On a recent trip to the woods near our house Little Brother and I stumbled across some lovely wishbone sticks. I had seen some weavings using these sticks on Apartment therapy a while back and always thought it looked like a fun activity. A week later, and not one but three of these beauties have miraculously appeared. The kids think they make the coolest magic wands and have been prancing around the house casting spells on each other. I must confess, they are really satisfying to make and very hard to put down. A word of warning though, they are quite fiddly and require a fair amount of patience, suitable for ages 5 and up I would say. Handy Tip: For ‘little fingers’ use bigger sticks and thicker wool as this speeds up the weaving process.
Wishbone ‘Y’ stick, coloured yarn, scissors, large blunt needle, serrated knife.
Prepare the stick by making small cuts with a serrated knife along each branch of the ‘Y’ stick. Make the same number of cuts on each side. They should be roughly the same distance apart and not too close together.
To create the ‘warp’ (the framework on which you will weave), start by winding your string tightly around the base of the ‘Y’.
Next, wind the string upwards around the fork of the ‘Y’. Ensure that each side is anchored in place inside the channels that you have created. If the cuts are not deep enough to secure the string, stop and make them deeper. This step will prevent your warp from sliding around when you start weaving.
Make sure the warp is nice and taught. If it looks saggy, start again but beware of pulling too tightly as the stick may break (I managed this on my first attempt).
Once you reach the end, tie the string off on one of the branches of the ‘Y’ with a few knots. Your loom is now ready to weave.
Thread the needle with a decent sized length of your chosen colour yarn. Push the needle through from the back, just below the very first piece of string on your warp and start weaving over and under, over and under. For a simple stripe pattern, start off each new piece of yarn at the base of the ‘Y’ and make sure that the loose end hangs down from the back of the weaving. These loose ends will eventually be tied off.
When you reach the top of the warp, loop over and go back in the opposite direction.
When you want to change colour pull the yarn through to the back of the weaving and trim, leaving a long enough piece to tie off later.
When your weaving is complete, tie any loose ends together at the back and trim off.
You can be quite creative with shapes and patterns on a larger wishbone stick, like the abstract leaf pattern above but for a first attempt I found a simple striped pattern the easiest.