Posted in Home Economics

Weaving for Kids

weaving for kids

Weaving for Kids

Does the process of knitting seem to take too long before you finally have a finished product? You may like to give weaving a try in your homeschool. We started to learn how to weave when my son was just a few years old, with a frame loom, and he was hooked!

Frame Loom

A Frame loom is the simplest kind of loom. It looks like a picture frame but with pegs along the top and bottom. Frame looms are generally inexpensive, and can be made of wood or plastic.

Once you have run yarn lengthwise (known as the “warp”), you use a large needle to weave yarn in and out from side to side (known as the “weft”). Frame looms are good for making small items such as place mats, but it takes time because you have to manually weave the weft in and out, in and out of the warp.

Rigid Heddle Loom

weaving for kids

Rigid heddle looms come in sizes that will fit in your lap (see photo) or on a stand or small table. With a loom like this, you can weave a scarf, potholder, or purse – and if you’re willing to sew them together you can make a bigger item such as a blanket.

weaving for kids

The rigid heddle itself is what you lift up and down to separate the warp. You then push the yarn (wrapped around a shuttle) through the space between the two sections. This space between threads is called the “shed”. Weaving goes a LOT faster with no weaving in and out of the weft with a needle; simply draw the shuttle from one side to the other, change the position of the rigid heddle (from the up to the down position or vice versa), then draw the shuttle from this side to the other and repeat.

Table Loom

weaving for kids

The table loom (see photo above) sits on a table and you use levers to create the shed. Throw the shuttle across the shed one way, throw the lever; repeat. The table loom is large enough to make small throw rugs and small blankets in addition to everything you can make on a rigid heddle loom.

When I took this photo of my daughter weaving on a borrowed table loom a few years ago, I also took a video. It’s amusing because the table loom is so big and she is so small, that she had to throw the shuttle across, go around to the side of the loom, throw the lever, go back to the front of the loom and sit down to throw the shuttle across and so on. It was fun to watch her get her exercise while weaving!

Floor Loom

Floor looms take up a lot of space, and sometimes even a whole room. You still throw the yarn across with a shuttle, but to create the shed between the warp, you use foot pedals (instead of levers as on the table loom). You can weave anything on a floor loom.

There are many more types of looms, and sub-types of looms. If your children are interested, explore more along with them. Then, enjoy making a simple loom together.

Make Your Own Index Card Loom!

You can make your own loom using simple 3×5 index cards and yarn! Look up “Learn How to Weave with Paper Index Cards” on Youtube for a step-by-step how-to video or watch here:

You can also print this pocket loom template out onto cardstock, which includes a shuttle and pocket loom. What you are making here is a rudimentary rigid heddle/backstrap loom. A backstrap loom is something you’ll see in many third world countries, with the warp stretched between two sticks, one strapped to the weaver around their back. You can also use this index card rigid heddle if you have a frame loom and want to thread the warp yarn through it so you can lift and lower it instead of weaving in and out. We’ve tried this and it works well.

More Ideas

If your children try the index card loom, love it and yearn for more (like mine did), consider purchasing a rigid heddle loom. My two children have enjoyed the “Cricket” by Schacht (the one pictured above, with both my son and daughter weaving) that we bought for them as a joint Christmas gift in 2010. They take turns weaving on it – usually making beautiful scarves of one, two, or three colours.

If you would like to study weaving more formally, Harrisville Designs has put together WoolWorks! a curriculum designed for Grades 3-8. Created for use in a classroom, this curriculum is easily adapted for use in your homeschool or local co-op. It comes in a binder, which I find very practical because I can easily add any extra resources or patterns I find to supplement the curriculum. This curriculum contains 12 Lessons, four of which concern weaving, including information on weaving and looms, and weaving around the world. Each lesson is full of ideas, projects, and photographs.

Weaving for kids can be an educational addition to your homeschool, especially when studying past history and cultures that weave. Children can also create beautiful woven items for themselves or as gifts!

Have you added weaving for kids to your homeschool curriculum? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Home Economics, Homeschool Information

Sewing a Ty Lee Costume: Part 2

Last week for Fibre Friday, (Sewing a Ty Lee Costume: Part 1) I promised to show you our finished Ty Lee costume! We finished it this week, before we made the drive to Halifax to enjoy Hal-Con today.

Ty Lee costume

Sewing a Ty Lee Costume: Part 2

To create the Ty Lee blouse pattern, we traced a blouse that fit my daughter well. We had to change the sleeves to make them the bell shaped ones so my daughter drew them out. This was the first time setting in sleeves for both of us and I’m not entirely happy with the seams at the armholes.

