How I Got Here

I’ve been in the SCA for the better part of sixteen years, but it wasn’t until I learned to tablet weave, and the building of Ravensebridge did I really get serious.  It helped that Stacy got serious about it at the same time.  Between getting a crossbow, my looms, and Stacy being taken as a protege, we were both moving forward and learning a lot.  I honestly didn’t think about becoming an apprentice to someone until Agatha got her Laurel, and I realized that was my next step.  It was what I needed to push me to learn and grow within the SCA.

The problem was, who would I work with well enough to make it happen.  I thought of Agatha, but she realized it was wrong, and it didn’t happen.  I’m glad it didn’t because I think it would have been a huge mess.  On a whim, I checked the East Kingdom Wiki page for laurels.  Right there, almost at the top of the list was Mickel.  I’ve known Mickel for most of my SCA career (I met Max at my first GNEW, Mickel the following year), and I’ve always adored her and looked up to her, as well as being slightly intimidated by the way she and Max play the game.

Anyway, I started wooing her.  She had never been an apprentice herself, so she didn’t know how to do all this.  Further, she’s not a tablet weaver and wasn’t sure how she could help me, but I’d rather have a laurel close who I can see when I need to and talk to face to face over certain issues.  Through some lovely dinners and a lot of email discussion, we really felt the same way about things and decided to dive in.  Even before our official ceremony, I was diving into more fiber arts that she plays with.  I learned to knit, then I started spinning.  I’ve also stepped up my garb in a serious way, making my first piece of garb that was handsewn.  Okay, it was Roman, so nothing major, but it’s completely handsewn!  Beyond that, I made three kirtles, and while they need minor adjustments, they are a great addition to my garb box and got me through Pennsic.

I’ll get more deeply into my knitting, spinning, and garb moving forward.  I’m trying to be better about recording my SCA life here so there will be a lot more info on all of my fiber arts and the history behind them.  Speaking of which, I’m going to be teaching my History of Tablet Weaving at The Hunt in October.  I’m planning on doing more research and upping my game with that class.  I know it’s the basics, but I really want to learn and teach more and more as tie goes on.

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My First Pennsic – Getting There

As per usual with all events, my guts hated me the morning we were to leave and we didn’t make it out of the house on time.  That was fine as we had plenty of time planned out to make it to Rome, NY for the night.  We’d been told to take the northern route and break the trip into two days.  We had planned on getting a hotel room, but then Stacy realized that one of his best friends lives pretty much halfway.  Jim was more than welcoming, as was his dear dog Elliott.  Dragon actually handled Elliott quite well, which is good as Dragon was being a total jerk to other dogs at Pennsic, and I had to drive him back to Jim’s house to spend a week with them.  It went so well that we are planning on dropping Dragon there for Pennsic next year so that he doesn’t spend two weeks being cranky at his sister.

After a lovely night at Jim’s, and what turned out to be a really sulfur-y shower, we were off.  I thought that was going to be the best of my showering for two weeks, but it turns out that the water at Pennsic wasn’t as bad as I had been expecting it to be.

One stop at Target and checking in with my writers to find out that three wrestlers had died in one day.  That was a new low for the industry, and I will never forget it happened on my first day at my first Pennsic.  Back on the road.  The closer we got the more excited we all became.  I didn’t realize Conall was posting as much as he was to FB, but since returning, I’ve heard just how much fun it was to follow him on FB through his first Pennsic.  So, Conall and Sam in the backseat with Dragon and suddenly, on the right was all these tents.  This sea of mostly white tents, and then there was green and yellow.  Yup, we saw Sigrid and Magnus as we were rolling by on the highway.

Troll was nice and quiet when we got there.  Actually, someone sitting in the food court welcomed me back home.  I told him it was our first time.  He pointed to the H3 and trailer.  I said that we planned ahead really well so that we had all we needed to do it right from our first time.  He was really impressed.

Then we headed off to go find our home for two weeks and set up.  It’s funny, as soon as we got to N33, Stonemarche, I saw Holly and knew it was going to be a great event.  I adore Holly, and once she actually saw it was me, she was as thrilled as I was.  I made my way to the common tent and hung out in there with Kia and Jean so I didn’t have to watch the setup, as that’s what stresses me out more than almost anything else.  It’s not like I can be much help, so I get tweaky about it and completely stress.  After things were mostly set up we crashed for the night.

 

My First Pennsic – Well Before The Event

I’ll admit that I was given the chance to go to Pennsic 15+ years ago, but I didn’t take it as I knew I wasn’t ready, and I needed to work for my father.

