Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Hula Hoop Weaving & Brilliant Birds

Hula Hoop weaving

I've wanted to have a go at hula hoop weaving for some time but somehow just haven't got round to it.  As an incentive I decided it would be on offer at our #BrilliantBirds workshops.  And, in order to do so, I had to test it out.

First warp up your hula hoop

I cut up a yellow T shirt into 2.5cm (1 inch) strips and used these stretched across a hula hoop for the warp.  Then starting in the centre, I tied the first piece on and started weaving in and out. After a while I changed to blue and carried on until the hoop was nearly full but there was enough warp to tie off all the ends.  Then I cut all the warp loops and tied them - a little too tightly which made my blue tit curl a little.  You can find out more about hula hoop weaving from wonderfuldiy here.

Finished weaving cut off the hoop with the ends tied off

This was quite a small hula hoop - approx. 55cm (21.5 inches) diameter, but still took 4 or 5 T shirts to make my bird.  The blue tit has a 70cm (27.5 inches) wingspan and is about 43cm (17 inches) from the top of his head to where his legs begin.

For the features I made pompom eyes...
Pompom eyes

and recycled some finger knitting into a beak and legs...

Finger knitted legs and beak

Then using some of the cut up T shirts, I knitted some wings.  I used the same pattern for the wings as in the Blue Tit Knitting Pattern but with a few more stitches and bigger needles...
Knitted wings

Then I laid all the pieces out to see how it all looked...

All laid out

I sewed the wings on and then stabilised the body and wings by stitching it to some plastic fencing, added some more blue to cover up the yellow ties and then attached the other features...

Finished blue tit with his smaller knitted cousin

and off he flew to join his little cousin. 

Linda at Rowntree Park Cafe - photo by Peter Bayliss

Linda started another blue tit using selvedge edge ribbon from the Cone Exchange.  (The Cone Exchange is a community scrap store in Harrogate set up by Bettys & Taylors which recycles and reuses waste materials from their own and other local businesses.  It's an amazing place!)

Selvedge edge ribbon from the Cone Exchange

Lara also helped and in the end the size was constrained by the amount of blue ribbon left...

Not much blue left

Once finished it was cut and tied off the hula hoop...

Bird cut off the hoop

and it'll look something like this when finished...

Laid out ready for pieceing together

with a wingspan of about 80cm (31.5 inches) and a body diameter of 38cm (15 inches).

Watch out for the hula hoop birds flying in to join the Brilliant Birds Yarnstorm supporting St Leonard's Hospice in Rowntree Park, York this June.  You can find out all the details here.

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