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Star/Snowflake Wheat weaving

Woven, knit, sculpted, forged or ...
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Niennildi Oarnen
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Star/Snowflake Wheat weaving

Post by Niennildi Oarnen »

Ellenar asked me to post a craft for Varda's moon. Watching the ripening grain fields around here made me think of a simple wheat weaving project. I remembered that there was a simple star at the beginning wheat weaving projects site that I had mentioned with the Yavanna corn dolly post.

I recommend the project at this url:

http://www.wheatweaving.com/project4.html

If obtaining wheat stems is difficult or costly, you should be able to create this with 12 plastic drinking straws or coffee stirrers.

I haven't made this particular project yet. When I have, I will post tips and suggestions to help beginners.

The recommended star is a 12-pointed star that uses 12 straws. If managing 12 straws is overwhelming, you may want to do a "warm-up" project of a simpler five-pointed star. That project is available here.

[modbreak=Note] I notice that there is a missing image in the instructions at the wheatweaving.com site. I will post a picture of what that step looks like soon.[/modbreak]
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Re: Star/Snowflake Wheat weaving

Post by Ellenar »

Thank you very much, Niennildi, for answering my suggestion.  This is going to be fun.    :D
"The time of Moonsheen has passed. The noontide of the dominion of Men is waning. Soon will come the era of Starshine. And the ages will partake of both; the grace of Moonsheen and the glory of the Days of the Sun" -Mormeril
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Re: Star/Snowflake Wheat weaving

Post by Niennildi Oarnen »

Here's my sketch to replace the missing figure from the instructions, as promised.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a97/Ec ... ndtieA.jpg
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Re: Star/Snowflake Wheat weaving

Post by Niennildi Oarnen »

Here are my thoughts as you start a wheat weaving:

I've always forgotten to strip the leaves first before soaking. It's an easy job, but a bit messy. I found it a bit meditative this time. It can also be a bit lively if you have a feline helper.

I've found that the bathtub is the easiest place to soak the straws as I don't have any containers long enough for them.

You'll need something to hold the straws down to keep them under the water or they will float. As I used my bathtub, I lay my bath brush across my bundle of straws to keep them submersed.

Don't be discouraged if things don't look like what you expect once you're "done". That's what the pinning step of the project is for.

I am posting this scan of where I am at the end of step 6 (once the outer straws from each set of 4 are tied together).  The next step says you'll have a star (miraculously!), without explaining the shaping and pinning even though the materials list refers to this. As you can see, it doesn't look anything like a star yet. My ties have slipped and things are all cattywampus. But--- (big but here) I am tired and I must stop before I get too frustrated. The job tomorrow will be to redampen everything and reposition the ties then pin the star to a piece of cardboard and shape it properly.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a97/Ec ... estep6.jpg
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Re: Star/Snowflake Wheat weaving

Post by Niennildi Oarnen »

As this Moon winds down, I post my completed "Snow star" as I have come to call it.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a97/Ec ... g_redx.jpg

Now for the lessons from its completion:

When cutting your 6-inch straw lengths, aim for not having growth nodes near the center. The bulky nodes interfere with the tying and bending. (I'll put the scan where I've noted the nodes close to the center right on the pic.) The adjustments to the ties because of this bulkiness create an asymetrical star. For many projects, this may not be an issue, for this one; it makes a for a nice touch to keep everything even.

If your work area is dry, you need to keep a damp cloth or spray bottle handy in order to keep moistening your straws as you work. It will reduce the frustration of dealing with cracked straws that I had. (You can see them in the scan.)

Pre-creasing the straws at the center and along their longitudinal axis before tying can assist with the first tie. This was the most difficult tie for me as the round straws wanted to slip into a bundle rather than neatly lying next to one another. The nature of the folding down of the arms of the star requires that the straws remain flat next to each other and not slip behind each other.

{Sidebar here: As I worked more and more with this project, the "flatness" of the straws required at the beginning lends itself very well to translating to other media. This project can very easily be done with strips of paper. Another natural material available to some may be long-leaf pine needles.}

The cracking and splitting straws as I returned to my project (as well as ties that untied as they were trimmed too close to their knots) meant that I had a bit of a mess on my hands. I decided that my best course of action was to undo everything and begin tying again, removing the most damaged straws. This left me with the wrong number of straws for the project, but I removed a few more in order to bring the number to something else divisible by 3.  So then with 9 straws instead of 12, I continued and I still ended up with a 12-point star (an important number in Eldarin culture, see Aikanar's article on the subject {The Quendian Calendar II.doc}) The 9 straws are much easier to deal with and I may just write instructions of my own incorporating all this "just getting started info" missing from that site's instructions.

http://i9.photobucket.com/albums/a97/Ec ... esson1.jpg
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Re: Star/Snowflake Wheat weaving

Post by Niennildi Oarnen »

In looking up the calendar (Gregorian, that is) I was learning about other holidays in December. There is aSt. Lucy's Day celebrated on December 13. It's primarily a Scandinavian feast day. An interesting detail I noticed was the presence of stjärngossar (star boys) participating in the singing processions. I find myself believing the feast day has pre-Christian roots.

The reason I post this here is because a star/snowflake ornament may be just the sort of thing for such a day.

December 13, 2008, just happens to be the day after the December Full Moon. Hmmm....
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