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Assumption Made, Lesson Learned

September 27, 2012

The past few weeks I’ve been puttering around trying to work out a pattern for some tablet weaving I want to do for a new bliaut.  My plan is to have the dress to wear for Crown Tournament, which is now only three weeks away, so I really need to get cooking!

I finally made a pattern I was satisfied with and warped up the big floor loom on Tuesday night.  I started to do a little weaving right away and the pattern just wasn’t coming out right!  I was getting half of the pattern right on one side of the band, but on the other side, the pattern was showing up on the bottom side of the weaving.  Boy, was that frustrating!

I tried a bunch of solutions, rotating and flipping cards into different configurations, turning the cards in two separate packs, but nothing worked.  Finally, I was doing some reading in Candace Crockett’s Card Weaving and I hit upon what seemed to be the issue.

In tablet weaving, the cards that the warp threads run through can be threaded in two different ways.  Generally, all of the cards face to the weaver’s left and the threads can run through either from left to right or right to left.  In two-color weaving, it’s possible to reverse the orientation of the cards and change the pattern of the weaving.  I had assumed that this was true no matter what, so I threaded all of my cards the same way and then just flipped the ones I needed to in order to create the pattern I wanted.

Come to find out, in multi-color weaving, you can’t just flip the cards around!  If the pattern says that the cards have to be threaded from right to left, they actually have to be threaded from right to left.  You can’t just thread them left to right and then reverse the cards!

Luckily, fixing this problem is easier than fixing a mix-up in inkle weaving.  All I had to do was untie the incorrect threads and put them back through the cards the right way and re-tie them – no tedious re-warping the whole thread.

So, here’s the resulting pattern.  This is using #10 crochet cotton and 14 4-hole cards.  The band is about 3/8″ wide.  I’m planning to put this around the biceps and neckline of a new bliaut that will be dark green with gold trim.  I had originally made a wider pattern, but decided that it would be too difficult to try to attach wide trim around a curved neckline, so the plan is to run the narrow trim around twice, perhaps with a narrow band of inkle weaving in between.  We’ll see how the time goes.

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