Welcome - to the procrastination and insanity ~

Hello, there! I'm Kari and he (points to man playing with a pet hedgehog nearby) is my husband Randy. He dabbles in the SCA (society for creative anachronism) when he has the time and money. I have always been crafty and enjoyed history, so we're combining forces to create and continue to improve a Viking persona. This blog will be where I can recount my various misadventures in such things as embroidery, sewing, tablet weaving, nalbinding, cooking, etc. This will allow interested parties to follow my progress on projects, offer help, feedback and also learn from my mistakes. I will also include projects my husband and I will work jointly on, such as our Viking tent, bed and eventual other encampment items. I may, from time to time, add in my husbands related misadventures into armour making and the like. So, let the insanity begin!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tablet Woven belt (teal, maze and natural crochet thread)

My current foe is a tablet woven belt done in size 3 crochet thread (cotton). The colors are teal, "maze" (a pale yellow) and "natural". It's not visible in the pictures (and hardly visible in person) but the light colored parts consist of 3 sections, the outer two are maze and the inner is natural. The pattern I'm using comes from Guntram's Tabletweaving Thingy at http://www.guntram.co.za/tabletweaving/. This particular pattern is called "Shadow Weave" and my husband and I worked out color changes and a few tweaks to the pattern, but the design is not ours. Oh, this is a threaded in pattern.

The turning sequence is not difficult -

1-8 F, 9-10 B, 11-20 F, 21-22 B, 23-24 F. picks 1 and 2
1-6 F, 7-12 B, 13-18 F, 19-22 B, 23-24 F. picks 3 and 4
1-4 F, 5-14 B, 15-16 F, 17-22 B, 23-24 F. picks 5 and 6
1-6 F, 7-12 B, 13-18 F, 19-22 B, 23-24 F. picks 7 and 8

then the whole thing just repeats..again, and again, and in my case, again for what seems like eternity. Unfortunately there are some mistakes in the band, as you can see below, I lost my place and so there are too many "weaves" in this portion. There are also occasional long floats that aren't SUPPOSED to be there. I just missed a thread.

The back of the work is really just a mismash of colors and not all that pretty. I guess it looks kinda cool though. Definatly not something worth showing off, however. This is not a doubleface pattern, that's for sure!

(Sorry the pictures are so dark, the flash was whiting out the design on the weaving, and without a flash they were a bit too dark.)

This is definitely not a perfect piece, but hopefully it will look decent as a belt and suffice for the time being until I can move onto more accurate materials such as wool and silk.

I learned to tablet weave from the Internet with a little clarification from a kind woman at the Dublin, OH Irish Festival who was there with a historic recreation group. While I understood the general gist of how it worked I had some gaping holes in my understanding that she helped me work out.

It was her, ( I wish I knew her name) who gave me the ideas to get my materials started. I'm the kind of person who wants to go whole (hedge) hog wild off the go and get all historically accurate components. This really isn't economical or practical however. While I wanted to go get bone and wood weaving supplies and start working in wool right away, she rightfully pointed out that I could begin weaving much cheaper and also get in some practice with cheap tools all while making sure I actually could do the art and would enjoy it! (Smart woman she is!)

So, for those who either didn't think of it or need a little push - here is my original "kit" A deck of playing cards (which actually IS historically accurate...just not for the Viking time period) a wooden chopstick (beater) and those annoying fake credit cards I get sent in the mail constantly (also old gift cards, reward cards, etc.) cut to make a quiet sturdy shuttle. Total Cost - $0

The cotton crochet thread is easily available in a variety of colors and reasonably priced. If you work in size 3 (like I did as I began) it's quite easy to see mistakes, make lots of visible progress and finish pieces rather quickly. (Yay!) so I defiantly suggest this tactic for anybody wanting to get tablet weaving. You can get tablet weaving for less than $6, for two - three colors of crochet thread.

Recently added to my kit is a wooden loom...thing...that my husband built for me. It's not the prettiest girl at the dance, but she'll do. It's just helpful to keep things all taught and in place so that I can easily set a project aside without worrying about it getting tangled and all. I believe the cost for this was somewhere around $15 and maybe an hour of work. My husband would remember better. It works quite well for what we need it for, however it has since come to my knowledge that I could have had something that worked similar in an easier design. The bar on the weavers end spins and holds it's tight place with a series of pegs, so that the finished work can be rolled up to keep it out of the way. There are 4 other bars that can be used in various manners to wrap the warp around to keep it taught.

All in all I've decided that I do like tablet weaving and SOMEDAY I will replace my sad playing cards with some pretty wood tablets, I believe. My next project is another belt, also in crochet cotton (for cost effectiveness) for my husband. I intend to put words on it, viking ships and knotwork designs. This next project will be my first venture into double face tablet weaving, which shouldn't be that difficult as I already have the patterns worked out. However, I am going to be making a wool 6 piece Viking cap for my husband quite soon, and I would like to weave some trim for that in a rather fine wool. I'm thinking simple bordered chevrons. Maybe THAT will be my NEXT tablet weaving project. Hmmm....

Back to work!

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