CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

Make a Lavender Wand

Weaving a lavender wand is a good way to spend a lazy summer day.  You will need freshly harvested lavender and about two to three yards of 1/4″ to 1″ ribbon.  Have a pair of scissors and maybe needle-nosed pliers nearby.

Harvest the lavender in the morning while the plants are dew-kissed and pliable.  You’ll probably be in competition with the bees; however, I’ve never been stung.

For the wands, select lavender with compact heads and long straight stems.  Pick out an odd number, seven to thirteen stems, that are about the same length.  Tie the ribbon tightly beneath the bouquet of lavender heads.  Have a short end and a long end to the ribbon,  The short end should hang a little longer than the stems.  The long end will be used to weave the wand.

Next, turn your lavender bouquet stem side up and, using your fingernails or the needle-nosed pliers, flatten each stem near the ribbon so that the stems fall over the buds.  You can control the way the stems fall by the way you pinch the stem.  Try for an umbrella rib effect.

Take the long end of your ribbon and start weaving over and under the stems and snugging the weaving up to the previous row.  The first two rows are the hardest.

After you have woven past the flower heads, put more tension on the ribbon to bring the stems together.  When the stems are together and the wand looks right, find the short end of the ribbon and bring it to the outside of the stems. Tie a bow using the short end and the long end of the ribbon.  Trim the stems when you are done.

Now that you have the hang of it, branch out.  Use a bigger bunch of lavender and go over two and under two stems.  Cover the stems with a ribbon wrapping.  Weave with a knitted cord.  The choices are up to you and there is no wrong way.

Hang your finished wands to dry for a few days.  A friend told me that she didn’t do that, and her wand developed mold.  I’ve never had a problem with mold, but better safe than sorry.

The wands will last for years.  You can gently squeeze the wand to release more of the aromatic oils.  Lavender wands have been crafted at least since the middle ages.  The scent is thought to be effective as a bug repellent so the wands would be stored with clothing and linens. Lavender scent was also thought to be a way to attract a beau, another reason for its popularity.

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