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Stick Weaving For a Quick Homemade Gift
Belts and scarves done with stick weaving
How I Got Into Stick Weaving
I'm always on the look-out for unusual crafts. One day I was walking around an SCA event and noticed a woman doing some kind of weaving using pointed sticks. I passed her again a few minutes later and was amazed at how fast her project was going. I've fiddled around with some weaving and it's time consuming. It certainly wouldn't fall in the category of 'quick gifts'. But there she was just cranking on this thing. So I picked her brain. I wish I'd gotten her name as well.
What she was doing is called Stick Weaving. She said crusaders brought the technique back with them. I have searched for proof of that and haven't found any, so if you have some documentation by all means please share.
HOW TO DO STICK WEAVING
Stick weaving can be done on a few sticks or a handful of sticks. I made my own sticks by taking dowels and grinding one end down on sandpaper until I had a blunt point.
Then on the other end, I drilled a hole with a dremel.
Then you want to take a strand of yarn twice as long as you want the finished length to be. Then add a foot or two more for 'shrinkage' and another foot if you want fringe on the ends. String this through one stick. Center the yarn and tie the ends in an overhand knot at the bottom to keep it from tangling.
You can make a needle threader from a piece of thin wire folded in half. Thread each stick with yarn in this manner. In other words, if you have four sticks, you'll need four pieces of yarn folded in half. Right now the weaving is unstable, so even the ends up the best you can and tie all ends in one overhand knot now. If the project is super long, tie another overhand knot halfway up. Untie this when you are half done.
Now take your 'outer color' of yarn. tie one end to one strand of yarn just below the hole in the stick.
Hold all the sticks in your left hand. Start weaving the yarn on the sticks in a figure 8 in and out pattern. Do a few rows and slide down a bit, still keeping it on the sticks. Keep going until the sticks are full. Don't wrap too tightly. Go for a smooth even tension. Now, check the back and the front to make sure you haven't missed any sticks. There is no way to fix this once you slide the yarn off the sticks, so fix it now if you made an error.
Now, you twist each stick one by one and nudge the yarn off the ends of the sticks and over the pre-threaded yarns. Carefully push down the first three inches. It goes easier once you get about a foot into it. Keep most of the yarn still on the sticks, and then start weaving again.
Slide off a few inches every time you fill the sticks up. Keep sliding down the long strands, filling a bit at a time.
Eventually you will fill up all the empty parts of yarn. Don't forget to leave 6 to 8 inches on either end as fringe. Tie off the end yarn and use a yarn needle to bury the leftover tails into the weaving.
Not only does a stick woven scarf, belt or guitar strap make an unusual and useful gift, it's also an excellent homeschooling project.
Let me show you some photos so you can get the idea.