O’Brien Knot Collaboration

Double-Faced Tablet Weaving ~ O’Brien Knot

OBrien Knot blog (2)

One of the wonderful things about going to a conference is the opportunity to network with other like-minded people from far and wide with diverse skills and knowledge.  Of course, I didn’t have any contact or business cards as I should have.  I have not had any use for them until now.  Luckily, most of the people I wanted to network with had some of their own, and I didn’t lose an opportunity this time.  One such artist turns out to be a lady from my guild.  I didn’t meet her until conference when I went for a day trip, and she was taking the money and manning the gate as it were.  We got along instantly, and she made a point to exchange contact information with me.  She mentioned collaborating, and while I don’t know what or how we would collaborate, I liked the sound of it.  We emailed back and forth a little and she told me about a friend/client that she has who wants some weaving with her heraldic knot-work.  I love Knot-Work and we talked about a little bandweaving she may consider.  So I thought, I must be up to this challenge and see what I can muster up.

Obrien Knot Plan

The first thing I did was look up her knot, the O’Brien knot.  It’s not overly complicated, thank goodness.  I emailed her to confirm I had the correct knot.  I immediately thought, double-faced weave, but I had brocade in the back of my mind as a back-up.  I’ve never had much luck with Guntram’s Tablet Weaving program, but I thought I would give it a try.  I was able to click-click-click my way to having the pattern all mapped out.  It looked good, however, I found I couldn’t copy and paste it at all.  Thus, the images are only available within the program.  I printed them out and while the turning legend is perfect, the graph is entirely too small to see.  So I used a double-faced tablet weaving grid to chart the pattern using the program for reference.  Now it’s readable, the only thing left to do is test the pattern.  Just because it looks good on paper doesn’t necessarily mean it will translate well in a weaving.  

Obrien Knot begin (2)

She mentioned she had a nice beige and green yarn to weave this with.  However, I am exactly one beige yarn and one green yarn short, but I have blue.  As this is just a test, I warped up the required tablets – 44 of them with two light blue yarns and two dark blue yarns.  I wrote the turning legend and got to work.  The first knot looked nice, but I thought it was too narrow or too tall.  Additionally, I realized more background was needed between the edges and the pattern, or they would touch and the eye would blur the two together.  So I warped four more cards and added them in as the new edge cards.  I tried the pattern once again and with a firmer beat (more of what I’m accustomed to), and the pattern shaped up much better.  I snapped a couple pictures and sent them off; she seemed thrilled. 

Obrien Knot begin (3)

Now, the pattern is tested and corrected, and I wrote everything pertinent down and made copies.  I don’t know what form of collaboration she has in mind, but I’m ready for it.  I believe, her yarn is a good deal thinner so the band will be more narrow, but the pattern should scale accordingly.  I threaded the cards so they would alternate, one card “Z” and one card “S” across the pattern.  I do however see little spots and wonder if I should have threaded the cards all one direction and just have the edge cards going opposite to maintain shape.  I’ve been weaving this pattern over and over.  I’ll do something with all these motifs eventually.  Before I’m done, I may flip the cards – changing the threading and give an alternate threading a shot to see if it will look better.  The majority of the lines are horizontal and vertical with only slight diagonals only to round off the edges, so it may be the answer.  Unfortunately, she’s been under the weather and busy with appointments, so we haven’t been able to get together to compare notes, but we’ll see each other soon and plan, plan, plan…Then weave, weave, weave…

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