I get a lot of books for potential features or reviews, but rarely do they feature yarn-y techniques that I’m unfamiliar with. That (along with the fact that I *heart* anything, Japanese craft-related) is why I was thrilled to receive Finger Weaving by, Naoka Monowa. And, thanks to the folks at Stackpole Books, I’m even more excited to be able to share a HUGE excerpt showing the basics of this new-to-me method with you! I hope you’re as inspired by Naoka as I am. Happy finger weaving! –xx, Vickie
LOOP START METHOD
This method requires you to cut long pieces of yarn that will be folded in half when attached to the ruler. Always use this method when a project calls for the fringe to be finished with a Braided Loop (see page 52).
1. Tie a 59″ (150 cm) long string to both ends of the ruler.
2. Pull the string taut at the center. Use a full plastic water bottle as a weight to hold the string and ruler in
3. Fold one piece of yarn in half and bring the loop under the ruler.
4. Insert both ends of the yarn through the loop and pull to bring the knot up to the edge of the ruler.
Note: When using multiple colors, pay attention to the order in which you attach the yarn to the ruler as this will influence the finished pattern. Refer to the individual project instructions for specific order.
5. Repeat steps 3-4 to attach the remaining pieces of yarn to the ruler.
6. Completed view once all pieces of yarn have been attached to the ruler using the Loop Start Method.
BASIC WEAVING TECHNIQUE
The basic weaving technique uses the far left strand in each row as the weft (horizontal) yarn. This method produces a slanted, striped pattern when worked in two or more colors of yarn.
—20 yards (38 g) of super bulky-weight (#6 super bulky) wool yarn in orange
—20 yards (38 g) of super bulky-weight (#6 super bulky) wool yarn in brown
1. For each color, cut 6 pieces of yarn that measure 118 1/4″ (300 cm) long each. You should have a total of 12 pieces of yarn.
2. Attach the yarn to the ruler using the Loop Start Method (see page 32). Make sure to alternate yarn colors as shown in the step 1 photo below. Once the yarn is attached to the ruler, there will be 24 strands of yarn that measure 59″ (150 cm) long each. Insert a string through for three rows to prevent your work from unraveling (see page 34).
1. Separate the far left strand to be used as the weft yarn.
2. Pick up the strands of yarn positioned under the third string (in this example, these are the right strings of each looped piece of yarn).
3. Lift these strands up while holding the bottom layer of yarn down with your other hand.
4. Insert the weft yarn between the two layers.
5. The first row is complete. Leave the weft yarn at the right edge for now—it will eventually become a warp (vertical) yarn.
6. Separate the far left strand to be used as the new weft yarn. Pick up the strands of yarn that made up the bottom layer of the first row.
When picking up the bottom layer of yarn, pull the strands taut to tighten the weft yarn and stabilize the weave.
7. Insert the weft yarn between the two layers following the same process used in step 4.
8. Bring the first row weft yarn down so it becomes a warp yarn. Make sure it crosses over the second row weft yarn.
9. Repeat steps 6-7 to weave the third row. Bring the second row weft yarn down so it becomes a warp yarn again. Make sure it crosses over the third row weft yarn.
10. Continue weaving, making sure to always use the far left strand as the weft yarn. As you weave, move the plastic water bottle closer to you to hold the work in place.
11. The weaving process will cause the strands of yarn to become uneven in length. Weave until the shortest strand equals the desired fringe length (6″-8″ [15-20 cm] in this example).
12. Finish the fringe (see page 51), or continue with steps 13-15 to level out the end of the weave before finishing the fringe.
13. The last row of weaving will be slanted, as visible in the step 11 photo above. To level out this row, separate the far left strand as the weft yarn. Pick up about half of the strands that made up the bottom layer of the previous row. Weave the weft yarn between the two layers. The weft yarn will be positioned in the middle of work.
14. Repeat step 13, but only weave the weft yarn through a quarter of the work this time.
15. The end of the work is now level.
Once you finish weaving, use these options to finish both ends of the work. Note that certain finishing methods can only be used in conjunction with a particular start method.
THE NECKTIE KNOT
1. When the weaving is complete, hold the weft yarn from the final row in your right hand and the rest of the yarn in your left hand. Wrap the weft yarn around the bundle in your left hand one time.
2. Bring the weft yarn through the loop to tighten.
3. Pull the knot taut. Trim the fringe to desired length.
To learn additional, finger weaving techniques and make truly inspiring scarves and shawls be sure to grab a copy of Finger Weaving Scarves & Wraps (Stackpole Books), by Naoka Minowa!