Dream big, start small – that’s our motto when it comes to weaving. Think of these striped weaving bookmarks as your gateway to the craft, as all you’ll need are yarn odds and ends from your stash and an old picture frame.
They’re quick to make with simple weaving techniques and a bit of colour play. Plus, at the end of it you’ll have a DIY mini loom you can use over and over again.
- Wooden picture frame, approx. 24 x 31cm (91⁄2 x 121⁄4″)
- Nails or tacks
- Cotton string
- Scraps of yarn
- Yarn needle
Weaving bookmarks tutorial
You Will Need
- Wood frame
To create a loom, start by removing the glass from the picture frame. With a ruler and pen, mark 11 notches on the picture frame, 0.5cm (1⁄4″) apart, along one of the short edges. Try to keep it in the centre of the frame. Repeat this at the opposite end of the frame, making sure the measurements are exactly the same. Gently hammer in the nails on both ends securely, so none of them are wobbly.
Tie one end of the cotton string to the first nail at the top left of the loom using a double knot. Make sure the knot is tight.
Keeping the cotton string tight, bring it straight down and loop it around the first nail on the opposite side of the frame. Take the string back up to the top and loop it around the second nail. Repeat this process until you reach the last nail, creating the warp.
Tie the string off around the last warp thread – the tension of the threads should be fairly tight.
Cut a small piece of cardboard, longer than the width of the warp threads, and weave it through the threads, over one and under the next, repeating until you reach the end, as shown. This will help you to leave a length of fringe at this end. Next, take a length of scrap yarn and tie it in a knot around the first warp thread on the left-hand side.
Move onto the second warp thread where you’ll need to tie a double half hitch knot. To do this, wrap the yarn over the top of the warp thread, twist it around the warp, then pull it back through towards you. Pull the yarn down and repeat again on the same warp, making sure it’s tight. Work across, making a double half hitch knot on each warp thread.
Thread the yarn needle with the remaining yarn length and weave across the warp threads, creating the weft. To do this, take the needle over and under each thread alternately. For the next row, work tabby weave over the rows went under, and under the rows you went over, otherwise you’ll undo the previous row.
When weaving, try to not pull the yarn too tightly as this will pull the edges in and make the weave narrow. One way to prevent this is
by pulling the yarn through at a 45° angle, bringing the needle down to make a hill. Using the needle, push the middle down, then gently push each hill down with a fork. This will give you the correct tension.
Once you’ve completed the first colour, weave the end into the middle and leave it hanging out the back – the ends will be sewn in last. Select the next yarn colour and thread the needle again. Bring the needle up through the warp where you left off and carry on weaving the rest of the row. Try to leave at least 10cm (4″) of yarn at the back ready to sew in later. Continue using tabby weave to create sections of stripes, changing colours as you wish.
To create a triangle shape, weave across and decrease a warp thread every row until you have none left. Fill the remaining warp threads with another colour, as shown, weaving up to the existing weft until you reach the top point of the triangle.
Carry on weaving up the loom until the work measures around 20cm (77/8″). Finish the weave off by tying a double half hitch knot on each warp thread. This will stop the weave from coming undone when you take it off the loom.
With scissors, cut the warp threads about 3cm (11⁄4″) away from end of the weave. Do this at both ends. You’ll need to take the small piece of cardboard out before you snip the bottom ones.
Once the weave is off the loom, sew in the ends. Take the needle – you might need a thinner one for this – thread one of the yarn ends through it, then sew it into the back of the weave to secure it in place. Snip off the very end. Repeat until all the ends have been sewn in to complete the bookmark.
Lucy spends her days playing with colour and texture, creating beautiful weaves and decorative wonders. She passes on her textiles skills in workshops across the UK and on her craft and lifestyle blog.