Fast forward to 2015 and we started talking seriously about attending Pennsic.  Sam had grown up enough that we knew she’d do well there when we finally made it.  We got our tent, the beautiful monstrosity that is the Cotton Candy tent.  From there Mem gave us a rope bed that we have working quite well with ratchet straps.  We followed it up by getting Triple H, my H3, as my Versa (Vera) wouldn’t have towed anything.  Lastly, summer of 2017 we got a trailer to haul all our stuff, and what turned out to be a lot more of Conall’s stuff than I thought he had.

At Harper’s Retreat 2017 I spoke to KJ about possibly camping with Stonemarche at Pennsic.  The head of our household, Knotty Snake, Magnus Morte “Morty” and his family had camped with Stonemarche at Pennsic for years, and I’ve adored Anastasia of The Oaks since I first met her, so it seemed like a natural.  Everyone who knew we were camping with them were very happy to have us join them.  Anastasia and her dear husband Baron Dorio of The Oaks (Baron of Stonemarche – RIP) were thrilled to have us, and made a point of coming to the Malagentia encampment at EK50 to check in with me and make sure myself and my family had everything needed for Pennsic, and figure out the best place to put us in the encampment so that Dragon had a place to potty away from the tents.

We finally made the decision, we were going for the two full weeks, and I was going to make sure I used the time to make garb and not be rushed the final month before Pennsic.  The two weeks between GNEW and Pennsic was spent in Callie’s basement with others trying to get enough garb sewn that we wouldn’t have to do laundry every three days that we were.  That being said, I really didn’t have a lot to do because my friend Heather took tons of cut garb to Canada and hand sewed more than I could have machine sewed in the time between H&M and GNEW.  She’s so impressive, and she should be recognized for her skills and love of helping.

We planned out our Pennsic route, the northern one, and realized it would be great to crash with a friend on our way.  Yes, it was a great way to save a couple hundred dollars on our trip, but also visit a dear friend.  Even better is that Jim got a dog, someone for Dragon to hang out with.  This became fortuitous when Dragon got kicked out of Pennsic – for good reason, he wasn’t behaving well and would have freaked out at the number of people there during War Week.  It was the right decision and having already introduced Dragon to Jim’s dog Elliot, it was a natural to bring Dragon back there for War Week.  This worked out quite well all the way around, and we are planning on asking Jim to Dragon sit for the full two weeks of Pennsic 48.

So much organization for two weeks out of 52, but we learned why when we got there.  Stay tuned for the next installment or our first Pennsic.

 

My Tablet Weaving Books

I came across a fairly comprehensive list of tablet weaving books that had been posted online in 2006, I am working my way through that list, checking on what I have, and what really is pertinent to my collection. I know I have a number of books that have been released since 2006 and will continue to stay on top of any new books coming out, but for now, I’m going to put together a list of the books I have. I plan on reviewing each book I have, and discussing what I’ve read and seen about the books compared to my own personal review of each book.

I value my tablet weaving book collection and am determined to get my hands on any and every book, paper, thesis, etc., that I can possibly get my hands on. The more I learn, the more I can create, both historically correct, and as creative as I possibly can. I love recreating historic patterns and pieces, but I also adore finding new and interesting ways to create and use tablet woven bands.

But I digress, this is a list of the books I have at this point, many of which were not on the 2006 list. Some because they hadn’t yet been released, others because they slipped through the cracks of the author of said list.  All notes added to this list are my own.

 

Atwater, Mary
Byways in Handweaving, Out of Print. Reprinted by Shuttlecraft Books, the photos are best in the original.

Weaving A Life The Story of Mary Miegs Atwater. Very little weaving, but much about her amazing life.

 

Collingwood, Peter
The Techniques of Tablet Weaving, 1996, reprint.

 

Crockett, Candace
Card Weaving. 1991.

 

Hendrickson, Linda
Double-Faced Tablet Weaving: 50 Designs from Around the World. Portland, 1996.

Please Weave a Message: Instructions and Graphs for Tablet-Woven Calligraphy

 

Karisto, Maikki & Pasanen, Mervi
Applesies and Fox Noses Finnish Tabletwoven Bands, 2015

 

Leet, Kris & Malan, Linda

The Willful Pursuit of Complexity, 2004

 

Naumann, Rose & Hull, Raymond
The Off-Loom Weaving Book, 1973

 

Mullarkey, John

Tablet Weaving: Kivrim

Tablet Weaving Made Easy, 2 DVD set

 

Snow, Marjorie and William
Step By Step Tablet Weaving, Western Publishers, 1973. ISBN 2-249-22408-0 (Also available in French Tissage en Bande, published by Dessein et Tolra.)  (Best book for beginners available.  Check eBay and Amazon, but don’t spend more than $35.)

