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Chai and Cardweaving!

March 6, 2010

I’ve got  a pot of chai simmering, and it’s making the house smell divine.  Wonderful warming spices to cheer even the greyest of days of winter. Here are the herbs before simmering.

Now here’s the recipe:

Red Rooibis Chai:

5 cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces

dash of vanilla extract

1 tsp ground nutmeg

3 star anise, broken up

8 whole cardamom pods

4 Tbsp fresh grated ginger

3 peppercorns, bruised

3 whole cloves

pinch of sea salt

6 cups water

Simmer these spices for 30 min.  Turn off heat and add a handful of loose rooibis red tea, or several teabags of any kind of tea.  let steep for 10 min.  strain and serve with milk and sweetener of your choice.

ENJOY!! my kids love this drink, with steamed milk in the morning.  A great digestive tonic for the whole family.


And on the weaving front, i’ve been experimenting with cardweaving.  This ancient form of belt weaving uses cards to create a”shed” to weave intricate belt patterns.  H

Using cards made of paper, wood, horn, bone etc., you can weave an infinite array of designs.

check out Linda Hendrickson’s amazing website and gallery! she has done absolutely wonderful things with card weaving!  and Mike from Wormspit has an amazing gallery too.  His website is totally inspiring on another front: domesticated silkworm cultivation. i will be posting more about this,  as the kids and i will be raising silkworms this summer!

So i sat up late last night while the kids were sleeping, and warped my inkle loom up and threaded my first card woven belt.

I am so excited to learn more about this technique and experiment.  Apparently you can even weave letters and words!  So cool!  I am using my Gilmore Inkle loom and am just bypassing the texsolve heddles to use the cards.

I can’t help but wonder how people figured this technique out.  Years of trial and error to figure out how to weave with simple tools.  I am so thankful that people are still around who know how to do this and other fiber related crafts, and have the foresight to continue to write and teach about them to us.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 7, 2010 2:52 am

    Mmmn, I will have to try your chai recipe… do you think it will work with almond milk? I have made card-woven shoelaces before and they are REALLY sturdy.

  2. March 7, 2010 3:10 pm

    yep, i’ve used almond milk, goat milk, cow milk, rice milk…they all taste wonderful! and i use maple syrup to sweeten if i am feeling extra decadent!! cardwoven shoelaces!! great idea!

  3. March 9, 2010 11:16 pm

    i’m gonna buy chai ingreds. tomorrow-thanks for the recipe. i need to break my black tea addiction 🙂

  4. May 26, 2011 8:28 pm

    I learned card weaving in the late 60’s however there was no loom
    Mine was suspended between a doorknob and the back of a chair
    and easily transportable. I am about to try to introduce some teens
    to weaving this summer. Do you have any hints ? Do you think
    ankle bracelots would work? I have the cards in stock because I
    taught my daughter and we would have multiple “looms” set up.
    My teacher taught me to plan the pattern on graph paper also.
    I have taught an education class to art teachers just using pretty
    heavy yarn so not so many cards were necessary however the
    pattern is not quite so pretty. Always interested in hearing about
    a weaver. I work at Tri-Township Library in Troy, Illinois
    THanks JEANNE

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