07 January, 2012
Tablet-woven Hearts and New Belt Tools
Happy Distaff Day!
I have been card (tablet) weaving four inch long samples for enclosure in a weaving guild newsletter. The jumbled pile in the photo shows two warps that started out about four metres long each. I have another warp to go.
The pieces are mostly pink with a repeated motif in off-white that is supposed to look like a heart. As I wrote in my observations of the Jerusalem Garter museum piece, when you thread alternately one card S and the other Z across the pack of cards you get little chevrons. The white chevrons stand out against the pink chevrons.
The cloth beam is new. My father looked at the cloth beam I'd had custom made for myself this past spring and he told me that by specifying the tool be made all in one piece, I had created spots where the grain of the wood could split. I took the specs from a tool used for making belts by a weaver named Feodora Seledkova in an old documentary film and I didn't give any thought to the woodgrain.
Made sense when he pointed it out, and was a bit of a concern given the amount of pull the tool has to stand up to. I secure the far end of the warp to an immovable object, tuck the cloth beam's closer prongs into a sash or belt loops at my waist, and lean back when beating down the warp to create the weft-faced cloth. At the last guild meeting, I tied the warp to a cart holding a stack of folding tables, the heaviest thing in the room. I forgot the cart was on wheels. A couple of friends were watching me weave and without telling me (until after) they leaned on the cart quite hard to counter my pull and keep the cart in place.
My dad made me a dozen new cloth beams with the grain of the middle pieces running perpendicular to the long pieces and Robertson screws holding the three pieces together. My dad would particularly like you to notice the Robertson screws, as they are very Canadian. Most of the cloth beams are made of maple from trees that grew on Vancouver Island and if memory serves the darker wood is local alder.
ETA: directions for making cloth beams are in a post here.