Wooohooo! I just finished my 7th tablet woven band! *veryhappydance*
The pattern I chose for my new tablet woven band is not very complicated but it looks really great and I like it. The purple and the yellow work so much better together than I initially anticipated. This band definitely makes a great addition to my tablet woven band stash for future tunic sewing projects for my sweetheart.
Like the other tablet weaving patterns which I tried till now, I found this pattern in the book “Applesies and Fox Noses – Finished Tabletwoven Bands” and its name is:
or “Small applesies”
It looks good, doesn’t it. And here a picture of all of my new tablet woven bands together:
Starting at the bottom you can see my 5th band, in the middle my 6th band and then my most recent one, the 7th band, on top. I think I am really making progress here. My weaving seems to improve with every band I make.
And besides all the practice I had recently, the hint I got from my friend Elina from Finland, who is doing tablet weaving far longer than I am, might have played a great role in my improvement as well. Some of you might be familiar with her as she has one of the best blogs about 14th century garb making. And here are the links to her Neulakko blog/ website & her fanpage on facebook. Please check them out later as it is really worth it! 🙂
But back to my tablet weaving and Elina’s hint. Elina saw some of the progress pictures of my 6th tablet woven band on facebook and was so nice to contact me to give me the following hints in order to improve my tablet weaving:
First hint was to use a thinner weft thread to avoid the pattern from stretching.
Second hint was to lower the tension of my warp to get a much better looking pattern.
When I started working at my 7th band, I tried to incorporate all of her hints as good as I could. First I replaced my weft thread with a cotton quilting thread. Though a thin linen weft thread would be period and documentable according to Elina, I unfortunately couldn’t find any “thin” linen thread in the shops here so I went with a suitable substitution – cotton quilting thread. But well, given that I am actually weaving with size 10 crochet thread as good (and polyester free) wool thread is just too expensive and not that easy to get here, I am sure that the cotton quilting thread will not matter that much… 😉
And then I started working at my tension. I can tell you, reducing the tension of my warp sounded easy enough but it definitely wasn’t. Once you are used to working with a certain tension it’s quite difficult to adjust. Nevertheless, as my old dog here is capable of learning new tricks and commandos, I was certainly sure that I could learn to work with less tension too…
However, I decided to give me some time to adjust. Therefore I started with the tension I was used to, wove a little, reduced the tension by a bit, wove a little more,… until I reached a tension where the turning of the tablets was not that easy anymore because of the lack of tension. Well, don’t take me wrong – the pattern looked great but my cards and warp threads started to get tangled up. But I didn’t give up and started to search for a solution.
That’s when I remembered that Elina actually recommended to me to give up my weaving frame and to go with one of the weaving solutions where you attach a part of the weaving to your belt and the other part to somewhere in the house. But with my two cats, the dog and a husband roaming free through the house that was so not gonna happen. Therefore I disregarded it as soon as she mentioned it. However, one part of this hint stuck in my brain and suddenly surfaced. That with the belt solution an easier control of the tension is possible. When a higher tension is needed in order to rotate ones cards, it could be easily achieved by leaning back and by leaning forward one could loosen up the tension again…
…and I figured that I could use this same principle for myself – just a little bit different – and started experimenting. It took many inches of weaving but I finally came up with a solution that works quite well for me. I work with a quite loose tension now and whenever I need to tighten up my tension I simply take the thumb of my left or right hand, lay it over the warp thread on the bottom and push it down while I am rotating my cards with my other hand. This way I can very easily and fast adjust my tension and make sure that my warp and my cards don’t tangle up – or at least not too much… 🙂
As I still have to get used to a much lower tension, I might stick with the simple tablet weaving patterns for now. However, it feels great to see that I am improving and that I am getting much more comfortable with the tablet weaving technique… 😀
I am really excited about the fact that I can easily take my tablet weaving loom everywhere and work on another band once the warp is set. Already some time ago I’ve given up on taking my embroidery projects to events as all of my projects seem to be very delicate nowadays. And I need really good light to work on my stitches – so many tiny stitches… *sigh* Yeah, and I just can’t concentrate on a project the same way as I can at home…
Well, I never thought that I would say it one day but: tablet weaving is really awesome! I can take my frame everywhere and the bands make such a great embellishment for my husbands tunics… 😀