If you feel like a spot of weaving, why not try making this stunning Puja mat? Luckily for you, we have the tutorial from Weave This by Francesca Kletz and Brooke Dennis
You will need
Loom: thick cardboard circle
Warp: 10 m (11 yd) polyester cord
Tools: scissors, pencil, ruler, small wooden ring and glow-in-the-dark star beads
Yarn: make your own yarn (see instructions below)
Lark’s head knot / Plain weave / Make Your Own Yarn
1 Take some thick cardboard and cut out a circle 35 cm (14 in) in diameter. With a ruler and a pencil, divide evenly into 32 sections. Cut a slice into the top of each section, at the edge of the cardboard.
2 Place a wooden or metal ring in the centre – this is going to remain part of your mat, so make sure it’s not too chunky. Cut sixteen pieces of macramé cord 60 cm (24 in) in length. Attach the sixteen lengths of cord using the lark’s head knots (see instructions below) around the centre of the ring. Split the two tail ends of each lark’s head knot and place each tail into the slices on the edge of the cardboard circle, so that the wooden ring is held perfectly in the centre. Each tail end will go into a different slice except one, where both tails will go into the same slice, leaving one empty. This is really important! In order for this tapestry to work, you have to work with an odd number of warp threads.
3 Turn your circular cardboard loom over and tape all of your tail ends in place so they don’t slip around while you’re weaving.
4 Using your handmade twine, weave in and out of the macramé cord warp using plain weave – this will start to weave up like a spiral as you go over and under the previous rws.
5 When you’ve come to the end of your loom, remove the tape and knot the tails together
6 Attach a bead to each knotted end and knot again to secure the bead.
7 Put some crystals on it! Or, like, a book, or whatever.
Make Your Own Yarn
If you’re a textiles lover like us, then you’ll have heaps of leftover fabric scraps all over your house. If you don’t, can you come and take some of ours? I haven’t been able to find my boiler in years. This nifty little tutorial will show you how to make your own twine from strips of woven fabric. This yarn is really strong and resilient, so is great for projects that will get a fair amount of wear and tear.
1 Rip your cotton into even strips (evenish, let’s not go too crazy) roughly 2 cm (3/4 in) wide and as long as the length of fabric.
2 Knot two cotton strips together – it helps if they are not the same length. We find that if you attach this knot to something sturdy you can get a better grip on your twine, so maybe tie it to a door handle or stair rail.
3 Start by twisting the strip on the right by rolling it clockwise in the fingertips of your right hand (we’re right-handed; if it’s easier for you to do this in opposite hands, do that!).
4 When about 2 cm (3/4 in) of the first strip is really twisted, twist it over the strip on the left and pass it into your left hand. Collect the second or left-hand strip with your right hand from underneath.
5 Now twist the second strip in your right hand, just like in step 3. Then twist it over into your left hand.
6 Keep going like this, swapping over the strips of twisted fabric until you reach the end of one of the strips of cotton (this is why it’s important they are slightly different lengths, as joining the strips at the same point will weaken the twine). Make sure you still have a few centimetres left at the end of this short strip.
7 To attach a new cloth strip, place it 3 cm (11/4 in) on top of the shortest strip. Roll the yarn onto itself and into a twist.
8 Repeat steps 3–6, twisting and swapping, until you have as much yarn as you want. Tie a knot in the end.
Lark’s head knot
1 Measure out a load of yarn to use for your knot. You might want really long ones – that’s a decision only you can make. Get a few yarns the same length and loop them casually (real casual) over the bar or stick or frying pan handle you’re decorating.
2 Flip the head of the loop under the bar. That is all there is to this step!
3 Take the two tail ends of your looped yarn and tuck them through the loop that is now under the bar. Pull tight and voilà! That’s it, baby!
Extracted from Weave This by Francesca Kletz and Brooke Dennis (Hardie Grant, £14.99) Photography © Rita Platts