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Jun 14

The Physics of Summer Break

Designed by Jane Patrick

It’s not often that The E-Newes begins with a physics lesson, but bear with us on this:

Albert Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity states that space and time are interwoven into a single continuum known as space-time.  In simple terms, what this means is that events that occur at the same time (or pace) for one observer can occur at different times (or at different paces) for another, depending on how fast each person is moving.

One need look no further than Summer break for a wonderful, real-world illustration of this idea; to a child, the summer can fly by in a blink, while to the parent it can (at times) seem never ending.  We have found that working on a project together is a most wonderful way to get yourself, and the people around you, in sync.

Wool yarn, because it stretches, is very forgiving and therefore great for beginners. Because this bag will be heavily fulled and the edges will be sewn into the seams of the bags, it doesn’t matter if the beat is a bit uneven or the selvedges a little wavy. Because it is a fairly short warp, it weaves up quickly. Because they make it themselves, this bag could be the first step to a lifelong love of the needle arts…and because of who we are and what we do, there is little we find more exiting than helping people take that first step.


Plain weave, heavily fulled, with needle felted accents.


Cricket Loom, warping peg, threading hook, 1 stick shuttle. Felting needle and foam cushion for felted accents, The Incredible Rope Machine for making the handle, needle for sewing handle to bag.

Warp and Weft Yarn:

Brown Sheep Nature Spun Worsted Wool (245 yards per ball), 96 yards needed for warp and 72 yards needed for weft, or a total of 168 yards.

Felted accents:

Small bits of wool yarn or fleece.


Use the direct peg warping method.

Winding a shuttle

Wind a shuttle



Number of ends:


Width in reed:




Warp length:

1 ½ yards


Weave a balanced weave (same number of warps and wefts per inch). Weave as long as possible.

Weaving with equal numbers of wefts and warps per inch

Weave with equal numbers of wefts and warps per inch



Remove the fabric from loom, leave enough warp length at either end to tie overhand knots to secure the weft. We used 4-end knots along both ends. Hand wash in as hot of water as possible using Dawn detergent. Squeeze and agitate the fabric until the fabric is thick and the spaces between the intersections of yarns are closed up. Rinse in cold water. Squeeze out excess moisture. Place in dryer on hot to further full, check often. Steam press.

Tie warps into overhand knots, 4 warps at a time

Tie warps into overhand knots, 4 warps at a time



Using either small bits of wool yarn or fleece, needle felt using a foam felting cushion and a felting needle (we recommend Sue Pearl’s Making Felted Friends as an excellent introduction to felting). We only decorated the one side, but there is no reason you can’t do both.

Decorate the front with needle felting

Decorate the front with needle felting



Trim the fringe at either end of the bag to 1”. Fold the fabric in half. Fold down the fringed edges about 1” to the inside of the bag. Machine stitch the sides. Turn the bag right side out and steam press the seams. Make a 42”-long, 12-strand rope handle. Tie knots on both ends of the rope, leaving 3” tassels at either end. Securely stitch the handle to the top of the bag beginning 1” from the top of the bag. Add a magnetic closure at the top if desired.

Finished size off loom:

8” wide by 28” long.

Finished size after washing:

7” x 27”

Finished bag:

6” x 9” with a 19” long handle