Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Upcycled Branches and Twigs by Mel

This past winter I saw a picture of Branch Weaving on Pinterest and I immediately thought it would be a perfect present for Marie's birthday.  My first attempts were a lot of trial, error and frustration!  It took me a couple branches before I weaved something worthy of a birthday present and Marie loved it!  Since then I have been meaning to weave some branches to sell in the shop and this past weekend was the perfect opportunity.  I spent the weekend at my sister's house in Wisconsin, her house is surrounded by peaceful beautiful woods.  It was like going to the outlet mall of sticks!

Step #1:  Find branches.
My dog Moose and I set out on our branch hunt and within minutes we found more sticks than I knew what to do with!  You can choose any size branch you want, the smaller the branch the easier the project.  Try to pick sticks with a wider "v" shape, the more narrow the stick, the less colors of yarn you will be able to use.

Step #2:  Avoid evil plants.
Moose and I learned a very important lesson.  Watch out for plants that look like this:

Because if you don't, your dog will look like this and you will waste valuable weaving time picking evil stickers out of his fur and off of your clothes!

After this Moose was banned from stick hunting....

Step #3:  Gather your additional supplies.  

You will need:

  • Yarn in various colors and sizes
  • Scissors
  • Fork
  • Large plastic needle
  • Small crochet hook

Step #4:  Tie your yarn to the bottom inside of the "v" part of your branch.

Step #5:  Twist the yarn around each branch twice.
You want to make sure to not twist the yarn TOO TIGHT or it will be difficult to weave your yarn close to the stick.

Step #6:  Tie off the yarn at the top of the stick.
I liked to wind a little excess yarn at the end, just in case you need to adjust the tightness of the yarn at any point.

Step #7:  Begin weaving!
You can pick any pattern you like, a simple over and under each row, or over two and under two.  I experimented with some using the same pattern the entire time and some I used a different pattern for each color.  Leave a tail of yarn at the beginning and end of each row, I left mine about 3-4 inches long.

Step #8:  Use your fork!
You can use the fork to move your rows of yarn close to the sides of your branch.  You can either start at one side of the stick and weave all the way to the other side, or if you want to make a "v" pattern you will weave equal amounts of each color yarn on both sides of the stick before moving on to the next color.

Step #9:  Weave in the ends.
You can do this as you work or leave it until the very end.  You will use your crochet hook to pull the ends in and out of your weaving.  The tighter your weave, the easier it will be to hide these ends.  Once they feel secure, just cut off the ends.  I usually only weaved in half of the tail that I had left hanging.

 Step #10:  Display your branch weaving!
You are done!  Congratulations!

Larger sticks can be displayed by simply standing them upright.

Or you might choose to tie on some cording and hang your branch weaving from the wall!

 I taught my niece to branch weave this weekend and she swore and sighed loudly A LOT said it takes of patience!  She ended up taking parts of her weaving out and doing it over several times, and I did too when I first started, so don't give up!

Once you get the hang of it, you will be addicted!

All of the branch weavings pictured are now for sale at The Vintage Gypsy!

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