Sunday, February 01, 2009

Tablet Weaving Excersise

I've taken a bit of a break from carving this week and instead spent some time practising tablet weaving. It is painstaking to set up with each thread having to be attached to the loom and threaded through the cards in the right direction, but once set up is complete the weaving itself is easy. Turn the cards in the correct direction, pass the weft through the warp, and tap it into place. That is pretty much it.

I chose a very simple knotwork pattern to be made from black and white crochet thread. The white thread has a metallic thread that wraps around it giving it a bit of a glitter. Instead of using both the fore and back spindles, like I did with the scarf, I decided to use S hooks and 1 oz. lead fishing weights on each thread to keep them tight. My pattern is using 16 cards with 4 thread per card so needless to say the whole thing weighs a great deal more than it would if I had chosen to use the spindles alone. However, with each thread on a separate hook the warp threads can be untangled and untwisted when they get twisted to tight because of the turning cards.

The hardest part about the weaving is keeping track of where in the pattern you are and making sure the cards get turned in the right direction. I can say, from experience, if you lose track of where you are working the pattern is soon a mess and you have to back it off until you get to the last known location and direction. With my current project it takes less than an hour to complete one pattern. To back it off until you get to a known location can take several hours and many false starts.

I am still getting used to the whole process. With the last project I figured out you need to allow 2 or 2.5 times the finished length of your project when setting up. This time I learned that you have to allow double the width as well. With 16 cards I was expecting the finished strap to be about 1.5 inches wide. Instead, the strap is only 3/4 inch wide. To make a 1.5 inch belt using the crochet thread I would have to make the pattern using 32 cards. Luckily this project isn't going to be used for a belt so the width isn't very important.

I'm actually enjoying weaving and am looking forward to trying a more complicated pattern. Maybe next time I will try three colour weaving and see how well I can do with that. But first I have to finish this strap and maybe do some more carving, too. I also need to practise my knitting stitches and hopefully get a headband/ earmuff done before the winter if over.


Anonymous said...

It looks so complicated. I still can't figure it out. I saw the finished product and it looks really sharp. You seem to be really enjoying your new craft. Thanks for the pics.

ps you should try making Peter a lanyard for his pass

Dee said...

I'm glad you like it. I'm hoping my next one will be good enough to put up for sale. I asked and he said no to the lanyard. Maybe another hatband or even a belt?