I have finally found time to write a tutorial for the woven stars, that I made at the end of October. Although I originally made these with handmade cordage, I have worked the tutorial with yarn, to make it easier for children.
If you can’t get hold of any willow or hazel rods, you could use try using paper straws instead. You could also use natural twine instead of yarn.
I began by cutting five, 14cm lengths of willow. I had cut this willow several weeks ago, so I soaked the lengths in water for several hours before using.
I always find it easiest to start at the top of the star. Cross one length over the other and wrap yarn tightly around 2-3 times.
Then, wrap the yarn in between the crossed pieces 2-3 times (see picture below).
Knot tightly and cut close.
Now, you need to repeat this with the other points of the star. See the positioning of the third length below.
When you add the fourth length, it should pass underneath the first length that it crosses and then across the top of the second length.
Push the star flat to the work surface with the palm of your hand. This will help to bend the willow into shape.
The fifth and final piece of willow, should follow the same pattern as the fourth, travelling first underneath and then across the top of the lengths that it crosses.
Now that your star frame is complete, you can begin to weave.
The amount of yarn/cordage/twine that you need for each point of the star, will vary depending on the thickness of your weaving material. It should be between 3 and 5 metres.
If you run out, before reaching the base of your star, just repeat the starting and finishing steps below, with a new length of yarn.
Start by holding the end of your length of yarn against the left hand edge of the point (1st picture below).
Pass the yarn underneath the right side of the point and bring it all the way around and over the top.
Then pass the yarn underneath the lefthand point and again, around the front.
You will be working this figure eight shape all the way to the base of the point.
If you have difficulty weaving as you near to the base of point, use a tapestry needle to pass the yarn back and forth.
Once you have filled the whole of the point with yarn, you need to weave in the ends.
Using a tapestry needle, pass the yarn up through the weaving and then back down through a different place. Cut the yarn close.
If you have decided to make your star with natural cordage, you will only need to pass the cordage up through the weaving to secure it.
Repeat this process with the remaining four points.
They would look great hung on a tree or strung along a garland. You could even make them all different sizes.
However you choose to make yours, have fun and if you are making them with children you might want to make the frames in advance.
Next time, I will show you how to make an oat straw star, for a very natural Christmas.