Vintage Tennis Racket Weaving

A little still life of a few of my favorite things.

I started collecting vintage tennis rackets a few years back. I had completely forgotten about them until I came across a stack of rackets in my basement, which I like to call the black hole. Instead of tossing or selling them, I thought the rackets would be perfect for weavings. I hate to admit that I have this habit of holding onto things a little too long, because I know deep down I will find a use for it some day. I can't tell you how many fun things that are down in that basement, I'm like a kid walking into a candy shop every time I go down there, well maybe not that excited. I usually have to trip over the litter boxes and laundry that needs to be done in order to get to the treasured storage area. Sometimes it's a bit overwhelming but when I find that special something it's well worth it.

Okay back to the topic of the blog, the reason why I decided on the tennis rackets, is that I'm always looking for different ways to incorporate my weaving, a direction that is interesting and unexpected. I thought that I could achieve this with the tennis rackets by weaving a strong graphic and a touch of whimsy.

I used an image I found of some tennis rackets as a template. I then played around with bright bold colors in simple graphic combinations and of course a yellow circle for the tennis ball. I like to think of it as a play on vintage preppy polos of my childhood.

You get more impact when thinking of patterns as a series.

Once I was set on my designs, I removed the horizontal strings. This was super easy because the strings on these rackets were pretty brittle or missing completely.

Removing the horizontal strings is easy.

Once all the horizontal strings are off the racket, you've got your loom, just start weaving!

The detail below shows color blocking. The areas that are right up against the frame are bit tight to weave, but not impossible. I used a tapestry needle to get into those areas. You can find tapestry needles at your local craft store or on Amazon.

Color blocking with three different yarn colors.

Below, I used a chunky yarn, and boy does the weaving go fast. This weight might be my new go to on these tennis racket weavings. What's great about using the chunky yarn in these weavings is that it doesn't  take a lot of yarn at all and I can see myself making about three to four rackets with one skein of the chunky yarn.

This chunky yarn is so soft and adds a bit of dimension to the design.

Here is a detail of the finished vintage racket with the chunky yarn. The yellow poofs, which represent the tennis ball, are just rows of rya knots with a simple weave every few rows to keep the the section nice and tight. You can go in and trim the yellow really short or keep it a little longer like I did here.

Love the pattern this chunky yarn leaves with only a simple weave.

What I love about these vintage tennis racket weavings is that they can be incorporated into any gallery wall, or grouped together on one wall in a kid's room. The possibilities are endless.

Combining paintings, found art and even tennis rackets make for an eclectic styling around the home.

The vintage tennis racket weavigns are for sale in my Etsy shop. If you're interested in choosing your own color palatte leave me a note in the comments below or message me thru my Etsy shop.