Double Faced Tablet Weaving
I hope you enjoyed trying tablet weaving from the last issue. Now it is time to step up to double face, a technique that allows you to form patterns not limited by the number of holes in your tablets. Patterns for double face are charted on graph paper just like regular tablet weaving. The beauty of double face is that it will allow you to do inscriptions and elaborate designs. Once again, I'm going to ask you to trust me and just do what I tell you. All will become clear in time!
First, you are going to need ten cards and two colors of yarn. Regular orIon 4-ply knitting yarn can be used, now that you are more experienced. Number your cards from 1 to 10. Cut 20 pieces of each color yarn about twice as long as your tablet weaving frame. Thread one color through holes A and D and the other through holes B and C (fig. 1). When you have all the cards threaded, set up your loom as you do for regular tablet weaving (see "Tablet Weaving", from EP issue #4).
First weave eight turns, turning the cards all one way. You will have a striped pattern. Now turn the cards forward and weave two turns. Then turn the cards toward you and weave two turns. This time you will have a large area of one color on the top and .another of the other on the bottom. Now comes the tricky part. We are going to weave 1/2 the strip in one color and the other 1/2 in the other color. Take cards 1-5 in your hand and move them away from the other cards (Fig. 2). This is called "splitting the pack". I am going to call cards 1-5 "Pack A" and 6-10 "Pack B" for clarity. #Turn Pack A away from you and Pack B toward you 1/4 turn, and pass your weft through the shed (if the shed is messy, move the cards back and forth as a pack to open it up). Now repeat from the "#". You have completed 2 sheds. Now turn Pack A toward you and Pack B away from you for 2 quarter turns, passing the weft each time. To reverse the colors and make a checky type pattern. do two more turns with pack A turning toward you and pack B turning away from you (this changes the color like the stripes) and then another two turns with pack A turning away from you and pack B toward you. Hopefully this is beginning to make sense. We are changing the direction of the cards to change the colors that are on top and thus form the pattern. The technique is called "double face" because if you turn the weaving over you will see that the pattern is the same on the other side, but the colors are reversed. Play around with making different packs and turning them to create patterns.
Now look at Figure 3. This is your pattern. Notice that the graphs are rectangular rather than square as in regular tablet weaving. This is because you can only change the colors every second turn, that is you must do an even number of turns in one direction before you can turn the cards in the other direction to change the color. The pattern given is for the letter "A". If you can do an "A", most of the rest or the alphabet is a piece of cake.
Forward and two turns back for a total of four turns. This gives us someplace to start from. Look at the pattern. In row 1, card 9 is a different color. so push card 9 outside the pack. Turn the main pack been a quarter turn forward and card 9 a quarter turn back. Pass your weft through and repeat. Now look at row 2. Cards 7, 8 and 9 are different colors. Move cards 1 and 8 up with card 9. Turn the main pack a quarter turn back and the small pack a quarter turn forward. Pass your weft again and repeat. Now row 3 --cards 5, 6 and 9 are colored. Move cars 7 and 8 back to the main pack and move cards 5 and 6 up. Turn the main pack forward and the small pack back. By now it should have become apparent what is going on. Look at row 4 and see if you can figure it out by yourself. (If you had a problem, you need to move cards 3, 4 and 6 forward and put card 5 back. Turn the main pack back and the small pack forward). Continue until you have finished the letter "A".
That's basically it. Below are some patterns you might want to try for practice. Then you'll want to do your own.
Your woven pattern looks distorted, elongated or foreshortened. This is one of the problems of double-face and is eliminated with practice. As you work with it you will notice that the thicker the yarn, the longer the rectangle of the pattern must be. If the yarn is thin, the pattern rectangle, will be more square.. I've found the best pattern paper for 4 ply knitting yarn 1, a COBOL layout sheet which you can get from your friendly neighborhood programmer or computer supply store.
You are getting "floating" warp thread. (fig. 4). This happens when you haven't cleared your shed properly and threads that should have been on the bottom of the shed are stuck at the top. You can keep
this from happening by moving both packs of cards forward and back on the warp to clear the shed.
You have an entire set of "floating" threads for one or more turns. You changed the direction of turning on an uneven turn.
Collingwood, Peter The Techniques of Tablet Weaving. Watson-Guptill, 1982.
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