Anyway, I was sitting reminiscing about those days and suddenly recalled my long-ago thrown away brown and green crios. One thought led to another and I remembered that many years ago, while at primary school, we were taught how to weave one of these traditional belts by one of the nuns, and could vividly bring to mind just how it was done. I couldn't wait to try it again!
I decided to make a crios using colours which could be worn with a nice modern pair of blue jeans, so I opted for navy, royal blue, cream and grey. I chose acrylic yarn so that the belt can be easily washed at 30C and is light to wear. First I cut out long strips of cardboard (yes, cardboard - who needs a wooden loom?!?) 7cm wide and joined them together at the ends to make 1 long strip equalling the length required for the belt (in this case totalling 192 cm (75.5 inches), not including the plaited fringe. I found, by trial and error, that it was best to staple the strips together; I had at first tried sellotape but found it came loose while weaving.
All along both sides of the strip I cut 1 cm (0.39 inch) slits at 1cm (0.39 inch) intervals (for a finer weave you would make the intervals smaller). This was a laborious task but necessary and worth all the effort in the end!
And this shows how to thread the warp at the back
of the cardboard.
It was important too to tie the end of the warp securely around the card at the ends, leaving a long thread which can be plaited in at the ends (explanation comes later).
leaving approx. 22 cm (8.6 inches) of yarn hanging at either end (to be plaited when complete).
Now that we're getting all technical we can start calling these threads the "weft"!
On the next row the yarn is threaded opposite to the 1st. i.e. under, over instead of over, under.
Then it's just a question of continuing in this way until the pattern is complete. Whatever pattern you choose it's essential to get as many threads of yarn as possible between the fringed sides of the cardboard, in order to make a nice tight weave. When we later remove the weaving from the card we don't want holes appearing or the warp thread to be too visible.
I made sure to make a pattern which could easily be added to at either side in case I needed to squeeze more threads in for this purpose.
So this is my symmetrical pattern: 3 strands of navy blue, 2 royal blue, 5 cream, 10 grey, 1 royal blue, 1 cream, 1 royal blue, 1 cream, 1 royal blue, 1 cream, 1 royal blue, 1 navy blue, 1 cream, 1 navy blue, 1 royal blue, 1 cream, 1 royal blue, 1 cream, 1 royal blue, 1 cream, 1 royal blue, 10 grey, 5 cream, 2 royal blue, 3 navy blue.
The weaving was finished, so now it was time to plait the ends. I chose to make 4 plaits, making sure to plait in the ends of the warp thread as well at the same time. I made a knot in each plait at about 8 cm (3.14 inches) and cut the ends to the same length to neaten it all up.
Then, bending up the cardboard tabs with the loop of warp thread on them (see next photo) I carefully removed the belt from the cardboard. Again, making sure not to snap the warp threads or this would all have been for nought!