting Magazine – my very first lace project!  I’m using beautifully soft baby alpaca laceweight yarn that I picked up on sale at Baaddeck Yarns for just $1.50!  It’s the softest yarn I’ve ever worked with.  I have only knit a few rows so far, as you can see (and yes I am using ridiculously long circular needles LOL):

My son and daughter are combining their efforts on the Cricket Loom they got for Christmas (we bought it from The Bobbin Tree).  My daughter picked the colours for the first scarf, and my son will pick the colours for the next one.  Here it is, almost finished!

Next week we might just have finished projects to show you!  And I’d like to get started on some baby things for a friend of mine who is expecting 🙂

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Posted in Free Homeschooling Resources

Weaving: Make Your Own Loom & Watch Live Weaving!

Weaving on a Loom can be a very educational addition to homeschooling your children, especially when studying historical periods & cultures that weave.  Not only that, but they can create great little weavings for themselves or for gifts!  You can make your own loom using simple index cards (or print THIS out on cardstock and yarn!  Click HERE for the step-by-step Youtube video.

Do you want your children to see how a professional weaves on a big floor loom?  Tune into http://www.justin.tv/janetdawson to witness my wonderfully talented friend Janet, weaving on her loom in her home studio.  Simply enter the code “jammiecam” and you can watch with your children.  Janet loves questions, so simply click the little blue chat bubble at the bottom right and start typing.

Enjoy!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly