Fun with card weaving

Good morning, and happy Saturday! One new project that I started recently is so fun and fascinating that I thought it deserved it’s own post. Using the colors I bought for my color challenge project for the Men’s Knitting Retreat in May, I warped my Schacht inkle loom with a small card weaving project to sample the yarn and colors in this particular technique.

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Band weaving has always fascinated me and I have tried some inkle weaving, which produces a sturdy warp faced band. With inkle weaving, some warp threads are strung through tie-ups that are used to create the shed for the weft. The structure of the weaving is the typical over-under, with some floating threads to make the pattern on the band, and intricate patterns can be created using multiple colors.

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Card weaving, sometimes called tablet weaving, also creates a sturdy warp faced band but it has a slightly different structure. In this technique, the warp threads pass through holes in a series of cards, which are then rotated to create the shed for the weft. Each card is threaded according to your draft and may include different colors. These different color warp threads will raise and lower as the cards are rotated, and the draft may specify a number of turns forward and backward to create one repeat of the pattern in the weaving. As with inkle weaving, you can create very intricate patterns using multiple colors.

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The draft for your pattern will also specify whether to thread the cards in an S or Z direction. You spinners will be familiar with this. S and Z refer to the direction of the twist and the same concept is used to determine the direction of the warp threads as they pass through the cards. This direction also determines the direction that the warp threads will lean towards on the surface of the weaving.

As the cards are rotated to create the shed either forward or backward, the warp threads in each card will twist around each other. This sort of plying of the warp threads as you weave creates the very unique structure of card weaving, and makes a very sturdy band. Card weaving is so much fun and doesn’t require a lot of space, nor does it require a huge investment in materials and tools compared to some other styles of weaving. Small inkle looms like the one I have from Schacht only run about $100, and cards are inexpensive.

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My plan with my color challenge yarn is to make a dog collar using some plastic hardware salvaged from one of my dog’s collars that met an early demise. If that goes well, and depending on how much yarn is left, I might also make a matching leash.

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That’s it for this morning. I’m off to spin for a bit while I wait for my laundry, then I have to clean out my driveway. I’m glad we didn’t get much snow last night. My shoulders are still a little sore from Thursday.
Have a great weekend everyone!

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