So I packed my brand new Cricket Loom and went home to Iowa. The day I arrived I started by teaching some Scouts (and a few siblings, too) from my nephews' Troop the Textile Merit Badge. It was great fun.
The kids made some great weaving projects. My scarf and my class sample are in the upper left hand corner. The small orange sample was going to be an entire scarf, but my niece's cat decided to try her hand claws at weaving and sliced several of the warp strings. Oops! That's what I get for leaving my toys lying around!
Oops! Oh well. I needed a sample for the class anyway.
I purchased nine different types of fabric at my local fabric store - The Textile Store in Westport, CT and made a simple fabric sample board. I also cut out miniature 1.5x1.5 inch swatches out of the same material and passed them along to each student. In turn they stapled their swatches to a piece of paper and then had to do some investigative work to discover the fabric content for each fabric swatch. Hint: If they lifted the fabric on my big fabric sample board, they found the fabric content underneath the swatch.
We discussed the fabric content of each swatch and tried to master the touch and feel of each fabric and remember which fabric was which: silk, cotton, rayon, wool, polyester and more. We also watched some videos about spinning, knitting, and weaving. These kids were fascinated! We ended the first day of our class with the motto: Be Prepared to Dye! This slight variation on Baden-Powell's Boy Scout motto was in line for our second half of the class where we dyed fabric in natural dyes. We used yellow onion skins and spinach. But for the first class, all we did was prepare the dye and let it soak overnight. Stay tuned for part two of the Textile Merit Badge.