Antler Tablet Woven Band

Weaving a band of Antlers~

One skewer where the usable band starts. I like the motifs and the way this band weaves up.

One skewer where the usable band starts. I like the motifs and the way this band weaves up.

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.

Amended pattern page.

Amended pattern page.

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.

Threading the cards. This one is threaded in a "Z" fashion, because it goes through the card like this /. As they're threaded they're laid face down.

Threading the cards. This one is threaded in a “Z” fashion because it goes through the card like this /. As they’re threaded they’re laid face down.

 

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.

Cards threaded, loom warped, excess warp chained to prevent tangles. Ready to weave.

Cards threaded, loom warped, excess warp chained to prevent tangles. Ready to weave.

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.  

The first pattern repeat. Skewers are used to spread the warp and provide a firm base to beat against.

The first pattern repeat. Skewers are used to spread the warp and provide a firm base to beat against.

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.

A website devoted to learning, sharing and teaching a wide range of fiber arts. Inkle, Tablet and Navajo style weaving, Spinning, Knitting, Crochet, Sewing and Lace Making. Silver Work, Beading and Tool Making grace my bench as well.

8 comments on “Antler Tablet Woven Band
  1. Amy says:

    It’s good to know that I am not the only one out there trying to make sense of a pattern, and have it fit the way you want it to. I believe you are a fantastic weaver; I have seen your YouTube videos and followed the link to here. I’m certain that your Mother’s curtain tie backs are in good hands, LOL. I would love to know where you purchased your tablet loom, or did you have it made? I have to remember to have my husband make a square out of nails to hold my tablets while warping. I always forget, but it is a great way to hold on to them and keep them straight. Thank you.

    • Hi Amy, thank you for your kind words. It’s a wonderful feeling to know that my content is reaching people that find it useful. Some patterns I find seem to make sense, while others take a great deal of effort, and then there are the ones that make no sense and my eyes glaze over. I tend to follow my interests and if I want to learn and do it enough, I figure it out.
      I made my own tablet weaving loom. It is really just a step above a board and two C-clamps. I think it took a drill, some carriage bolts, wing-nuts, some wood and nails for the spreader. The little device I use to hold the cards as I warp them for threaded in patterns is outlined in Collingwoods, book. I have a blog about some of the looms and tools I’ve built, you can find it here titled This Ole Loom . It will show some looms that you may have little interest in, but it does show the card holding device and this loom in better detail towards the bottom.
      I hope this helps you and your husband in your weaving endeavors. I’ll continue to make videos, they take a great deal of time and effort, even though they only last a few minutes.

  2. Kristie says:

    Ok I am a REALLY slow learner ???? What is the “home” position? Do all cards begin with AB facing towards the weaver where AD on top? Can’t seem to find the right beginning.

    HELP!

    • Hi, Kristie. Thank you for taking the time to check out my site and shooting me a message. It’s important to note that I did not create this pattern. In the case of this particular pattern, the home position of the tablets is noted on the picture of the pattern I posted. I use Linda Hendrickson’s “A-B line” on my tablets. I draw a line from the “A” hole to the “B” hole. On this pattern, the A-B line is facing the weaver or the woven band. The A & D should be on the top, and B & C should be on the bottom. It has been a while since I used this pattern. I really enjoyed it and should weave another band with this pattern. I hope it helps. Shoot me another message if I can be of further assistance. Janean

    • Kristie,
      I tried to send a reply to your other question through your email, but it was returned to me. So I will just paste the body of the message here.

      Hi, Kristie,
      I made my own tablet weaving loom. I used a 1 X 6 X 30 (36 cut to 30) board from Home Depot for the body of the loom. Then, I used a 1 X ½ board and cut 2 to the width of the body (6 in). I drilled two holes through both the 1 X ½ and the body on each end. I used four carriage bolts (two on each end) to hold the 1 X ½ to the body. This is how the band is held under tension. I cut two additional sections from the 1 X ½. I nailed one close to the start to keep the band elevated. Then, I placed finishing nails on the other one, spaced out about ¼ ” to keep the warp spread out in an orderly fashion. I attached this warp spreader almost at the end. In this way, the band is held under tension by the two smaller pieces of wood and the carriage bolts (with wingnuts), and elevated by the two other boards, the one at the further end, spreading the warp. It should be noted, I sometimes bypass the tension at the end with certain tablets. For example, I like to turn my selvage tablets forward only. These tablets will have considerable twist build-up, so I bypass the tension for these and attach fishing weights to hold them under tension. In this way, when twist builds up on these tablets, I can push the twist to the end and the fishing weight will spin. Otherwise, I would need to release the band from tension and comb this twist out.

      I hope this makes sense. There should be pictures of all of this somewhere on my site, likely nested in posts. My English has improved since the last post, so you’ll have to excuse the poor grammar in the posts.

      There is a better picture of the loom on the post titled This Ole Loom

      Let me know if I can help more,

      • Kristie Brady says:

        Again, many thanks for the loom info. I have several, but this one is so straight forward, especially if there are multiple packs where you need a lot of space.

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