I am so in love with these rainbow weavings that the kids made in Art Bar camp!! And since we used Koolaid to dye the yarn, they smell very fruity, too 🙂
I’ve always wanted to make these, ever since I saw the amazing weavings from an art teacher named Jan. Hers are much more earthy and delicate. I love them! But there are no links anywhere on her blog so I couldn’t find the exact wooly yarn that she used. I tried to send her a message through her blog, but never heard back. And I can’t seem to find her on social media. So, Jan… if you ever read this, tell me what yarn you used, and THANK YOU for the incredible project!!
[ I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn small fees at no cost to you by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. ]
I didn’t do a good job photographing the “before”. In summer art camp, often things are moving at a fast pace with so many things happening all at once, I forget to pick up my camera. The most important supply is the yarn, which is called wool roving. The picture above is of the one I bought – and you can see the pack on the table below. It’s very easy to separate into thick strands and even easier to dye!
Supplies Needed for Rainbow Weavings
~ Wool roving (I used one bag for this group of 8 children)
~ Plastic containers to hold the dye and wool (don’t need lids, the wool only sits in there for an hour or so)
~ Cardboard pieces for looms
~ Yarn to create the warp
~ Twig for hanging
~ Wire for hanging (we used Twisteez colored wire, but you can use yarn if you don’t have wire)
Dyeing the Wool with Koolaid
Step 1: Separate the Koolaid packets into the different containers (one packet per container, or you can mix some colors – here is a great post about mixing colors). Once you know how many containers you will end up with, you can separate the wool roving into equal sections.
Step 2: Add warm water to the containers and dissolve the Koolaid. We added about a cup of water so that the “dye” stayed intense.
Step 3: Add the wool to each container, stirring to make sure all of the wool is submerged. Let sit for an hour or so.
Step 4: Take wool out of container, run under water to squeeze out the excess Koolaid. Let dry overnight on a tarp.
Step 5: Cut into smaller pieces and prepare the table for the weaving project.
How to Make the Cardboard Loom
We’ve made cardboard looms before, check out this post. These are slightly faster to make.
Step 1: Cut cardboard into a rectangle. No particular size, it all depends how big you want to make your weavings. I cut ours to about 6″ X 9″.
Step 2: Fold the ends up. The best way to do this is to “score” the back with an exacto knife and a ruler – which means lightly cut so there is a straight line. You can use an open scissor, too, if you don’t have an exacto.
Step 3: Make 12 (or more if your loom is bigger but keep an even number) cuts on the folded part.
Step 4: Add string for the warp. I taped them on the back at the top, and then knotted them at the bottom.
How to Make a Rainbow Weaving
Step 1: Kids can choose their own pattern of colors. I teach them the “over and under” technique and they understand pretty quickly. It’s always a good idea to walk around and check their work as sometimes they will drop a warp thread. I also put out some regular yarn and we talked about breaking up the pattern and texture to create more interest. Not all kids went for that, but some did!
Step 2: When finished, a grown-up needs to do the rest. I don’t have any pictures of the process of taking the weaving off the looms and attaching them to the twig. But basically, the bottom is all set – you can just pull it off and the warp is already tied. For the top, after you take it off the loom, twist each pair of warp threads, then tie it around the twig, leaving the knot in the back. Trim the knots.
Step 3: Trim any of the chunky yarn the is hanging out too far. I really like the unruly edge and some of the kids wanted me to trim more, but I tried to explain to them that it was supposed to look organic. Again, with older kids they get so used to making things “perfect” (I believe this is learned in school, unfortunately) that it’s hard for them to accept and be OK with things that aren’t straight. I have this thought that as soon as they brought them home, they probably trimmed some more!
Step 4: Lastly, attach a hanger. It can be wire or string, doesn’t matter.
I’m dying to do this project again on a bigger scale, and with hand-mixed colors. Maybe make them ombre using shades of the same color. Wouldn’t that be so cool?
Let me know if you have any more questions!
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –