With winter bearing down on us, new Covid restrictions in place, and the widespread rollout of a vaccine some months away, we’re looking at a strange and difficult winter. Socialising will be difficult – in the cold, wet weather it’s harder to meet with friends in parks or entertain in your garden. Rather than focus on the things you can’t do, this winter, it can help to focus on things you can do, and finding a new crafting hobby to work on during these long, dark evenings could be a useful step to help support your mental health in the next few months.
If you’re interested in weaving as a craft to learn this winter, it’s worth doing some research, as there different types of weaving that use different skills and make different kinds of project. Today we’re taking a look at some of the different kinds of weaving you can learn this winter!
Hand Loom Weaving
Most weaving projects use a small tool called a ‘hand loom’. This is a frame with evenly spaced pegs or pins at the top and bottom. This allows you to tightly string your ‘warp’ thread up and down the loom vertically, so you can lace the weft threads in between them.
You can actually make a simple loom yourself relatively easily using any robust, rectangular base – you could add tacks or pins to an old picture frame, or even cut a square out of a sturdy cardboard box!
Buying or making a hand loom is a great way to practice some of the basic weaving skills you’ll need for more ambitious projects.
A variant of weaving that’s become increasingly popular recently is rope weaving. This involves weaving different coloured threads together into decorative ropes. You can use wire to give them structure and make them ‘poseable’ then combine them and sew them together to make bigger structures.
Rainbow rope weaving is especially popular, and you may have seen the results adorning people’s windows since the first lockdown in spring. The weaving process is simple for rope projects, but you can make more and more ambitious final designs by combining more differently designed ropes together.
More complicated than standard hand loom weaving, circular weaving uses a circular loom not unlike an embroidery frame studded with pins. This allows you to create intricate circular designs. You can create symmetrical, spiralling images or use different techniques and materials on different parts of the loom to create variety and texture.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for weaving styles – and each different kind of weaving has many different skills you can use to create different kinds of project. Even the simplest weave has hidden depths to discover and master!