We also had to add a Mandarin collar. We used this Mandarin collar tutorial. It was easy! We had already finished the basic collar completely before adding a Mandarin collar though, making a strange seam. I think you have to look closely to notice.

We also cheated a bit because the iron broke. Instead of encasing the elastic for the hem, we ran the elastic on the inside, sewing it while holding it taut (like I did for sewing a cape). It worked quite well.

My daughter cut out and sewed the bracers herself. She also cut out the strips of fabric to wear in her hair.

Here is my daughter wearing the finished Ty Lee costume.

Ty Lee costume

My daughter’s ballet shoes are perfect as Ty Lee slippers. She is a blonde, so we did try dyeing her hair. However, the rinse we used only made her hair a darker blonde. She is currently seeking a brown wig at Hal-Con that she can use in future!

Are you sewing a cosplay, or Halloween costume for your child? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &

Laughter,

Kimberly

 

Posted in Home Economics

Sewing a Ty Lee Costume: Part 1

It’s Fibre Friday! We have been working on all sorts of sewing and knitting projects. As you know, we like to cosplay (see our Elsa cosplay here). I am going to share the cosplay we are finishing for Hal-Con in Halifax next week! We are big fans of the animated series (not the movie), Avatar: The Last Airbender. Since my daughter is into acrobatics, she decided to dress as Ty Lee.

Ty Lee costume

Sewing a Ty Lee Costume: Part 1

My daughter started with a design.
Ty Lee costume

Then my daughter and I went on a shopping trip to the local fabric store and found the perfect colours for Ty Lee’s costume.
Ty Lee costume

Next, my daughter cut out some pattern pieces on her own for the collar and the skirt.
Ty Lee Costume

For the pants, we used a combination of a basic kids’ pattern I had on hand and this harem pant pattern we found on Pinterest.
Ty Lee costume

We cut strips to make cuffs.
Ty Lee costume

Then we cut pieces for the skirt, hemmed them, and attached them to the waistband. If we had it to do over again, we would have doubled each piece, sewn around them, and turned them inside out so they hang better.
Ty Lee costume

Here are the finished pants!
Ty Lee costume

Since we hadn’t finished the top before CaperCon, my daughter wore one of her pink tops with the pants. We will be finishing the Ty Lee top this week and I will share with you! Are you working on any Halloween or Hal-Con costumes? Will we see you at Hal-Con? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Sock Knit-Along: Vanilla Latte Socks

Fibre Friday

Fibre Friday: Sock Knit-Along

It’s been a while since I shared anything for Fibre Arts Friday! I have been busy knitting and spinning. Today, I’ll share what I’ve been working on since the beginning of July; I’ve been taking part in a local knit-along!

Vanilla Latte Socks

sock knit-along
We’ve been meeting every week to knit these socks at our local yarn store, The Bobbin Tree. The pattern we’ve been using is a free, online pattern: Vanilla Latte Socks. It’s a simple pattern, so it’s a good one to start with if you’ve never knit socks before. I am using this yummy, 100% merino super wash yarn from The Bobbin Tree, but you can knit with any sock yarn.

I love knitting socks! They knit up rather quickly and are a great portable project. I spent some time knitting these socks while I was waiting to renew my licence at Access Nova Scotia.

Here is my first, completed sock. I used the eye of partridge style heel for the first time and I love how it turned out:
knit-along
 
Some others in the group are working with self-striping or variegated yarn, which looks fantastic. However, the eye of partridge heel isn’t as visible as it is here, with a solid colour yarn.

If you would like to knit these socks, I have a couple of Vanilla Latte errata for you. First, after you’ve finished your ribbing and move onto the pattern, start on pattern row 2 instead of row 1. Second, when you reach the heel flap, shift your stitches around on the needles so your heel flap starts and ends with a garter stitch on either side.

What are you knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, or sewing this week? Please share!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Things to Do, Places to Go

Knitting Thrummed Mittens

Fibre Friday
It’s Fibre Friday! This week I was inspired to start knitting thrummed mittens. It may be officially spring today, but it’s still very cold and we have way too much snow! After shivering while walking up and down our very steep driveway (because our vehicles copulent get up it) I decided it was time to give knitting thrummed mittens a try!

Knitting Thrummed Mittens

My daughter and I have been enjoying knitting some of the mitts from Craftsy’s Mittens and Gloves Galore class. (We love using Craftsy in our homeschool!) A pattern and step-by-step video for knitting thrummed mittens is part of this class. I chose some of my own, soft handspun yarn to knit them and some of our angora rabbit fibre to make the thrums.

