'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.