 

Specht, Sally & Rawlings, Sandra
Creating With Card Weaving, 1973

 

Spies, Nancy
Ecclesiastical Pomp & Aristocratic Circumstance: A Thousand Years of Brocaded Tabletwoven Bands

Here Be Wyverns: Hundreds of Patterns Graphed from Medieval Sources

Staudigel, Otfried
Der Zauber Des Brettchenwebens or Tablet Weaving Magic, Patterns from Oriental Countries and 25 Patterns in Plain Tablet Weave, Self-published, 2001

Woven Images, Unravelled Motifs, 2008

 

van Epen, Marijke

First Steps In Tablet Weaving, 2012

Special Tablet Weaves

The Unknown Tablet Weaving
Order from Marijke van Epen, Driessengweg 2, 7275 AD Gelselaar, Holland

 

Thompson & Bick

Narrow Fabric Weaving, 1952

 

Wollny, Claudia
Stola and Manipel of St. Donat, Arlon, 2015  Entire book about one piece of 3/1 twill tablet woven band.

A Lily Grove, 2016  Entire book of smaller motifs, most of which taken from the previous book.

Tablets At Work, 2017  The tablet weaving bible.  If you buy one tablet weaving book of serious price, this is THE book!

 

Zajonc, Juraj
Thanice, 2013

Tablet Weaving Book List

I came across this tablet weaving book list on another site and absconded with it.  I’ve been collecting tablet weaving books since I first started, but there are quite a few on this list that I don’t have.  All comments on these books were written by the previous list-maker weavershand.com.  I will be following this post up with a posting of the books that I do have, so far.

 

Atwater, Mary

Byways in Handweaving, MacMillian, New York. Out of Print. Reprinted by Shuttlecraft Books, the photos are best in the original. Also included information on other narrow weaving.

 

Barker, June

Decorative Braiding and Weaving, B. T. Batsford Limited, Great Britain 1973. Out of print. This book deals with
all sorts of bands including tablet weaving, inkle, plaited, crochet, hairpin, knitted, and more.

 

Berlin Sonja Englund

Brickvävning – så in I Norden. Brickvävnad, Kalmar, Sweden. ISBN 19-630-2414-4 104 pages. English translation Tablet Weaving in True Nordic Fashion, (29 pages), 22 colors, many black-and-white photographs, and many pattern graphs. Very interesting overview of tablet weaving in Scandinavia, descriptions of historical bands and clear directions.

 

Bird, Eileen

Introducing Tablet Weaving, Faber and Faber Ltd. 1974. Out of print you but may come across it at a Book Fair or Library.

 

Collingwood, Peter

The Techniques of Tablet Weaving, Robin and Russ Handweavers, McMinnville, OR, 1996, reprint. Everything you ever wanted to know, and more, about tablet weaving. This is THE reference book.

 

Crockett, Candace

Card Weaving, Interweave Press; Loveland, CO, 1991. An excellent book for the beginner; it is inspiring and clear. This is an updated version of her original book published by Watson Guptill in 1973.

 

Dyer, Anne

New Ways With Tablet Weaving, Or, There’s A Snag In It Somewhere, Westhope College, Shropshire, U.K. 1996. ISBN: 0-9524045-1-6 Charming, good drawings, ideas work well.

 

Gray, Herbie

Conventional Cardweaving. On Loom Cardweaving, Make your tablets do things you thought only the floor loom could do. Can be ordered through Linda Hendrickson (see below).

 

Groff, Russell

Card Weaving or Tablet Weaving, Robin and Russ Handweavers, McMinnville, OR, 1969. A small spiral bound book with 53 patterns of threaded-in designs as well as instruction.

 

Forlaget

Ica, Band, Stockholm Sweden 1958. Swedish, good pictures. Also, has information on inkle weaving.

 

Hansen, Egon H.

Tablet Weaving: History, Techniques, Colours, Patterns, Hovedland Publishers, Denmark, 1990. A very technical book about reconstructions of historical bands. Impressive and inspiring color illustrations of old bands. We weavers of today have a lot to learn.

 

Hendrickson, Linda

Double-Faced Tablet Weaving: 50 Designs from Around the World, Portland, 1996. Complete instructions for making a continuous warp and for the double-faced weave, 120 pages comb bound.

