26 July 2017

DIY latch hook wall hanging



You will need:
  • A piece of rug canvas approx 30cm (12') square
  • Scissors
  • 3 balls of yarn in your favourite colours (around 8 ply or thicker)
  • Thin cardboard
  • A latch hook (rug hook)

TIP: Visit your local charity and op shops for your supplies as 
you can often get rug hooks and yarn as great prices.


HOW TO LATCH HOOK
Latch hooking is really easy once you can the hang of it. 
There are a couple of methods but the one outlined above is my favourite.

  1. Insert your hook as shown making sure the little metal lever bit is pointing down
  2. Place your cut piece of yarn behind the hook.
  3. Wrap the yarn around the hook and hold both ends between your fingers.
  4. Still holding both ends of the yarn bring it up over the metal lever bit and under the curved hook end. As you do this the metal lever bit will close and hold the yarn in place.
  5. Then gently pull your rug hook down and let go of the yarn and pull the yarn all the way through.
  6. Ta da!


 I have whipped up a simple geometric pattern to follow for this project.

You can download it for free HERE

RUG YARN

You can easily buy pre-cut rug yarn but it is quite expensive
and not long enough so I like to cut my own.


  1. Take a piece of thin card approx 15cm (6") x 10cm (4").
  2. Fold in half as shown.
  3. Cut a smaller piece of card 10cm (4") x 7.5cm (3").
  4. Place the second piece of card inside the folded card as shown (this is to help hold the outer card out a little to make room for the scissors when cutting).
  5. Simply wrap your yarn around and around....
  6. ...until you have about this much.
  7. Then carefully cut.
  8. And hey presto you have lots of strands the same length.
  9. If you are using 8 ply yarn you will need to use 2 strands at a time instead of 1.

LETS GET STARTED

 Each square of colour equals one latch hook 'stitch'. I like to start from the middle and work outwards, others like to start from the bottom and work upwards. It is up to you just make sure you count your squares so you don't run out of canvas!

Here I have found the very centre of the pattern and marked it with a cross and
then I found the middle of the canvas where I am going to place my first stitch


As I mentioned above if you using 8 ply yarn use 2 strands at a time or even 3 strands might be necessary if your yarn is a finer ply. A good gauge is it should be easy to pull through the hole. If you are struggling to pull it through remove one strand and try again.


Fisrt one!


Now it is a case of counting the coloured squares and placing corresponding
stitches on your canvas. If you have ever done counted cross stitch it is the same idea.
So this is what your middle square of colour will look like.


Now you can cut the strands for your next colour and complete the next coloured square.


And it will look like this


 A handy tip is to flip it over to make sure your stitches are in the right place.


Here I have completed the 3rd square.


Flip it over and it will look like this.


Cut your last colour and started working on the final square.
By now your latch hooking skills will be well honed!


And you are done and it will look like this.
You could totally leave it like this if you like the shaggy look.
Or read on if you want to trim it a little.


Flip to see the back of the finished piece.


Now trim off a trim couple of rows of rug canvas leaving at least 2 rows all around the design. NOTE: If you particular rug canvas is a soft one that has a tendency to fray then it might pay to fold the edge over and tack it to the back rather than cutting it off.


Then it will look like this.

TIME FOR A HAIRCUT!


Start by untangling the strands of the middle square from the next square around it.


Give it a wee trim a little, just taking off tiny bits at a time...


...this small pile of cuttings is what I removed.


 Now separate the strands of the next square in the same way.


And trim as before.


 I find it handy (pun intended!) to create barrier with my hand while trimming.


Then continue in the same way trimming the next layer, which I have left a little longer.


This angle shows how the 2 middle squares are cut to the same level 
and the the outer mustard layer is slightly taller.


This is what it looks like after trimming the 3 middle squares.


Carefully trim the outer edge. 
Don't remove too much otherwise your rug canvas will be visible underneath. 


And here is your latch hook wall hanging all finished. 
You can see the total pile of yarn I removed which isn't a lot. 
It always pays to take little bits off at a time in case you get too carried away with the scissors!
Turn your hanging upside down and give it a good shake to get any loose cuttings out.


To hang it up simply place 2 small nails in the wall spaced to go near 
the top two corners and the holes of the canvas will sit easily on them.


Once you start latch hooking it's hard to stop at just one project.
My daughter likes to call these round ones furry eyeballs!

If you give my tutorial a go I would love to see finished photos of your latch hook wall hangings. Please feel free to tag me (@cupcakecutiecraft) on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter or just email your project photos to cupcakecutieone@gmail.com.


Happy hooking!
Kim
xxx

09 May 2016

How to weave on a tiny loom: Free step-by-step photo tutorial

Hot on the heels of my full size weaving 'How To' here is step-by-step tutorial for weaving on a teeny tiny loom.


And after no luck finding a tiny loom to weave on I had to design my own (as you do!).

