In the mood for a quick stash-busting yarn craft? The new Weaving Sticks from Clover USA definitely fit the bill! Super-easy and way faster than knitting or crochet, these portable weaving sticks are a fun alternative to more complex yarn crafts, and are a great option for whipping up accessories and simple projects.
According to the package:
Fun and easy weaving!
Create unique accessories and decorations.
Includes: Tapestry needle for hiding yarn ends and joining seams or units.
What you’ll need:
- Core yarn and weaving yarn (wool yarn, cotton yarn, fabric strips, etc.)
• Instructions included
Retail price: $19.95
What you should know before getting started:
Before I jump into the review, I want to give you a quick overview of how this kind of weaving works.
Weaving with weaving sticks is a very simple technique in which yarn is looped in an over-and-under motion across alternating sticks as you work back and forth in horizontal rows. To keep the weaving from unravelling, a core yarn is attached to the end of each stick. When you reach the end of a project, all of the woven loops are moved down from the sticks and onto the core yarn. Once detached from the sticks, the core yarn remains inside your woven project, allowing it to keep its shape. (You can think of the core yarn as the skeleton of your woven piece.) Full instructions are, of course, included with each set of weaving sticks.
What I loved:
1. Because there is a core yarn attached to each stick, you can make woven pieces any length you’d like, from only a few inches to many feet long.
2. A tapestry needle is included for weaving in ends and joining seams or pieces together, but it also fits through the holes at the ends of the sticks, making the core yarn easy to insert.
3. The weaving process is easy to start–making a slip knot is the only skill required.
4. The basic weaving process is simple, and the illustrations on the instruction sheet are clear and easy to follow.
5. The weaving rows stack up quickly, allowing for fast projects and last-minute gifts.
6. Finishing a woven piece is easy–just knot off around one of the sticks, then tie all off the ends (including the core pieces) together and weave them in with the tapestry needle.
Alternately, the tied ends can be trimmed and displayed as tassels. (I used a contrasting color for my core yarn to illustrate the process more clearly.)
7. You can add color to simple woven pieces using the two-color weaving process illustrated in the instructions. (This is great for using up leftover yarn scraps from other projects.)
8. Woven pieces can be connected by sewing corresponding loops together with the tapestry needle. (You have to be careful to keep track of the number of loops on each stick while you’re weaving so joined pieces will end up the same length.)
9. Each set includes 6 weaving sticks, so you can vary the width of each woven panel to fit your project. (Or, as I showed above, you can join multiple woven pieces together to make an even wider/larger object.)
10. The large sticks can either be used with thick yarn, or to make a looser weave with finer yarn. Likewise, the small sticks can either be used with finer yarn, or to achieve a tighter weave with thicker yarn.
11. If you’ve got scrap yarn to use up, you can make horizontal stripes in your projects by alternating colors. (Unlike in knitting, don’t just weave in the end. Each color should be knotted off before starting the next.)
12. Finished objects have neat, clean edges, and are sturdy and versatile. I made this chunky rectangular piece thinking that it would work well as a large trivet. Turns out, it also makes a pretty cute piece of home decor.
What I didn’t love:
1. If you’re like me and really like to know that you’re “doing it right” the first time you try a new craft, you might find the fact that the instructions don’t suggest specific yarn weights to be stressful. (The weight of the yarn is only suggested by the fine and thick sizes of the weaving sticks.)
For me, this really didn’t turn out to be a problem. As far as I’m concerned, as long as you like how the weaving looks, any stick size can work out nicely.
While they certainly won’t replace my knitting needles and crochet hook any time soon, working with Clover Weaving Sticks was a fun and low-stress way to put a much-needed dent in my yarn stash. I really liked how quickly the woven fabric stacked up, and it was definitely satisfying to have a finished item in a matter of minutes or hours instead of days.
Disclosure: Samples provided for review, but my opinions are honest and my own!