Please Weave a Message: Instructions and Graphs for Tablet-Woven Calligraphy, Instructions for double-faced weave, and graphs for letters based on six Roman alphabets. 144 pages, comb-bound.

Tablet Weaving for Parents and Children, Portland 1995. An easy and inexpensive way for anyone to get started with tablet weaving. 16 pages.

Two-Hole Andean Pebble Weave, Portland 2004.This booklet is a follow-up to the article “Tablet Weaving with Children”, Handwoven, November/December 2003, p. 43. Complete instructions for making a continuous warp for pebble weave, and for weaving charming traditional Andean designs with tablets.

Tubular Cardwoven Neckpieces, Robin and Russ Handweavers. Mc Minnville, OR, 1993. ISBN 56659 076 0 A good description of continuous warping and “recipes” for necklaces.
To order from Linda, 140 SE 39th Avenue, Portland, OR 97214 (503) 239-5016 – square cardboard tablets, shuttles,
kits, books, video.

 

Joliet-van den Berg, Marga & Heribert

Brettchenweben, Verlag Paul Haupt, Bern & Stuttgart, 1975. Hardcover, 179 pages. DM 54.00 A truly inspirational book with many illustrations, historical background patterns and threadings and lots of colors.

 

Katz, Ruth J.

Card Weaving, Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. Ltd. 1977. Very clear directions for weaving fancy diagonals.

Joliet-van Den Berg, Marga and Heribert

Brettchen-Weben, Printed in Switzerland 1975. This book is printed in German. Excellent pictures and illustrations.

 

Russell, Elfleda

Off – Loom Weaving, Little, Brown & Co., New York, 1975. ISBN 0 316 76295 4. Out of print, but a “must have” if you find it. Inventive ideas for free weaving with tablets – a bit “70’s” not, but full of potential for 3-D work.

 

Snow, Marjorie and William

Tablet Weaving, Western Publishers, 1973. ISBN 2-249-22408-0 (Also available in French Tissage en Bande, published by Dessein et Tolra.) Clear drawings, good ideas for ending and joinings. Out of print but available.

 

Specht, S. and Rawlings, S.

Creating with Card Weaving, Crown Publications, New York, 1973. ISBN 0517503484. Some of the ideas are dated by original, including a 12” hammock.

 

Spies, Nancy

Ecclesiastical Pomp & Aristocratic Circumstance: A Thousand Years of Brocaded Tabletwoven Bands, How to weave brocade as well as the history of its heyday in Medieval times.

Here Be Wyverns: Hundreds of Patterns Graphed from Medieval Sources is a book of authentic patterns from the Middle Ages. The book is spiral bound and has 192 pages, plus 4 pages in color. There are over 130 quotes from primary sources.

 

Neuper, Anna

Modelbuch Early Sixteenth-Century Patterns for Weaving Brocaded Bands is a small, leather-covered book of handwritten patterns for gold brocaded tablet woven bands that resides in the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, Germany. Written in 1517 by Anna Neuper, a seventy-year-old nun in the St. Clare Convent in Nürnberg, it contains forty-five different patterns for with variations and is among the earliest pattern books for any textile technique.
Order from Nancy Spies books from her: Arelate Studio, 1725 Trotting Court, Jarrettsville MD 21084, USA (410) 692-
2076 .

 

Staudigel, Otfried

Der Zauber Des Brettchenwebens or Tablet Weaving Magic, Patterns from Oriental Countries and 25 Patterns in Plain Tablet Weave, Self-published, 2001. In both English and German an excellent book with new patterns, double-face, and threaded-in.
Available in the USA from Linda Hendrickson (see above) or from Otfried at Höppnerstrasse 108, D – 47809 Krefeld,
Germany .

 

Sutton, Ann and Holtom, P.

Tablet Weaving, Batsford. 1975. ISBN 0713428910. Full of good ideas as only Ann Sutton can produce.

 

van Epen, Marijke

Special Tablet Weaves. Special Tablet Weaves offers the double woven tablet weaving techniques of the Toraja Tribes of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Learn how to warp, read drafts and weave the 40 patterns. 40 pages with many illustrations and photographs.

The Unknown Tablet Weaving, Markijke has “translated” the double woven textiles of the Andes into beautiful tablet woven bands. The book contains 192 pages, including 4 pages full-color photographs, 32 black & white photographs, over 130 illustrations and 90 pages of pattern drafts.
Order from Marijke van Epen, Driessengweg 2, 7275 AD Gelselaar, Holland
.

