Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Card Weaving Arrows

For a second time, I felt my hopes of creating the perfect requested guitar strap plummet as I stared at a picture of a friendship bracelet.  If you've found this blog, you're probably aware that friendship bracelet making is not  a form of weaving.  It is a form of madness creating hundreds of little knots while not letting the rest of the yarn tangle together.

Then my wife pointed out I could just tablet weave the pattern.  It's so simple of a solution!  So I pulled out the rings I bought as detensioning devices and decided to give it a go.  

I have four holed cards so I can only do four different rows of arrows.  I think I might like to try more holes sometime but I'm not sure if the resulting band would be thicker.  This is already thick for a guitar strap so I'm sticking with what I know.

In an attempt to add more color, I alternated green and orange in one of the rows.  The red and yellow rows are two toned but they blend so well it doesn't show up in the weaving.  I think it might add a little depth to the pattern but it's subtle.

For the set up I made the left 10 cards z and the right 10 s.  I placed the black threads in A, green/orange in B, yellow in C and red in D.  I didn't want the yellow and black to be near each other because every time I see that I can't help but think bumble bee.  The other two colors were placed at random.

To start the pattern out cards 1 and 20 had the black or A being shown first.  Cards 2 and 19 were rotated forward one position so the red would be seen.  3 and 18 were 2 rotations forward of 1 and 4 and 17 were three rotations forward.  5 and 16 end up the same as 1 and 20.  

I should probably write that better but I think once you see it in front of you, you'll get it.  Where the cards meet in the middle (cards 10 and 11) the start position of the black thread should be mirrored.  It took me a few rows to make sure everything was set properly but it's pretty easy to tell when it's going right and when it's not.  The biggest thing to watch for is cards flipped the wrong way.  This will change the order of colors so you can get very confused.

This took me around 30 minutes to get going because I'd keep confusing myself.  Even so, I'm not sure why I was so intimidated by this kind of weaving.  I'm still only brave enough to try simple patterns but it's not too bad.

Here's a picture of the pattern:

and here's how it looks on the back, kinda a neat op-art effect:


Here's a picture of the rings I use to allow me to relieve the twisting:

When it's still at the beginning I let the twist build up a lot.  I just keep pushing it around the corners.  This means when I go to untwist, those bundles of yarn are much looser.  To keep them from flopping about and tangling themselves, I inserted another peg:


These new rings work great.  Before I was using keychain rings.  They were okay but the yarn would get caught up in the split ring.  Also I didn't have enough of them.  These rings are seamless cast nickel.  I bought them here:
You can probably find them elsewhere but I was ordering from these guys already.  I got the 1/2" size.  They are smaller than I'd like but it's still not too hard to tie the yarn on.

The concept behind them is, you tie one end of the yarn to ring one.  You tie the other end of the yarn to ring two after first passing it through ring one.  Ring two will be unable to be pulled through ring one so you will have a loop.  When you want to relieve the twist buildup, simply pull ring two out a bit and twist it in the opposite direction of the buildup.

Hope this is helpful to people.  I really encourage you to try tablet weaving if you're at all interested.  It's not as scary as it seems.  I will warn it's a bit more tedious though.  But the results are really fun and it's offers more possibilities than inkle weaving.

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