project // wire rack weaving
When I was young, and even when I got older, I would spend a lot of time baking with my grandma. I called her Nanny. She passed away a few years ago, and I acquired a few of her baking pans. I treasure them, and when I used one recently to make one of her recipes for the first time, I actually got really emotional. We get quite close to people, don't we?
Anyway, I've had this cooling rack sitting here in my piles of craft supplies. Honestly, I'm not sure if it was Nanny's or another family member's, but she did have several just like this, so I choose to remember it as hers. There are a few of the cross pieces broken off, which is why it ended up looking for another use, other than cooling baked goods. I've considered lots of ways to use it, but when weaving started coming around again, I knew it was time to get making.
There's nothing difficult about making an art piece like this. Just be aware that unlike traditional weaving, you won't be removing the frame. Once it's woven, it's all staying as one piece. Which is really the point here. I want to have this wire rack hanging on my wall. And even if you don't have a cooling rack with sentimental value (I may be the only person in the world who does!), it's still a fun way to add some vintage into your new creation.
Here's what you need:
Vintage cooling rack
Cut some strips of cardboard. I made three, and each is a different width/length. The largest is good for as you're getting started and you have more space to work. As you fill in the rack, you'll need the narrower strips.
Wrap some yarn around a cardboard strip, and what? It magically turns into a shuttle!
Tie a knot onto one of the cross pieces, leaving a long tail. Actually, you can do this without the knots, you just need to hold the end in place as you get started. I found the knot to be a little easier. Weave the tail in, and make sure the very end is to the back of your work.
Start weaving the yarn through the wires. It helps to hold the rack flat, then keep the shuttle vertical as you work up and down through the gaps. After you've covered 1/3 to 1/2 of the width of the rack, pull the yarn taut.
When you reach the end, wrap it around and go back to the other side.
Switch out the yarn and keep going. Using different colors, weights, and textures is what makes it visually interesting. You might also try skipping over two wires instead of one to make a different pattern, or leaving some sections looser or even blank.
When you get close to the edge, you'll need one of the thinner cardboard shuttles. It also helps to scrunch your weaving tight, then when you can't fit the shuttle in any more, finish off your yarn and loosen up the weaving to fill in the area a bit.
To hang mine, I used a piece of yarn tied at the center support.
It's probably silly, but this makes me ridiculously happy. An added bonus is that some of this yarn was also Nanny's. Getting to making something with a few of her things means a lot. Long after weaving has gone off trend again, I'll be admiring this and thinking of her.