A few years ago, I bought the Harrisville Designs 7″ potholder loom and a big bag of cotton loops. I helped the grandchildren make potholders as holiday gifts for their parents.
Recently, Granddaughter F and I found a complete and only gently used Harrisville Designs Lap Loom A for $3.75! It lists for $45, so, as you no doubt can imagine, I was very pleased to find it at this price. (It was missing only the instructions.)
After we got home, I warped the Lap Loom for Granddaughter F using a natural color carpet warp. The pickup sticks were, oddly, made of balsa wood and the stick shuttle was only 4 inches long. So out we dashed and bought a nice, strong Schacht pickup stick and a longer stick shuttle. I made several yarn suggestions, and Granddaughter F – the lover of all colors pink – surprised me by selecting a spaced dyed wool-acrylic blend worsted weight yarn that was not pink!
Granddaughter F started with a header of some pink yarn and then switched to her yarn of choice. There was no beater in my daughter’s house, so as you can see from the picture to the right, Granddaughter F used a fork as a beater.
By bedtime, Granddaughter F had woven half of the project! At that point, Granddaughter F surprised me by saying she wished she hadn’t woven with any pink. I explained that we could hide the pink in a seam.
We discussed what she wanted me to make it into. A purse? A blanket for one of her dolls? A wall hanging? A pillow? She wanted a pillow.
After I got home, using a long (long) crochet hook in lieu of a pickup stick, I finished the weaving, hand stitched the ends and removed it from the Lap Loom. After zipping it into a mesh lingerie back, I machine washed it (cold water, flat dry).
I sewed an inner pillow out of undyed 100% linen and stuffed it with an acrylic/silk blend batting. Using a nice, clean dish towel I made the back of the outer pillow and sewed it to the woven front. As you can see, I put a zipper in the pillow back. This not only allows for easy removal for washing, but it provides a safe-from-her-brother hiding place for her treasures. 🙂
The pillow that Granddaughter F wove is now in the post on its way to her, along with her newly rewarped Lap Loom, two pick up sticks and a long shuttle along with the second ball of yarn she selected (same pattern, different color).
It was a great weaving-teaching experience and a wonderful granddaughter-grandmother bonding moment.
Here are some things I found worked well for Granddaughter F and me:
- Stay away from balsa wood pick up sticks! (Granddaughter F was dismayed to find hers cracked lengthwise soon after she tried using it.)
- Make sure the child selects the weft yarn(s). (Granddaughter F loved the color shifts in hers.)
- Don’t worry if you don’t have a beater. A fork not only works well, but Granddaughter F thought it was fun to use a fork for something besides eating!
- Don’t interfere (unless necessary), but be ready to be hands-on. (I sat next to Granddaughter F and chatted while knitting.)
- This probably goes without saying: Offer lots of encouragement and praise.
- Share stories of your first weaving projects and weaving mistakes. Laughter defrays a lot of anxiety.
- Be ready to take breaks when the child tires or seems to be getting frustrated. (Granddaughter F had a little bowl of animal crackers at hand to snack on.)
- Turn the child’s first weaving project into something useful that she/he will use and/or see every day.
Have you taught a child in your life how to weave? What have you found to be useful when teaching a child to weave?! What were the child’s first weaving projects?