Friday, February 24, 2023

February OMG: Tablet Weaving Success!

In February my OMG was to warp my loom for my first tablet weaving project. The first step was easy: selecting a pattern and counting the number of lengths of each color of yarn. This pattern used 12 tablets and three colors, so I needed 30 strands of color A, 10 of color B, and 8 of color C, for a total of 48 strands (12 tablets x 4 strands each = 48 strands).

There are a lot of steps in warping -- marking your tablets the first time, cutting all the yarns, threading the tablets, and then getting them onto the loom, all while not tangling the yarns into knots. 

Of course I got my thread tangled up, but I was able to straighten everything out and get the yarn on the loom. (Eventually.)

Of course, I didn't take any pictures of what the warped loom looks like, so here's a screenshot from the course video:

Everything I had heard had said that the warping process was the hardest part of tablet weaving. Sure, there are complex patterns which required turning some tablets one way and some another, but this pattern was simple: turn the tablets 4 times forward, then turn them 4 times backward.  So I decided to give it a go. 

For the first 4 turns, you insert a toothpick each time to "lock" the weaving. After that, you pass the weft thread through after each turn.  And, suddenly, after only a few minutes, I had this: 

When I wove most of the available warp, I loosened up the loom and slid my completed band out of the way so I could keep making a longer band. 

I also realized, along the way, that I needed to keep track of which direction I was turning -- here's a point when I messed up the pattern my reversing it in the wrong spot. Still pretty cool to see what happens: 

One of the things I like most about this craft is that it has been done for centuries. There are loads of medieval illustrations of women tablet weaving. I note this in case you think this is an actual photo of me 😉

I kept working at it for a couple of hours, and eventually wove the entire band. Not bad when my OMG was simply to get the thread on the loom!

I plan to work on a more complicated pattern next, perhaps one with pieces that turn in opposite directions. Whatever I choose, I'm really thrilled with the result. It's definitely a first attempt -- my edges are uneven, as is my tension, but it's beautiful and I can't wait to make more. Thanks to OMG, I just might!

The One Monthly Goal link-up is organized by Elm Street Quilts and Stories from the Sewing Room with the idea that we can just focus on one task and make progress. You can see how everyone did in their February projects on the Finish Party page! Or choose an OMG project of your own and join us in March. 

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