Sunday, 6 January 2013

Flax Bangles & Crosses

I did a couple of flax weaving courses at the beginning of the year and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I love weaving and have more kete & kono (bags & baskets) than I can use, so I generally just do it for the doing - not necessarily for the end product. I've been full on with the sewing lately and haven't woven a thing for the last few months, so it was lovely to get back into it.

Because I'm still a bit OCD with the school gala crafts at the moment, I was trying out a few things I could make that wouldn't take too much time that can be sold at the gala... The theme is Kiwiana this year, so I couldn't not do any flax weaving for it!

First I made some little flax crosses. I've been meaning to give them a go since I did my very first class as it reminded me of how my Grandpa used to fold our palms at Palm Sunday mass into crosses. I found a couple of sets of instructions on the internet to make a palm cross, but really I just ended up working it out for myself. They're ridiculously easy once you know what to do, so I made a few to sell on the day - actually, I may bring some prepared flax with me on the day and make some while I'm selling. And if you're wondering about me making crosses to sell at a school, it is a Catholic school so it's all good!

Next I made a bangle that I've also been meaning to try for quite some time since I found the instructions for it on the website of a South Island weaver Ali Brown. If you're at all interested in flax weaving, I recommend checking out her website. The bangles (or wristbands as she calls them) are not as time consuming as I first thought... The first one I made took me about half an hour, but that's because I have a habit of making my weaving strips very thin - it looks pretty, but takes a lot longer! Once I got the first one sussed I made another 16 over the next day or two (as you do) and in the end they were taking me about 10 minutes for the ones with a larger weave and 15-20 minutes for the real small weave ones. With one decent flax leaf I can make 2 bangles (one from each side of the leaf), so there's not too much harvesting to do either.

My to do list seems to be getting a little on the long side at the moment, but I'm hoping to squeeze in another flax harvesting session soon so that I can also make a few little baskets & bags for the gala as well.

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