Monday, June 24, 2013

Pot Holders and Basic Weaving

     This might be a spoiler for family who read this blog, but the grandson is making pot holders for gifts to give later this year.  He is getting pretty good at it and doesn't know he is learning basic weaving, basic darning and basic crochet skills.  The basic weaving skill of up and down, over and under can be translated later into darning as in repairing a worn sock or mending worn fabric of any kind.  The terms for weaving pot holders are the same as weaving new fabric over a worn sock heel.  I can show him how it is done and he will be able to do the same since he has the experience from the potholder craft.  When the weather cools off a bit, I will pull out my crochet kit and he will see how the single crochet done to get the loops off the frame are just the basics for making afghans, and the collars and cuffs on sweaters and jackets.   

     The pot holder project started when we made a trip to the local thrift store.  I found a plastic bag with a green metal pot holder frame, a brand new plastic yellow frame with a crochet hook attached, and several baggies of the weaving loops for $2.92.  I went to Wal Mart and found the potholder refill loops in a kit for three dollars in the clearance section of the art department.  There are lots of craft kits there that use basic skills that can be built upon later.  After a couple of days, we were at the laundry washing big comforters and using their big dryers to get it all done at once, when I pulled out a loom and started a pot holder.  He was on his tablet playing some game but about halfway through, he was watching me weave.  By the time I was ready to crochet off, he wanted to pick the colors for the next one.  So, I told him okay but this time you do it, I'll show you. 

     Next week, I will show him how to weave with just yarn.  My grandmother "let" me make a dozen woven "pot holders" from a some baby yarn and then she stitched them together to make a baby blanket.  I thought it was magic!  The real magic was, I learned how to do it myself and was able to add another row when my brother got a little bigger.  A  single row of eight yarn woven squares is a neck scarf.  Add more for a fashionable length.  

Patchwork Potholder 
     This is a rug made from recycled t shirts and a pot holder loom.You can make a loom if you want to go really back to basics.  I have used one half inch brads and a picture frame for a loom in the past.  These looms work best with yarn and not those stretchy loops that come with the potholder kits.  It also makes a blanket work up faster if it is a nice large frame!
     You can make a loom from nails and a wooden thread spool, to make these bracelets, and make them longer for drawstrings, and even longer (miles longer!) a hat or to stitch into a circle to make a rug. This round loom weaving is closer to knitting than the flat loom, but it is weaving and is easy to do for kids or adults. 
Larger round looms can be bought in a set of several sizes from Jo-Ann etc or made from larger spools.  It's easy to make a stocking knit hat from these looms and it is just wind the yarn on, in and out and then over the next row, instructions come with the looms.  

     My treasured grandmother made a beautiful afghan from the smallest round looms called flower looms.  It looked like a blanket of daisies.  My mom has it now, and it is mine next!


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