It’s not difficult to finish the Weave-Along book. Really you could slap it together yourselves, but there are a few things I noticed from the first and second times I made the book that may help you get more satisfying results. (By the way, if you’ve had any difficulties with the instructions or construction, I’d love to hear feedback so I can improve my presentation. Thanks!)

The book that inspired the WAL

REMEMBER: You can click on a photo to enlarge it. Hit the back arrow to return to these instructions.

STEP ONE

Stack your squares or compare them to each other to make sure they’re all roughly the same size. If one of them is vastly different you may have to make a replacement square because you want them all the same size.

Checking for size discrepancies

Determine which two you want for your front and back pairs of covers. I chose the beaded diamond for the outside front, the unbeaded diamond for the outside back, the two-color plain weave for the inside front, and the single-color plain weave for the inside back.

Paired up sets for front and back covers

*** I wish to point out here that the back cover diamond as it appears in many of the photographs is not the back cover I will end up with. Here’s why: because we’re turning our squares 90 degrees to the left (to disguise the uncenteredness of the diamonds), the direction of the threads and/or beads will also change. It’s not as noticeable that the beads are now lying on their side instead of pointing upward, but it’s noticeable that the unbeaded U3 threads that make the diamond are now lying on their sides. I prefer the look of vertical diamond lines rather than horizontal. For this reason, I will eventually catch on in the photos below and change so that the original back side of the diamond will become the front—or the side you’ll see facing outward on the back cover. Here you see the green threads, but in the final version the diamond will show up in white.

STEP TWO

Choose one of your blocks and measure it. If one is a bit smaller than the others, use that one.

This square is about 3.75 x 3.75 inches

You’ll make your covers to accommodate the smallest square, but keep in mind it can be stretched a bit (especially if it’s wool).

With this set of squares, the smallest is the woven diamond at 3 1/2″ x 3 5/8″

I cut a sample template out of scratch paper at 3.5″ x 3.5″.  This is the size I’ll make my cover-and-page template (see Step Five).

3.5″ x 3.5″ scratch paper fits the green square, but is too large for the purple

For the purple set of squares, I’ll cut my cover-and-page template to 3 3/8″ x 3 3/8″, knowing I can stretch the smallest square.

STEP THREE

Cut two pieces of your cover material the same size as your template. (Unbelievably, I don’t have a photo of this—I guess because my covers were already cut.)

For the pink sample book, I used craft foam for the inner covers. For the green book I decided to experiment with plastic canvas. I’ll tell you now that it works just fine, but I prefer the craft foam. I can’t explain why, I just prefer the way it feels.

I trimmed the rough, pokey edges of the canvas and also cut off the sharp corners. This was probably unnecessary, but seemed the thing to do.

Plastic canvas trimmed and corners rounded

STEP FOUR

Work in the ends of your squares. I just tacked them lightly on the back of each square. When I was sewing the covers together the ends made corner work a little bit confusing, so you might want to tack them in place closer to the corners. Just make sure they don’t show through to the other side.

Loosely work in ends at the back of the squares

*** Notice in the photo, I worked in the ends of the beadless diamond (top left) on the original back of that square. Very shortly I’ll realize my preference lies else-wise. I’ll undo the work I just did on that square and tack the ends in on the green side of the diamond instead.

Left: ends now worked in on the original front of the square
Right: this is how the square will look on the back cover

STEP FIVE

Cut a cover-and-page template. I used scratch paper, but you might want to use cardstock.

Measure 1/4″ in from the left edge of your template.
Mark dots 5/8″ down from the top and up from the bottom.
Punch a 1/8″ hole on each mark.

If you’re using craft foam or some other hole-less material, you’ll need to use your template to mark and punch holes in it.

Use template to mark craft foam cover inserts (white piece on left), then punch holes

STEP SIX

Assemble one of the covers by sandwiching your cover stiffener between two of the squares. Make sure the corners will match up. You might want to start with the back cover to practice on.

Assemble the covers. Square on the left is face down. Square on the right will turn like a page and lay worked-in-end side down on top of the plastic canvas.

Place your template on top of this cover sandwich. Thread a piece of scrap yarn through one hole, across the back, and out the other hole. DON’T SKIP THIS PART OF STEP 6. Remove the template and tie a bow or knot. When your covers are sewn up this scrap yarn tells you where the holes are for correct ring placement. Also, the scrap yarn acts as a basting stitch to help hold the covers together while you stitch.

Cover sandwich all ready to stitch

STEP SEVEN

If you were clever and remembered to leave a one-yard beginning tail on one of your squares, you can use it to sew your covers together. If not (I was only clever on one out of four), cut a generous one-yard length of yarn and work the beginning end into one edge inside the cover.

We’ll take a running stitch through the loops.

Take the needle through matching pairs of loops

Running stitch is somewhat like basic plain weave: over, under (shown below with contrasting yarn). Be careful to not split the yarn as you sew. Also be very attentive at the corners—make sure you’re stitching through loops, not yarn tails. One of the corners has three loops (I think it is, appropriately, corner 3), so be prepared for that. Corner 2 is a little finicky, but it does have two loops, so be sure to catch them both.

Because the running stitch will only seal up one half of the loops, we’ll be going around the cover twice. The second round will continue on after the first and will seal up the second half of the loops.

Two rounds of running stitches yield a tighter seam closure than a single round

(Oops, I made a mistake in my purple sample above. One of the green stitches caught a weft—or wrap—thread, so watch out for that. It probably won’t show as obviously when your yarn matches though.)

It can be difficult to see exactly where your loops are when you’re using yarn that matches your square, so be very careful that your second round of stitches catches the loops in the opposite way as the first round.

Needle is pointing to an “unsealed” loop on the second round of running stitch

Stitching twice around both covers takes a little while . . .

STEP EIGHT

After both covers are stitched, insert the mini book rings into the holes marked by the scrap yarn.

Insert book rings into cover

Don’t remove the scrap yarn till you’re all done with your book. You may want to do some page switching and you don’t want to lose the place of the cover holes.

Cut pages the same size as, or a bit smaller than, your template. Use the template to punch holes in the pages. I like my first and last page to match each other, so I use a piece of scrapbook paper.

Two books with sample inner pages

I recommend thin paper for the pages and will cut up some drawing paper for the pages of this book.

Drawing paper about to go under the knife

Finished mini sketchbook!

Back and front covers

If you have a lot of pages, the book will be hard to use. (For the pink sample book I had to use larger rings because I had too many, too thick pages. The larger rings were too thick for the 1/8″ holes, so the book’s pages don’t turn with the greatest of ease.)

Pages are too thick for the small rings

Bonus sneak peak at a few of the pink book’s pages!

Left: scrap of practice painting strokes
Right: uh, that’s a mushroom painting

Left: ink drawing
Right: part of a larger (failed) painting

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