Weaving a band of Antlers~
While browsing the internet and Facebook, I came across a pattern for a tablet woven band with an antler motif running along it. The pattern drew me in, and as I studied the pattern, the possibilities for its use formed in my mind. I knew these would look good in my Mothers living room as tie backs for her curtains. I showed her the pattern and the band it would make and she didn’t need any convincing; she liked it. When it comes to color I always have the same dilemma. I see in my head what I want, and then I’m limited to what I can find. We decided on a color combination and placed our order. We chose a combination of brown and cream #10 mercerized crochet cotton. We have everything we need so once I was done with a couple other projects, it was time to start.
As with any project not purchased as a kit, there’s a bit of work that comes first. The pattern needs to be in a usable format. Following the pattern from the website just doesn’t work for me. So I printed the page. Then I copied the key components I knew I needed and I enlarged anything I have to follow. I copied for my use, the threading chart, the turning sequence, and a copy of the woven band for reference. Then, since the pattern will need to be reversed every so often I wrote those sequences out to avoid confusion (Yea, Right!). I printed it out so I would have it handy. However, It didn’t take long to realize that while I reversed the turning sequence. I failed to reverse the row count, to start with the last pick and work back to the first. That needed to be fixed.
With pattern, strings, loom, and tablets in hand, it’s time to warp and prepare to weave. Warping always seems to take too long, but it has to be done correctly. Otherwise, you’ll rack your brains trying to figure it out, only to eventually take the time to correct the threading error. So taking my time, doing it right, and checking it twice is the only policy. This is a threaded-in design, so each card is individually threaded. Thankfully, there are only two colors only. The yarn must be threaded in a “Z” or “S” fashion, that is to say, the threads must pass through the cards going in this “/” direction for Z or this “\” direction for S. Oftentimes, this nomenclature for the for direction of twist is confusing. I need to be certain that I have enough warp to weave four 16 inch lengths plus waste. I want each tie back to measure 16 inches, and using 1 inch “D” rings will allow me to make a hem and loop on each end and have the “D” rings to fasten to the wall. I have a 110-inch warp. Therefore, I plan to weave as much as I can and cut them into usable lengths from the best parts of the band.
Thankfully, I was able to get the warping completed in an evening with the old Star Trek movies in the background (thank you SyFy channel) and pick out the shuttle I’ll use for the weaving. The next morning I began the weaving. First, I found my “Home” position by looking at the chart of the finished band. Second, I used small bamboo skewers as weft, both to spread the warp, and if I was mistaken by my home position I could pull them out and retry. Next, I wove a bit and tried to establish the appropriate width for the band. I decided to try to reverse my pattern to check that I had that done right, see how it looked, and start my band without any twist build up. This is when I realized that I had neglected to begin at the end and work my way back to the beginning. While I carefully reversed my turning directions I had to go back and reverse the sequence of rows.
I decided this band provides enough challenges to hold my interest. First, there will be a twist build up requiring me to comb out the twist or reverse my pattern. I choose to reverse the pattern, as the tangled mess that I’m sure would result would be a true test of my patience. Reversing the pattern will result in the antlers facing the opposite direction every so often. The tablets for this pattern are divided into three packs and turned individually. Therefore, this gives me the opportunity to turn a pack of tablets the wrong way and un-weave, and this can be difficult with tablet weaving. The warp is quite long and I’ll need to advance the weaving on a regular basis. While I wrapped the unused warp in a chain to prevent it from tangling, it will be a challenge to keep this mass under control. The band is working out to be close to 3/4 inches wide and each motif is nearly 1/2 high. I will likely work 8 or more motifs before reversing my pattern. There is a place above the head and between the antlers where the weft shows through. I remember someone online mentioning this before. Since we’re using a light color, it looks like the moon to me. It’s better to name it than be bothered by it since it’s unavoidable, and I kind of like it anyhow. I think I’m going to enjoy weaving this band.
View this post on the website to view the entire photo gallery.