Saturday, 23 November 2013

Stick Weaving

As promised, a quick overview of my stick weaving experiment. I bought this set of sticks and threader from a lovely stall at  the Shrewsbury Folk Festival in 2012. My 'to-do ' list continues to exceed the available hours in a week - I 'm so glad I knew where I'd put them!

Having strung the sticks with some craft cotton I wove a length using torn strips of recycled fabric about 2 cm wide. The result was quite neat and firm and pretty much what I was hoping for. Just to see what would happen, I tried two different knitting tapes. They worked well enough, but I prefer the fabric strips.

With a little more confidence, I tied off my sample, restrung the sticks, and wove another panel with strips of fabric from a shirt. The above shows the result, after tying of the ends. The unusually bright sun on my desk makes it a little difficult to see the detail. I ended up with a woven panel about 5 cm wide and about 10.5 cm long. The length is easy to extend, but the width is set by the number of sticks used. Since they must all be held comfortably in one hand whilst working, this set of five is pretty much  optimum. I wove a second panel to match. Since the craft cotton is very fine, compared to the diameter of the sticks, the fabric is, initially quite loose. However, sliding it together down the threads and tying it off firmly compacts the weaving - making it much denser, slightly less flexible, but much thicker and more durable. In order to weave a second more or less identical panel, I used the same number, width and length of fabric strips and then tied the weaving off tightly to the same dimensions as the first piece.  The ends of cotton were threaded in easily with a crochet hook. The two strips stitched together with some crochet cotton and this was the result:

Very much a prototype, I have devised a neater method of stitching for future use. The 'coaster' is dense and quite firm - really quite a practical item. I measured it carefully, then washed on a short setting and tumbled on a low heat - finishing on the radiator - and measured again. The shirting wasn't going to shrink after a life-time's use but I wasn't sure about the craft cotton. Still a little more than 10 cm, so I think that's OK.

Here it is proudly in use:

Pictured with my 'hat' about two thirds knitted. There are not enough hours in .......

1 comment:

  1. How funny, I was suddenly inspired to try stick weaving just the other week! Your fabric strips look good, plenty of potential. I thought it might use up some of my mad thick yarns, but not sure what I can do with the weaving then...