Today we’re excited to share a project from Anne Weil (Flax and Twine)’s second book, Weaving Within Reach, Beautiful Woven Projects by Hand or by Loom. The book is a real stunner with 25 gorgeous weaving projects from earrings, clutches, pillows to wall hangings, all organized by skill level. Most projects can be woven on found objects like an embroidery hoop or a cardboard box or simple over-under patterns using no loom at all. I also love the detailed instructions featuring step-by-step photographs.
This book comes at a perfect time where you will find gorgeous woven things to make, to use, and to give (maybe as a gift for the holidays)! Weaving Within Reach is available in Anne’s shop or find it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indiebooks!!
The project we’re sharing today is a beautiful Chunky Woven Storage Box, which can actually be made in as short as one afternoon (the jumbo chunky wool makes it that way). Click past the jump for the how-to!
Chunky Woven Storage Box
An excerpt with permission from Weaving Within Reach
Beautiful Woven Projects by Hand or by Loom by Anne Weil
Reprinted from Weaving Within Reach: Beautiful Woven Projects by Hand or by Loom. Copyright © 2018 by Anne Weil. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Rebecca Stumpf. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.”
Transform a throw-away cardboard box and a pile of yarn into fine decor in an afternoon. If you don’t have access to this jumbo specialty yarn, never fear: hold together 3 or 4 strands of a super-bulky yarn that you can find at any craft store, and the results will be just as lovely.
PROJECT TYPE Made-loom
SKILL LEVEL Beginner
TIME REQUIRED 3 hours
• Plain Weave, (page 168 of book) – see images below.
MATERIALS & TOOLS
• 9″ × 9″ × 12″ (23cm × 23cm × 30cm) cardboard shipping box
• 50 yd (45.7m) of jumbo specialty yarn, 2 WPI, or three 50-yard (45.7m) strands of super-bulky yarn , 5–6 WPI held together
• Color-coordinated embroidery thread
• Scissors, ruler, cutting mat (optional), pencil, craft knife, packing tape, sharp tapestry needle
• Loopy Mango Mini Merino Wool in Oatmeal, 50 yd (46m), 17 oz (482g), 100% merino wool
FINISHED S IZE
• 11″ (28cm) long, 9″ (23cm) wide, 9″ (23cm) tall
1. Flatten the box and place it on a cutting mat or other protected surface. With a single cut, trim off the upper 2″ of the box sides and the top flaps, so that box measures 7″ × 9″ × 12″ (18cm × 23cm × 30.5cm) (A).
2. Beginning at one end of the flattened box, mark a line every 1 inch (2.5cm) across the body of the box, from the top of the box to the flaps that make up the bottom of the box (B).
3. With a ruler and craft knife, cut through both layers of cardboard at each line, stopping at the beginning of the flaps (you may want to switch your blade a couple of times to keep it sharp) (C). Only cut where you’ve drawn pencil lines.
4. Open the box (it will be in two pieces with two corners still intact). Cut the bottom of every other 1″ (2.5cm) strip, removing the strip. Don’t cut the corners yet so you can maintain the every-other pattern of the strips (D).
5. Tape together the bottom of the box (E), bringing the two pieces together. Turn the box on its side and slit the corners with your craft knife. Remove the 1″ (2.5cm) strips according to the every-other pattern around the box (F).
6. To begin weaving, orient the box with the inside (the brown side) face down, the outside (in my case, the white side) face up, and with the cardboard strips (warp strips) splayed out at each edge. Cut 20 yd (18m) of yarn for the weft. Be¬ginning at the lower left, wrap the yarn lengthwise around the bottom of the box 10 times. On the end with 4 warp strips, place 2 strands per warp space. On the end with 5 strips, place 1 strand to the left of the first strip, 2 strands in each opening, and 1 strand to the right of the first strip (G).
7. Bring the yarn end across the width of the box, weaving in plain weave over and under pairs of the yarn (H). This will split the pairs on the end of the box with 5 strips. Flip the box over to the inside and weave under and over the pairs (I).
8. Flip the box over again to the outside of the box, and weave over and under across the width of the box, matching the pattern of the strand from step 7 (J). Flip the box again, and do the same on the inside of the box, only this time, be¬fore you flip again, finish with the strand in the next warp space on the box (K).
9. Repeat steps 7 and 8, weaving across the width the entire length of the box (L). You will fill in any gaps in the weaving later.
10. Next, bring the length of yarn remaining up to the warp strips and begin weaving over and under the warp strips around the box (M).
11. As you weave around the box (N), hold the warp strips so that they’re vertical. The sides will tend to drift a bit as you weave, which creates a nice shape. Your initial length of yarn will run out about halfway up the strips.
12. When your initial length runs out, cut a length approximately 5 yd (4.6m) to fill in the sides and bottom before finish¬ing the top part of the box. You’ll notice a visible gap between the bottom of the box and where the weaving starts on the strips. You’re going to add to the coverage along the bottom. Weave the 5 yd (4.6m) length over and under the strands from the bottom of the box, around the box once, as if it were the first row of the side weavings (O).
13. Next, flip the box bottom side up. Bring the 5 yd (4.6m) length down and weave over and under the pairs on the bottom of the box, going around the outside of the current bottom weaving twice to fill in the edge and create an outer ring according to the weaving pattern (P). If desired, bring the yarn length to the in¬side of the box through a warp space and fill in the edges of the weaving inside the bottom. To finish, trim the yarn end with a 4” (10cm) tail and tuck it into the weaving.
14. Return to where you left weaving the sides of the box in step 11. Working with the remaining 25 yd (23m) of yarn, continue to weave around the box until you reach the very top of the warp strips (Q).
15. Using a sharp tapestry needle and color-coordinating embroidery thread, whipstitch (see below) the top of each warp strip, inserting your needle through the topmost strands on both sides of the warp strip, pulling it through the cardboard warp strip itself. This secures the topmost weft thread on the inside and the outside to the warp strip, ensuring that your weaving will not slip off. After 3 whipstitches, bring the needle and thread diagonally through the warp strip space to the left of your stitched warp strip to repeat the same process on the next warp (R). Repeat this for every warp strip.
16. Trim the end of the weft strand with a 4″ (10cm) tail and bury it under strands on the inside of the box.
17. Using the remaining yarn, create decorative stitching around the top of the box by feeding the length through a warp space from the inside of the box to the outside a couple of weft strands down from the top (S).
18. Wrap the length over the top of the box to the inside of the box. Next, pull the yarn through the next warp space to the left a couple of weft strands down (T).
19. Repeat step 18 around the box until you get back to where you started (U). Trim the yarn with a 4″ (10cm) tail and bury the end on the inside of the box.
The whipstitch is a simple stitch and a good reinforcing stitch used to sew together two separate pieces of material. Thread a needle and tie a knot in the end of your thread. Hide your knot by bringing your needle through the top layer of fabric only. Bring your needle through both layers of fabric starting through the bottom layer so that the thread wraps around the edges of the fabric. Continue to bring the needle out of the top layer and poke it in through the bottom layer, making a series of stitches that wrap around the edges of the fabric.