The stars of Matariki / Ngā whetu o Matariki

Matariki StarWeaving a harakeke star is one of the workshops sometimes included in our events programme for Matariki.

This instructional resource was made to support the workshops. We used some of the information from the book Fun with Flax by Mick Pendergrast.

Instructions

Take one blade of harakeke
1

Fold in half lengthwise
2

Strip away the hard centre rib of the blade
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Strip away the edges of the blade
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The stripped blade should look like this
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Now separate the blade into two strips by pulling apart...
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two separate strips of harakeke
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Split each strip again
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Like this
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You should now have 4 strips ready for softening. This makes the strips easier to work with
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The back (dull side) of each strip is held firmly against the blunt edge of a knife, the harakeke is pulled along the length of the knife. This is done twice on the dull side and once on the shiny side
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Repeat this process on all four strips
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Take two strips of harakeke
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Place on top of each other
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Twist the strips around the fingers of the left hand as shown
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Place the other set of strips through the loop as shown
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And then bend it around the back of the loop
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Bring it back to the front and weave it over the upper strand of the original loop and then weave it under the lower strand of that original loop (this will take some practice) This basic knot is used for many other creations as well
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Your work should begin to look like this
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You now need to tighten the knot...
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by pulling each of the four strips
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Keep pulling
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The knot looks like this when tightened
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Turn the work over
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from now on the strips are used singly
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Using only the top strip of each layer, work your way around the knot folding these top strips so that they over lap each other
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The lower set of strips remains in its original position
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Tuck the last of the top strips under the first strip that you folded to secure it in place
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Your work should look like this - Now you are ready to shape the star by folding the remaining four strips
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Fold the top right hand strip diagonally across so that it forms the shape of a triangle at the top of the centre knot
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Fold the same strip down towards you to form a point
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Fold the pointed triangle in half
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Take hold of the pointed triangle in one hand & weave the remainder under the strip directly below the triangle to secure it in place
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Now pull that strip tight to sit flat against the middle knot
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Trim close to the knot
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You have completed your first point of the star
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Repeat the process for each strip on this side of the knot and then turn your work over and do the same for the other side of the knot
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Star almost completed two strips to go
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Congratulations you have made an 8 point star

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