We had fun making thrums together along with the easy to follow Craftsy video. First, we pulled out a tuft of fibre to make a thrum about the same thickness as the yarn.

Knitting thrummed mittens

Then we folded first one end into the middle, and then the other end, to form a bow.

knitting thrummed mittens

Then we rolled the middle of each one between our fingers to felt it and we had our first thrums.

knitting thrummed mittens

Here is what my first mitten looks like so far – I just have to finish forming the thumb.

knitting thrummed mittens

Angora rabbit fibre is so soft and warm. I am having so much fun knitting thrummed mittens! I am determined to get these done quickly so I can enjoy how delicious they are going to feel to wear them! Hopefully I can show you the finished mittens next week!

Have you ever tried knitting thrummed mittens? What are you knitting, spinning, or weaving this week? Please let me know in the comments below.

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and buy I may make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia.

Posted in Home Economics

Fibre Friday: Spinning and Dyeing

Fibre Friday

Fibre Friday: Spinning and Dyeing

Last weekend I had the great fortune to help organize and of course attend the Maritime Spinners Retreat. This year it was held here on Cape Breton Island. What a time we had! The theme was “Dyeing to Spin” so we spent time dyeing fibre as well as spinning.

I dyed some wool from Cape Breton sheep with G&K Dyes – blue, teal, and black. I simmered it in a pot:

spinning and dyeing

Citric acid was then added to the water to make the dye set (vinegar can also be used). Then I rinsed it out and let it dry. The colours came out beautifully:

spinning and dyeing

The next step was carding the wool to prepare it for spinning. Instead of hand carders, I used a handy drum carder:

spinning and dyeing

And then I had this lovely batt of wool ready to be spun:

spinning and dyeing

I thoroughly enjoyed spinning up the wool on my spinning wheel. I decided to make it fun, lumpy, bumpy art yarn:

spinning and dyeing

During the weekend, in addition to enjoying the company of other spinners, I spun up some beautiful super wash merino wool for sock yarn. I also dyed some silk hankies to spin and the colours turned out just gorgeous. I haven’t had a chance to spin them yet, but I’m looking forward to it. I hope to attend the Maritime Spinners Retreat again in the future. I hadn’t been to one in several years. Next year it will be held in New Brunswick.

Here is what a gathering of almost 100 people with their spinning wheels looks like:

spinning and dyeing

Do you ever have a chance to get away from it all for a weekend at a retreat? What are you or your kids knitting, crocheting, sewing, or spinning this week? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Home Economics

Fibre Friday: Make a Cape Out of an Old Curtain

Fibre Friday

Fibre Friday: Make a Cape Out of an Old Curtain

make a cape out of an old curtain

Last week, I promised to show you how to make a cape out of an old curtain. It’s a quick and easy sewing project. You can make a cape for Halloween or to dress up and make history studies come alive in your homeschool. I made this one a few weeks ago for a local haunted trail; it’s a Halloween fundraiser for Two Rivers Wildlife Park. We’ve been volunteering as a family for this event for several years.

I started with an old curtain. Using my son as a model for height, I cut off some excess length at the top of the curtain. I found that when folded in half, the curtain covered quite a bit of his body. Without any more cutting, I just folded the curtain in half, inside out, and hemmed all around the edges:

make a cape out of an old curtain

I left a small gap in one corner:

make a cap out of an old curtain

Then I stuffed all the fabric through the gap, and turned it right side out:

make a cape out of an old curtain

Next I hand sewed the gap closed using a blind stitch:

make a cape out of an old curtain

If you need some help with a blind stitch, here is a blind stitch tutorial video on YouTube.

The final step was sewing in some elastic a few inches from the top of the cape, on what I wanted to be the inside of the cape. When sewing in the elastic, just remember to pull it taught toward you as you sew, so the fabric bunches up nicely:

make a cape out of an old curtain

Here is the finished cape! It doesn’t look like a curtain anymore:

make a cape out of an old curtain

For the closure, I simply used a safety pin. You could also use Velcro or a nice, fancy closure such as a clasp or chain.

Are you making costumes for your homeschool or Halloween? What are you knitting, sewing, or crocheting this week? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Home Economics

Fibre Friday: Sewing a Skirt

sewing a skirt

Sewing a Skirt

Welcome back to Fibre Friday! I haven’t shared our latest sewing adventures in our homeschool. My daughter and I have been learning how to sew together in our homeschool. The last project I shared was the adorable jean tote bag she made for a friend. Well, another birthday came around and she decided sewing a skirt as a birthday gift would be a good choice this time.

