Lavender Wands

I must be channeling my inner Victorian lady.  A couple of weeks ago I was geeking out over getting an impromptu tatting lesson from Loren at the Golden Gate Fiber Institute.  This week, I was delighted to learn how to make lavender wands.  If I start sewing corsets and knitting silk stockings…well, you have been warned.

Kai’s school is starting school late this year, a fact I didn’t take into account when I signed up for the lavender-wand class at Weaving Works.  With no childcare in sight, I pondered how to deal with the situation when it hit me: Kai likes making stuff, he’s a reasonable kid, would he want to take the class with me?  He said, “Yeah.” (No doubt channeling his future teenage self.) And I called the store to see if that’d be possible.  The teacher graciously allowed Kai into her class and we were off!

This is the first time I’ve taken a class where Kai and I were students together.  And it was so much fun!  Kai wove a bit slower than the folks who had decades more experience using their fingers, but also brought an innovative spirit that some of us old fogies lacked (see his “ultimate bamboo-enhanced” lavender wand below.)

Here’s how much fun it was (lavender wand bunny ears provided by my camera-shy son.)

Lavender wand bunny ears

 

One of the wands that the instructor, Marcy Johnson, brought was a 2×2 twill that she dismissed as “too much trouble to bother with.”  She sells her wands, and I can see how that would be the case, but the weaver in me geeked out on it and wanted to give it a go at home.  There were lavender stems left over after the class, which students were free to take, so Kai and I each grabbed enough to make one additional homework wand each.

And retired to the patio with supplies (wand-making is messy, so a good outside summer project, Tully’s coffee optional.)

Making Lavender wands

 

We tried some unusual flat yarns instead of traditional ribbon to see how that would effect the wands.

Lavender wand supplies

I found that the stretchy nylon yarn took longer to weave (because small) but produced a good, tight wand at the end, because you could reef on the yarn and get it snug.  The rough texture also held knots well.

The glittery wand is my 2×2 twill and I was thrilled at how it turned out.  I continued the twill pattern down the shaft of the stems, creating a solid, non-fraying handle.

Twill Lavender wand

For his at-home wand, Kai chose a bright, multi-hued, colorway.  We used matches to seal the ends of the nylon, and Kai had so much fun that he melted off a good portion of the ribbon off the end of his wand.  But then—and here’s what I love about this kid—he didn’t freak out, or call the piece ruined.  He kept working on it.  (There’s a lesson for all artists there.)

While I was inside cleaning up the kitchen.  I saw him cut down a piece of bamboo from the garden, peel parts of it off, and grind it on a stone.  When I came out to check on him, he’d created: the ultimate lavender-wand weapon.

Lavender wand weapon

Features include an ergonomic bamboo handle, lavender-enhanced cudgel, sharp pointy bamboo end, and best of all, when you vanquish your enemies, they’ll smell good.

It is quite the ingenious and well-made thing.  Stinky vampires of the world: beware.

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