Classes I Teach

I have two classes I’ve taught for the past couple of years, but I need to add more to my repertoire.  I love teaching about the history of tablet weaving as few people actually research that end of it, beyond a specific band here and there.  Now, I need to dig deeper to come up with a part two for that class.  I want to focus on specific bands, the well-known ones first, then the lesser known.

After my first Pennsic, I have a new class for next Pennsic (48), with my friend Christina.  She learned about six-holed-cards and weaving with them.  I’ve done one six-holed piece and loved how it came out, even though the weaving of it was a bit wonky.  I learned a lot more about which shed to be weaving through, and why.  Basically, I learned the first one I did was ‘wrong’ but it was beautiful!  I now want to weave that pattern again, using the sheds I’ve been told are correct (by a laurel) and see how it works out.  It’s hard picking up a lot of these tricks, hacks, and nuances when there are not any top-level tablet weavers in our area.  Turns out I need to make sure I do as much with tablet weaving as possible at Pennsic so that I can bring the knowledge home and hone my skills as well as teach smaller classes at smaller events before teaching my first class at Pennsic!

 

History & Concepts of Tablet Weaving
Join me for a discussion about tablet weaving, where it came from, what it’s about, and the basics behind how it works. This is not a hands-on, in-depth, tablet weaving class, but you will have a chance to look at a variety of tablet and looms, and possibly even weave a bit to see if it’s something you’re interested in pursuing further. I will be on-site all weekend for anyone who wants further discussion or instruction.

Bring Out Your Looms!
Do you have a (tablet or inkle) loom on hand, but don’t really have a grasp on how to warp and tablet weave on it? Have you just started tablet weaving and need help or questions? Do you want to learn the basics of tablet weaving and want to try your hand at it? I will have a number of looms with me if you’d like to try them out, or I can set you up to weave a short band off-loom (none of that mess of too long threads of the past). I’d like to keep this class small, no more than 5 people actually weaving, but I’m flexible. I will be on-site all weekend for anyone who wants further discussion or instruction.

 

(This was a partially written post that I finished to get it up on blog to clean up the back end for newer posts that are crashing around in my head.)

Tablet Weaving Tips & Tricks – Part 1

Through the short years, I’ve been tablet weaving I’ve learned a lot of little things that would have made life earlier from the start had I known these things. This will be a multi-part series. As I gather a whole new slew of tips and tricks, I’ll add another posting in the series.

Warping

– Each book, each site, each weaver, has different ideas on how the S and Z are supposed to be set up. It’s mostly trial, error, and intuition.
– No matter how long you’ve been weaving, you will continue to mess up S and Z.
– If the pattern you’ve warped for is not appearing, look at the back, the majority of the time it’s hiding back there.
– One thing most books, sites, or people will tell you is even if you warp your cards with A and B on top, many patterns come to fruition only if you start weaving with D and A on top. If things are not working out, and the pattern isn’t hiding on the back, try altering where you start your turning cycle.
– When warping an inkle-style loom, make sure the tension peg isn’t all the way to the end. After warping the loom, pull the tension bar to make sure it’s exactly the tension you want. If you don’t give yourself space to tighten, you will struggle to start weaving.

Fibers

– When starting out on your tablet weaving path, always choose the easiest thread/yarn to work with.
– The thread really should have some stretch to it when tablet weaving. That way it can be stretched to a tension that works best for each weaver.
– The thread should also be rather slippery so that if a mistake is made, it’s easier to unweave what has already been done.
– Crochet cotton is stretchy, slippery, has some good colors, and is not expensive. It’s the best thread to start with.
– If available, bamboo can be wonderful to weave with and can be found with the crochet cotton in some locations, but it has a lot more stretch so the tension post should be moved accordingly.

Avoid weaving with
– DMC (embroidery floss) as it doesn’t stretch at all.
– Linen that’s not blended with something else, again, it doesn’t stretch at all.
– Wool as it’s sticky and can sometimes be impossible to unweave.

Wool
– Wool can turn into a sticky mess if unprepared for the sticky properties it possesses.
– Warping your loom with wool that has an S-twist (the actual wool, not the direction through the cards, or the angle of the cards), then the weft should be Z-twist, or vice/versa.
– To avoid struggling the weft through the warp, weave with cotton, silk, or bamboo. It makes it easier to unweave if both directions are not wool.
– If you must weave with wool and it’s sticking together and causing issues, spraying it with either leave-in conditioner or powdered milk reconstituted with water (milk from the fridge won’t work).

Those are some of the best tips and tricks that I’ve learned, though I am sure I’ll come up with many more as I continue to learn and grow as a weaver.