And here she is. Isn't she a cutie! I have a few for sale in my Etsy shop if you would like one (link here).

This tutorial uses the full loom which makes a weaving approx 10cm x 3.5cm.

I will be doing another tutorial soon to make an even teenier one suitable for a smaller dolls house.

YOU WILL NEED:

A tiny loom or make one out of stiff card with cuts in it (great etsy blog tute here).
Embroidery floss
Thin wool, yarn twine etc
Sharp scissors
Tapestry needle, smaller needle


Gather your supplies. We are going to warp the loom with your chosen colour. I am using pink embroidery floss (all 6 strands) Cut a length of 1 metre (40"). Tie a single knot around the left hand side of the loom as shown, then loop the thread around again and tuck the thread under so you end up with the thread secured but easy to undo at the end.

UPDATE: I have found a slightly quicker way to warp the Little Loom. Check out my quick video...
video

Start threading as shown up through the first gap, up to top, hook around and down. Continue in this way until you reach the end. When you reach the bottom right hold on tight to the thread with one hand and...

...with your other hand loop the loose thread around the right hand side of the loom,  tying a loose knot as you did at the start with another loop around to secure it as before.

Your loom should look like this, all warped up and secure at each end. Thread your needle with same colour thread as the warp (6 strands) with a length of approx 50cm (20 inches). Start at one end of the loom and do an 'over and under' stitch ensuring you leave a tail of at least 10cm to the side of the loom which will be sewed into the back of the weave at the end. Push the row as far down as you can as on the loom as shown.

Do 3 or 4 rows in the same manner making sure in your return row that the 'Over and under' is opposite to the row below.
Next we are going to do a row of tassels.
Using the same thread (6 strands) cut 4 lengths at 17cm each for each tassel. Gather each group of 4  together then fold in half with finger between as shown.

Slot the folded threads under the first warp thread as shown, then feed tails through the loop and pull tight. Then slide down to sit on top of rows previously done.
Repeat the process for every warp strand. I decided to add 3 tassels of bright pink just off centre.
In the last photo I have taken a length of bright pink thread and split it as I am only going to use 3 strands for the next bit. 


Here I did about 5 or 6 rows of over/under stitch. Again make sure you leave enough thread at the start of the row as you did before. Then I have added a couple more rows of light pink (6 strands). Then a row of a thin ribbon.

Carry on alternating rows of colours and textures. In the second photo I am adding a row of soumak. Cut a length of about 60cm and fold in half. Loop through as shown, tuck tails through loop. Now thread the two ends through the needle as shown and separate the ribbon by the first loop.

Now bring the needle up under next warp thread and pull through, and continue this process until you have a row. I find it easier to add this row higher up then fill in the weaving between otherwise it gets a bit fiddly.

I have filled in the gap with more rows of weaving and then a few more on top of the soumak. Don't weave right to the top of your loom, leave a gap to insert your hanging rod. Now in photo 3 it is time to start taking your masterpiece off the loom. Lift up your tassel fringe as shown. Take this step nice and slowly, I highly recommend child free environment for this particular step! You will have 3 strands dangling down: 2 strands from the knots on either side and 1 strand from the first rows of weaving you did. Start with the latter and thread it on a needle.

Now just run it through a few stitches to keep it in place. It will be covered by the tassels so you don't need be to be too particular. Trim the end. Now carefully untie the knots from either end.


Then carefully unhook the warp threads from the bottom pegs. Attach the left hand thread to the needle and carefully weave through the loops in an over and under fashion as if doing a row of weaving, then leave thread dangling. Do the same for the other end, weave it though and leave thread hanging.

Now we are going to make knots at either end by threading the needle though, making a loop and pulling thread through and pulling tight. Repeat at other end.

Trim threads. You will find by now your weaving has probably come off the top of the loom also. Don't panic as it won't go anywhere. Grab your dowel or stick and weave it though the top loops as if doing another row weaving of over/under. Now it is time to weave in all the ends. ENSURE you have FLIPPED your weaving to the BACK SIDE! It is easier to sew the ends in one at a time and has a much neater result. Thread up the first end...

...and catch in the top later of threads, pull through and trim. For a bulkier thread or ribbon which is too hard to weave in without it showing through to the front I just like to tie a loose knot at the back and trim, see photos 2 +3.  Once you have woven in the ends it will look like photo 4. I decided to leave the soumak strands dangling as a feature.

Just about done. Flip it over to the right side and straighten out your tassels ready to trim.  I have found my daughter's my little pony comb is an excellent tassel detangler!!! Hang your weaving on a little nail and trim your fringe to a desired length and shape. I like to hang my weaving straight on a wee nail but you can always add a little hanging string to the top if you prefer.

So cute and so much fun to do. Great as a decorative wall hanging, dolls house feature or string it up and wear it as a necklace. So now I am off to keep playing with my little loom and to come up with some more fun ideas for you to try with yours.

As always if you have any questions please let me know.

Kim
xxx