I was digging out a few pictures of the heavenly circular weavings we worked on at the very first Mother Wild retreat for a lovely mama so she could see what I meant by the foraged hazel loom/frame and I realised they might be useful inspiration for other mamas needing easy/cheap/natural/calm activities at this crazy time.
There’s something distinctly meditative about circular weaving. You find yourself falling into a quiet place inside while your hands do the rhythmic in : out of the weave. Seems to have the same effect on children as well as grown ups in my experience. We were all pretty zen’d out working on these in the sunshine together a few Summers ago.
A simple how-to:
- Forage a good length of nice bendy hazel. You’ll find it in most native hedgerows or often around the edges of parks. Willow works well too if you have access to some. Or I’ve often used holly with all the leaves stripped off which is a gorgeous dark colour when dried out.
- Strip the leaves and wrap into a secure circle by wrapping it around itself until it holds firm
- Warp your loom using strong thread – crochet cotton or garden twine both work well– tie the last warp thread in the centre, drawing in the cross points of the other warp threads to secure your end
- Check. Ideally you’ll now have an odd number of warp threads on your loom which will result in a nice weave pattern as you go
- Attach any yarn to one of the warp threads close to the centre point (for the first rounds a thin yarn works well)
- Weave in whichever direction makes your heart happy – over one, under one, over one, under one…
- Change yarn and colour at will, tying the new piece to the old piece and hiding the ends behind your weave
- Laugh out loud when you realise you’ve chosen the colours you’re wearing as most of us did!
- Alternate between thick and thin yarns for a nice texture or build from thin yarn up to chunkier yarns as you weave from the centre out towards the edges.
- Add a couple of beaded tassles or a found feather from your foraging walk to the bottom edge if you’d like and hang on your wall to admire every time you pass.
Simple, meditative, natural crafts are always part of our Mother Wild Retreats. Sitting in the warmth of nature with a group of like-minded mamas making something beautiful with our own hands brings all kinds of happy-heart magic.