May 29, 2014

Finnish weaving loom for kids

I decided to write in English (and some Finnish at the end).  Maybe I should just decide on one language to be consistent.  On the other hand, I have hard time being consistent in anything I do... Just ask me about our homeschooling!  I am actually making a school room happen around here, but that's another post for another time!  And the school year is almoust over anyway.  


Lasten kangaspuut
So, being inconsistent and everything, here is a post about Finnish weaving looms - kangaspuut.  I have a dream, and one part of it is a big room with a real weaving loom in it.  But the real ones are really big (see below), so we were really happy to be able to use the miniature one with our kids.  I was feeling all nostalgic and super Finnish as I was introducing weaving for my kids. 
  


Unelmissa kangaspuut
In Finland the (female) students learn to use weaving looms at school.  I weaved a rug for the floor and a table runner for my mom's kitchen table.  They both still exist after 20+ years!  Later I went to our town handicrafts center and weaved another table runner.  You only had to pay for the materials you used!   

For children weaving is really very simple.  For material you need some cotton knits.  I had some t-shirts that had holes in them or otherwise they were not good for wearing anymore.  Sometimes the squirrel instinct is a good one to have.  I had been harboring some of these in my sewing pile for years!  


Räsymattomateriaalia
The best t-shirts for Finnish rag rugs would't have side seams.  But the original idea was to use whatever rags you had in hand, so really anything will work.  I cut them in thin strips, about 1,5 cm wide.  The longer the strips the better.  


Matonkuteita

In this weaving loom the threads were already in place.  All we had to do was to separate the rugs with a sturdy piece of card board.  Please use a wider piece than I did.  Use at least 5 cm (2 inches) between the rugs.  I will show you later why.  

4-vuotias kutoja
Then off you go weaving, back and forth, turning the wooden piece on the top that controls the threads to go up and down.  You can make stripes of different colors...just finish one color strip in the middle and continue the next color, overlapping just a bit.  


In order to get a nice, straight rug, you need to make sure the strips are nice and snug around the thread at the end, not too tight nor too loose.  I learned this the hard way.  The edges of my first rug are very wavy because I was pulling the strips too hard around the thread until the mid point.  Then I finally figured out the flow of weaving at the mid point and then in the rest of the rug the edges are perfectly straight. 

Matonkudontaa
  The kids made rugs for their small dolls and stuffed animals.  They each chose colors for their own rugs and had great enthusiasm and fun while weaving!  

When you are ready to take the rugs apart, loosen the threads and cut them in pairs, one pair at the time.  Make a slipknot to the end that stays in the weaving loom so it's easy to tie on it's place when you need it again.  Start at the end, taking turns on both sides.  


Make two good tight knots at the end of your rug.  This is why you need enough room between the rugs.  It's really difficult to make knots with teeny tiny threads!  My fingers were hurting (future rheumatism?)! 

Räsymaton solmiminen

I wanted to show you pictures how the kids were using their little rugs.  I only could find this one, neatly rolled on a school desk.  
 

The other two are already in use somewhere... I will add the pictures once I'll find them!

I love weaving looms.  We were borrowing this one, but I will totally buy our own once we get to Finland.  The used onces are quite affordable, about 20 euros each!

By making the rug size narrow, you could make cup holders or other fun stuff too!  Do you have a weaving loom in your home?  Have you ever made anything with it?



Tällä kertaa kangaspuiden ylistystä.  Lasten kanssa leikkelin matonkuteita "rääsy"mattoja varten - ulkosuomalaislapsen sanoin.  Pikkuiset räsymatot päätyivät nukkeleikkeihin.  Ihanaa puuhaa lasten kanssa ja saan taas hyvällä omallatunnolla säästää kaikki reikäiset mutta niin suloiset t-paidat!  Onko teillä kangaspuut?  Mitä olet kutonut? 


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