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.


– 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.


– 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 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.



But, if the rumors I’ve heard about why S&M War was changed didn’t actually cause the change in the name, then it would have been S&M XXX, and that right there is the type of thing that makes the SCA that much more fun.

Anyway, it was one of the most interesting GNEWs I’ve attended, and that’s just the weather! GNEW is normally the hottest weekend of the summer – unless you’re attending Pennsic – until this year where it was cooler and rainier than I remember seeing it. I do recall other rainy GNEWs, but not THIS cold and rainy. Luckily we got our new (three days to be built) tent. We LOVE it, and I was finally warm at night. I’m cold every night at GNEW every year, even when it’s extremely hot during the day, but this cold GNEW I was warmer than ever, and finally have a tent that truly suits me!


Some of the best parts of the weekend were hanging out with old friends, meeting new friends, teaching new and continuing tablet weaving. But the most shocking part was at Court. I normally don’t sit through all of Court, if any of it, but I knew a good friend had been working on something, so I thought there might be an AoA coming at some point, so it’s good to start going. There wasn’t a bunch of friends there, and Stacy hadn’t told me to dress nicely, so I wasn’t at all prepared when they called my name in Court. Even worse was that they mispronounced my name, so I completely missed it the first time they called me. I handed over Dragon and headed up. They were cool that I couldn’t kneel down for them, and they didn’t know who I was, or what I’d done, but they’d been told about me and I was inducted into the Order of The Silver Brooch. I was so shocked that I thought I was going to throw up on the King. At one point my friend Peter thought I was going to pass out and was ready to rush up and catch me. I made it through without keeping over, and Nero was amazingly welcoming – both up there and as we broke down camp the next morning.

I’m officially a Lady, though not sure how I feel about THAT! Just kidding! I was bowled over by the whole thing, and need to hug Adrienne the next time I see her!

This means I need to figure out how to weave the Silver Brooch, which I haven’t taken off the medal but a couple times since I got it, but tonight it’s going into my kit for events.


And here is my absolutely beautiful scroll!


I can’t wait to get my device passed so I can get it all filled in.

GNEW XXX Classes & Descriptions

Great Northeastern War is creeping up on us very quickly. I have tons of sewing that needs to be done for minimum seven people, myself included, but I see very little of it actually happening because my pain has been running between 5-9 constantly for the past 3-4 days. The other thing I need to get done is as much weaving as possible. I sold a lot of my bands at Birka. Actually, Freya at Thor’s Hammer sold a majority of my stock for me. I had enough money to cover the event for us – at least event fee, food and gas, but not hotel costs – had I not bought a loom. Actually, it’s not just any loom, it’s a Pennsic cherry loom (explain more about that later) from Egill’s Woodstuff. If you’re interested in the maker of my loom, check out his work on Etsy at Egill’s Woodstuff He does beautiful work that’s more than worth the money.

I was low on bands after Birka, but then we went to Panteria (first time ever) to help Thor’s Hammer with setup, breakdown, and everything in between. It was a great weekend, great event, great friends, a great tablet weaving class, and I sold out most of the rest of my stock. I came home with two salable bands to my name. I’ve been weaving like crazy since we got home, but that means I’ve not been sewing for GNEW. We might be naked, but I will have stuff to sell.

I’ve also been working on building a physical portfolio, that way I have something on the table for people to look at. That way if they see something they like, but want it in a different color, I have all the info there to make a new one for whoever might want to buy one. I can also bring this to my classes to show what can be done with my level of competency.

Now, this is supposed to be about the classes I’m teaching at GNEW. Last year I struggled with too-long threads and too many people. This year I’m teaching two classes at GNEW, and have learned from my class last year, and my class at Panteria. I signed up to teach a class at Panteria because one person from my GNEW class wanted to learn more. She couldn’t attend the class, but I taught her separately (love you Rowan!), and then had a great tablet weaving discussion with the people in the class. Because of that discussion I will be teaching this class for the first time at GNEW.


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.

This will requite my white board. I’ve been reading and taking notes for two weeks now, and will be typing up a handout for the class. This won’t be hands on weaving, but a real discussion on what people believe about the history of tablet weaving and what’s really true. I need to pull all my notes together tomorrow night at writing group, pull them into an actual handout that is both comprehensive, but also easy to read and makes sense. I’m having troubles getting all the pictures I need, but I’ll get there. I’ll be posting the handout here on my blog for those who are interested or lost there’s from GNEW. Also a good way to keep track of the handout as my teaching evolves and changes, as I’m sure it will as I learn more. I’m going to bring my tablets and looms with me so I can show off what both look like, and the huge variety that’s out there. I am also going to let people take turns weaving on Walter, if they’re at all interested. It’s one thing to learn about it intellectually, it’s another thing to play with it a bit and see if you have the coordination to actually weave. I’ve seen people who just are not weavers and cannot get the knack for it. That’s okay, but it’s better to know that before you invest too much time and money.

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.

I’m going with much shorter threads for this class, and am hoping that people will see the listing for this class well ahead of attending GNEW and will do exactly that, bring out their looms! (You get the pop culture reference, right?) Anyway, I’ve put a strict class size on this one, and hope that people will bring their looms to class so that they can actually learn to warp their looms and learn how to tablet weave on them. Fingers crossed that this one goes much better than the class at GNEW last year.

GNEW Classes

GNEW, otherwise known as Great Northeastern War, is creeping up on us again this year. At GNEW last year I taught my first tablet weaving class. I was horribly afraid, so I taught two preliminary classes for friends, just to make sure I knew what I was doing. Turns out that my preliminary class went much better than the class at GNEW. I learned a lot from that class, mostly what not to do. If I’m going to do a hands-on class, it needs to be much smaller than that first one.

Since then I’ve taught a couple other classes, mostly one-on-one, one of those with a friend I met at that first class at GNEW.

At Panteria, my first Panteria, I was asked to teach a class by that friend I made at that first GNEW class. Well, she couldn’t stay for the actual class, but our one-on-one was great. The actual class inspired me to change the way I teach tablet weaving in the future. That class at Panteria was a great discussion with two people who knew nothing about tablet weaving, one who started on his own and only got a few inches along, and one who has woven a couple bands and is onto brocade tablet weaving, something I’ve not yet tackled.

After that discussion at Panteria, and the book I was reading after the lights went out at Panteria, I’m thinking I’d like to teach a history and basics of tablet weaving, a very small weaving class, and possibly a double-face tablet weaving class.