Making himmeli

As I told you about in the blog post from the other day, 'himmeli' - straw mobiles - have been
on my mind since I first really spotted one, in a museum village house at Skansen in Stockholm,
several years ago (I have written several blog posts on himmeli, you can find them by clicking the word in the tag cloud in the left side af the blog. Or use the search bar under the tag cloud...).

So, I decided to give making one myself a try - and started with thin plastic straws, which I bought
in this local shop here. Plastic straws are a great way to practise, and if you could find them in nice
solid colors, that would look great.

I could not find a single actual tutorial anywhere - but have found a swedish booklet on 'Halmslöjd',
and a few practical tips here and there.
So I just sort of did it - and it was fun, and the result wasn't half crazy!

And when harvest comes next season, I am going to make one in real straw. A BIG one!

I talked to a Swedish girl at Form & Design Center in Malmö, who had made some absolutely
beautiful ones from paper - she rolled tubes of paper, using knitting pins and glue, and gave the
paper tubes a coat of varnish sometimes, and sometimes not.

The one single thing that really helped me in this project, was this little mini tutorial on making the
basic cubic diamond shape. I googled my way to it, and found it here on Elsie Marleys blog.

It's basic geometry, but somehow when you start thinking about it, you could assemble this shape in
so many ways - but she explains it in a simple way, and illustrates with images as well.

After making the himmeli shown below, I found this very fine tutorial - 
on the blog 'Aunt Peaches'. Click here....

I found that these things are a great help:
  • Look at many photographs of different himmeli, and study them.
  • Make a rough sketch of your idea.
  • You'll absolutely need these tools: ruler, scissors, long needles ('dolls needles'), a crochet pin.
  • Choose the right kind of string: a little coarse, but not fluffy. Something that doesn't twist.
  • Improvise, when you assemble the units - you'll start making an awful lot of knots, and learn that you actually dont need that many, but this has to be experienced.
  • There is a reason why himmeli are often seen with little tassles. You'll find out.
I'll show you a few photos from when I made My First Himmeli, ta daa.

A sketch gives you a rough idea about how many bits you need to cut. (twelve bits to a basic eight sided cube).

Measure, measure, measure -

- but not necessarily every single bit. Just bundle them and make them even.

I made an awful lot of small ones.

Starting with the large centerpiece one, doing like Elsie Marley says (see above). The long needle is great here....

The cube, before the vertical straws are added...

So, now it's a cube - and then you just make a loooot of those. And figure out how to join them!

And here is the result.