Friday, April 26, 2013

Nature Weavings

Nature weavings are a great project for children of all ages.

Materials needed:
Yarn, string, or fishing line
A container to carry gathered items (bag, basket, bucket, etc).

Also needed: a natural place to walk where you can collect natural items off the ground. This might be a forest, beach, meadow or some combination of places.

(Be careful of local laws/regulations about collecting. For example, many parks do not allow you to take anything out that you didn't bring in with you).


Take a walk in a natural area. Collect small items you find that are beautiful, interesting, or otherwise catch your eye. Examples of items include: pinecones, leaves, driftwood, seed pods, dried grasses, pieces of bark, lichen, small seashells, etc. DO NOT pull plants out by their roots or pull objects off trees, etc. Do not take items that are alive. Make sure shells are no longer occupied.

Caution: As we come into poison ivy season in many regions, be careful not to catch poison ivy. If you have trouble identifying it, I wrote a post about poison ivy identification (with photos) that may be helpful to you.

While you're walking, also look for a Y shaped stick on which to create your weaving. Something the length of an adult arm is a good size for a first weaving. Later, you might experiment with larger or smaller weavings.

When you return, wrap the middle of the Y with yarn like this:

There really is no wrong way to do this, though you may have to double-wrap to prevent the yarn from slipping down the Y. Experiment to see what works best with your stick and yarn.

Then work the items you gathered into the yarn. Long items like grasses can be woven in -over/under/over/under- while shorter, fat items like pine cones will need to be hooked in a way that keeps them secure. I recently found a small nest that had been blown down in a storm. It was banged up and is quite fragile, so I'll need to find a delicate way to secure it.

Here's one our Kindergarten grade friend made:

My kids and I sent one to my sister in California several years ago. She especially loved it because it reminded her of home. (It still hangs on her wall). You might do the same for a far-off relative, or perhaps you could collect items from your next vacation and create a weaving as a souvenir. 

For those of you who collect on the beach- try wrapping fishing line instead of yarn and make yours a beach themed weaving. Sometimes you can find old fishing nets washed up- you can use them too!

Have you ever tried making nature weavings? What are you favorite materials to use?

Related Posts:
Insect Safety
Mystery Rash (Poison Ivy)
Lyme Disease Prevention

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