'On the Loom' Book Preview + Fall-Inspired Branch Weaving DIY
This isn't your grandmother's weaving book.
The art of weaving has been around for centuries and is known to be one of the oldest surviving crafts in the world. Whether you consider yourself a pro or if you're new to weaving, we think you'll love the modern approach author Maryanne Moodie takes with her weaving projects in her new book, On the Loom.
On the Loom helps the novice weaver get started and features vintage-style projects that combine different fibers and colors in unexpected ways. Check out some of our favorites featured in Maryanne's book. Then, try her branch-weaving project using the instructions below.
Branch Weaving Project
- a forked branch
- assorted yarn in desired colors (including one that won't stretch or break)
- tapestry needle
1: Take a stroll in nature. Choose a forked branch that speaks to you — one that feels good in your hands. It's best to find one that has a rough texture, as this will help hold the warp threads in place.
2: Warp the loom. Turn your branch sideways so that the open forked end is facing right. Anchor the end of the warp yarn by tying it onto the upper tine of the fork, 2" in from the V in the fork. This yarn will run in a vertical figure eight between the two tines and will serve as a base for you to weave into.
3: Next, run your warp yarn under the bottom tine and back up to the top, about 1/2" from that first knot. Continue the figure-eight pattern across the two tines of the forked part of the branch. Check your tension every couple of rows — you want the warp to be bouncy but not so tight that it pulls your branches out of their natural position. When the wrapping is 2" from the tips of the forked branches, secure the warp with a surgeon's knot. Trim any excess warp thread. If your branch is slippery, you can secure your warp by wrapping the branches as you wind the figure-eight.
4: Begin to weave. Using your first color of yarn, cut two pieces of yarn as long as your fingertip-to-fingertip wingspan. With your branch opening still facing right, thread the tapestry needle, and weave tabby stitch from the bottom up, starting at the bottom right edge (the edge farthest from the V). Be sure to bubble your weft to ensure that you have good, consistent tension throughout your weaving. Check your work after every few rows. Be sure to beat down the stitches with your fingers to create a really tight weave — this will ensure your weaving holds its shape.
5: When you need to add a new color or piece of yarn, make sure to cross the tails of the old and new pieces over each other. As your weaving gets closer to the V, it will become more difficult to weave into each warp. Skip warp threads as needed until you have filled all of the spaces between the warps. Weave in the ends, and display.
Add a different spin to your holiday decor with these simple, colorful pinecones. All you need to do to create this look is wrap bright strands of yarn around pinecones — no glue required. They make perfect embellishments for gifts or placed in a bowl as a centerpiece. Design by Camilla
White Napkin Ring
This napkin ring is so simple to make and will add that extra touch to your tablescape. Elizabeth Anne cut a small section of an old sweater and sewed the ends. Wrap the rings around silver napkins for a sophisticated winter look, or use colorful sweater remnants for a brighter tablescape.
You can easily transform your home's decor from fall to winter by incorporating sweater elements. Alicia brought a wintry feel to her living room by covering a vase and lampshade with sweater material. The look instantly warms up the space during colder months.
Scrap Sweater Trees
You can make these festive trees by using your sweater scraps from other projects. Take the scraps and hot-glue the pieces to tree-shaped cardboard pieces. Apply larger pieces to the bottom, and use smaller pieces as you work your way up the tree. Make a simpler design by starting at the top and winding sweater material around the cone, gluing along the way. Design by Camilla
You can repurpose an old sweater to make the perfect holiday gift. Camilla felted her sweater and sewed the bottom to create a wine bag. Complete the look with metallic ribbon and a sparkly pin.
Serve warm apple cider to guests by covering an old cutting board with a sweater. To get this look, wash your sweater in hot water and put in the dryer to felt it. Cut a rectangular shape from the sweater big enough to cover the board. Sew the sides and bottom to create a pocket, and slip over the board. Design by Camilla
Winterize your home's decor by covering spring vases and candleholders with sleeves from an old sweater. For a rustic look, Alicia chose a neutral-colored material and embellished it with twine.
Colorful Pot Cover
Brighten up your terra-cotta pots with a colorful old sweater. Camilla Fabbri washed her old sweater in hot water and put it in the dryer to felt it. She cut off the sleeve and fit it over her pots. Stitch a card to the top to give as a holiday gift.
If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind hostess gift — or a way to bring texture to your space — wrap basic candleholders with sweater remnants. Add leaf accents or pinecones for an easy way to add a winter look. Design by Camilla
Wool Sofa Pillows
Sweater pillows add interest and texture to a space. Alicia transitioned the look of her living room by accenting her sofa with pillows covered with wool material. The soft-gray palette stands out against the neutral sofa and accessories.
Placing a sweater rug in your entryway is one way to welcome your guests during the holidays. The neutral color doesn't take away from the design of the space, while the texture brings just the right amount of interest. Photo courtesy of FLOR
Grab your old wool socks and scarves to make this colorful, unexpected wreath. Cut the socks along the seams, and wrap them around a wreath form. Secure socks with floral pins. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn
A cozy rug can instantly warm up your home. This striped cable-knit warms your toes and adds an inviting feel to this open space. The hints of red, green and blue are the only source of color in the room, making it an unexpected focal point. Photo courtesy of FLOR