Since we had already made a skirt once before, for her Elsa dance costume, we used it as a template for sewing a skirt. We just cut out the pattern a little bigger and longer as her friend is a little older.

My daughter made the skirt almost completely independently. First she sewed up each side:

sewing a skirt

Then she hemmed the bottom.

sewing a skirt

And then we tackled the waistband together. I didn’t really know what I was doing when I made the waistband for her Elsa costume. This time, I consulted the book, Sew Everything Workshop by Diana Rupp. I got this wonderful book with the Craftsy sewing class, “Sewing Studio”. We followed the steps, first sewing the “tube” the elastic goes through, then threading the elastic through with a safety pin.

Here is my daughter modelling the finished skirt. As I mentioned, we made the skirt a little bigger so it would fit her friend well. It turned out quite well.

sewing a skirt

Next week, I will show you how I sewed a cape out of an old curtain. It may just come in handy if you celebrate Halloween, or if you like to dress up for history in your homeschool.

What are you sewing, knitting, or crafting in your homeschool? Please let me know in the comments below!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

This post contains affiliate links, if you click through and buy I may make a few pennies to keep up Homeschooling in Nova Scotia.

Posted in Home Economics

Fibre Friday: Sewing a Tote Bag

Fibre Friday

Sewing a Tote Bag

Last Fibre Friday, I shared how I was teaching my daughter to sew as I learn right along with her (she is 10 years old). We started working on a tote bag together and had cut out all the pieces in my last post.

My daughter had a great time exploring all the fancy stitches that are possible on our machine when we made a tea towel and handkerchiefs. She decided to use a fancy stitch to embellish the pocket of the tote:

sewing

I had never sewn a pocket before and found the instructions a bit mystifying. We read them together a few times and eventually figured it out. First we pressed back the fabric at the top with an iron:

sewing

Then we flipped it over, folded it over, and pressed it again:

Sewing

Finally we got to the sewing part, which is always so much faster than all the pressing:

sewing

The pocket had to be flipped inside out. And then of course more pressing, under this time so the pocket could be sewn on the bag:

sewing
And here is the finished pocket! As you can see, my daughter also embellished the corners of the tote bag itself:

sewing

Then we just had to sew together the front and back of the tote and its lining. This went nice and quickly:
sewing

Here is my daughter sewing the lining into the tote bag. Almost done!

sewing

Here is my daughter modeling the finished tote bag:

sewing

I love how great it looks with a hint of the bright colours of the lining showing. As I mentioned in the last post, we wouldn’t use that crazy fabric for anything else.

My daughter decided to give the finished tote bag to a friend for a birthday present. Here it is with a birthday card tucked in the pocket:

sewing

My daughter’s friend absolutely LOVED it! She was astonished that it was homemade. We are looking forward to many more mother-daughter sewing adventures!

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly

Posted in Blog Hops/Walks, Home Economics

Fibre Friday: Learning to Sew

Fibre Friday

Learning to Sew

I’m quite new at learning to sew myself, so I only this week started teaching my 10 year old daughter how to sew! As I suspected she would, she loves it!

I started her off with sewing a simple tea towel.

Learn to sew

All it took was cutting out a rectangle, pressing the hem, and then turning it under and pressing it again. Once the hem was sewn all around, my daughter could have fun decorating it.

Then she decided to sew some handkerchiefs for her grandpa for Father’s Day.

Learn to sew

This was done the exact same way, except we cut out smaller squares instead. She very much enjoyed experimenting with all the fancy stitch patterns on the machine:

learning to sew

Handkerchiefs and tea towels make ideal first learning to sew projects. I’m glad I let my daughter experiment with all the stitch patterns. She really knows her way around the machine now.

My daughter loved sewing so much that she moved on to making her own tote bag. She decided it would make a great birthday present for a friend.

She chose some jean fabric we had on hand for the tote and we cut out the front and back and handle.

Learn to sew

Then she chose some crazy fabric for the tote bag lining and we cut out the front and back.

Learn to sew

Next time I will show you the finished tote bag. I am enjoying learning to sew with my daughter! She’s a natural! She has really caught the sewing bug and you should see the list of things she wants to see next. It’s a good thing we have a bunch of hand-me-down fabric.

What have you been sewing, knitting, crocheting, or making in your home or homeschool this week? Feel free to share and link up!

[inlinkz_linkup id=414669]

Love, Luck &
Laughter,

Kimberly