Leggi questo post in: Italiano
Did you see the project I did with my daughter’s 2nd grade class the other day? They just loved weaving these Hopi Eye yarn Christmas ornaments, even when they didn’t come out exactly as planned. But who cares? They were all beautiful in their own way and the kids were so satisfied with themselves.
This tutorial is being published today in Italian at Creare per r’ESISTERE as part of the advent calendar Christmas countdown, but Elisabetta gave me the ok to publish the full tutorial in English here. (If you prefer the Italian, go check it out here.) So here we go!
Kids just love these woven hopi eyes because of the different colors and yarn textures, as well as the fact that they can make them themselves! My mother still hangs up the ones I made years ago on her Christmas tree each year.
The only materials you need for this project are two popsicle sticks, leftover bits of yarn, scissors and a yarn needle (oops, not in the photo!).
First make a mark halfway down the popsicle sticks, then glue them together in a cross shape. You can also just hold them together as you start winding the yarn, but it’s easier for kids if the sticks are already stuck together.
Hold the end of one piece of yarn against the center of the cross (1). Wrap the yarn around the center of the cross five times diagonally in one direction (2), then pull it up to an empty corner (3) and wrap another five times in the other direction (4).
And then we begin weaving, even if it’s not really officially weaving. Hold the yarn as in picture #1 above and then bring it over and under that same stick (2). Then pass the yarn under the stick to the right (3) and once again over and under that stick (4).
You keep on going like that, turning the sticks so that you can carry the yarn over clockwise, going under the next stick to the right, wrapping over and under that stick, and turning to the next stick to the right. After going around quite a few times, you’ll start seeing the diamond motif on the back of the sticks.
When you want to change color, just knot the two strands together and keep on winding.
If you want it to look really polished, tie the knot so that it falls on the top of a stick (not in the webbing between sticks) and continue working that round (1). When you come back to the stick with the knot, wrap the yarn around the stick as you would normally do but passing over the knot with the cut ends facing outwards (2). Keep wrapping over these ends for the next three or four rounds (3). Then cut anything that’s still sticking out for a nice finished look (4).
Continue this way until you get near the ends of the popsicle sticks. Thread the yarn needle with the rest of the yarn, cutting it if necessary (1). Stick the needle between the wound yarn and the stick (2), pull the needle through and out (3) and cut off whatever is sticking out (4).
To make a hanging loop, cut off another length of yarn of the outermost color (or another if you prefer), thread the needle with it, slip it under a few strands of yarn towards the end of one of the sticks and knot the ends together. You might want to put a drop of glue under the yarn where this loop is to keep it from accidentally slipping off the sticks. (If you’re gentle with it, this is probably not necessary. If you have little kids who like to take ornaments off the tree to play with them, like mine do, then it probably is!)
And now you’re ready to hang them up! See the different designs the weaving makes on the front and back? If you hide the knots as explained above, the back looks more polished like the one above to the left. I didn’t hide them on the one to the right.
This project is so easy that kids can do it themselves. My daughter made this one on her own, besides the end steps with the needle, which I did.
She loves these just like I did! Soft, colorful, made with her own two hands… what’s not to like?!
Give this project a go with your favorite little ones or in a classroom. The results, even when “imperfect,” never fail to please! And of course, don’t forget to post pictures of your yarn Christmas ornaments on my Flickr group, Cucicucicoo Creations. Happy weaving!