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.


So Much The Busy Summer!

The past two weeks I’ve walked into my Wednesday Nomadic Guild of Scripturients gathering with the intention of writing, and posting, about my weaving progress, yet each week something happens and I’m too distracted to get something written and posted here. The thing is that I actually have a lot of little things to post about!

Most people go to family gatherings at amusement parks to eat tons of fattening foods and ride rides until you feel ill, but not me! As the Fun Foods part of Funtown/Splashtown USA has been run by family since I was 14 years old (next summer will be our 30th year!), it’s not something that I find exciting, so I brought my loom, thread, and a pattern. My father cordoned off one of the birthday areas for us, and those of us not riding rides just hung out and talked about what happened over the past two years. My family has seen me post pictures of my finished bands, but hadn’t really seen the process. One cousin thought I was doing small bracelets, not pieces that are 9-30 feet long. So I warped up my loom and showed them all what I was doing. It was a new pattern for me, but I have to admit that I really like how it came out. Next time I use that pattern I plan to use something other than crochet cotton, as I would like the threads to melt together better and give me a less open pattern.

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From there I jumped right into another pattern. It’s one I’d seen for a long time on Pinterest, but didn’t think it would work out, or look anywhere near as good as it looked, but as soon as I started weaving, I fell in LOVE! I think this will be one I weave a lot of, as long as people actually buy it! I love how the threads really melt together on this one, unlike the previous band.

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And I also took some from the huge box of thread I got at Panteria, and wove my favorite nested Thor’s Hammer pattern in cotton and wool. The wool was a beast, as it was only the very thin dark brown, and it locked onto itself with every turn.

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So while that’s all good, this month wasn’t all success. I put together a band I had been wanting to play with for a while, but I wasn’t thinking things through as I chose my threads, and the red is too thick. So while the flowers look good, the red pops through the black between the flowers, and I don’t like that. Everyone else seems to like the band, but I’m my harshest critic.

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But I also had a couple of huge technique jumps this month, and those really excited me. Turns out that in-period (I need to find out when and where for my research), dressed were laced up using very fine tablet weaving that’s woven into a very narrow tube. My first attempt at this was with very fine cotton, using only six cards. Three of the cards were threaded rust (all four holes, S threading), the other three in off-white (all four holes, S threading). The cards vary to form stripes, and I’m only passing the shuttle through from the right. I beat the threads down hard, then pull the weft through tightly, using my fingers to roll the newly woven portion tightly to make sure none of the weft is showing. It’s working really well, and I’ll be posting more and pics as I progress with this. I only have about four inches finished so far.

I managed to get in the groove with Applesies And Fox Noses. I understand why some people really like the book, but I’m still not sold. More to come on this.

Lastly, I sat down with Walter (I’ll be doing a posting on my looms soon, as friends who only see the finished results have no clue what I’m weaving on), and warped him for GNEW and teaching. After GNEW I sat down with Claudia’s newest book (I’ll be reviewing a lot of books soon, so more on that soon), my loom ready in front of me, John Malarky’s DVD playing on the TV, and Stacy next to me telling me that it needed to be done one way, not the way they were telling me to do it. He really needs to do some tablet weaving so I can point and laugh. He’s very supportive, just doesn’t get it. Anyway, I was surrounded by knowledge and a determined mindset, and I figured out the basics of 3/1 twill! I’ve not really played with it much, but I get the basics of it, and I’m not at all afraid to jump in and play with it now. I knew that once I finally grasped the basic idea behind it, I’d laugh at myself for thinking it was so big and scary, like double-faced. Well, I’m not to that point yet, but I know I’ll be there fairly soon, so I will keep plugging away at it.

Sorry about all the rambling, and I have a lot to write about. I will try to get something up each and every Wednesday between now and NaNoWriMo! That is my goal, between all my weaving.


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.

Stepping Things Up!

I’ve been extremely slack with my blog, but as I’m stepping things up with both my tablet weaving, and my tablet weaving classes, it’s time I step things up here. I’ve done a lot of weaving, but none of the pics have been posted. I need to get some of them up here so that I can show people what I’ve been doing, and what I have available for purchase.

For now I’m going to show the two most recent bands woven on my trusty loom, Loomer. They are both woven out of bamboo in mushroom and nutmeg, for a cinnamon brown linen tunic I’m making for Stacy (hopefully for GNEW).

This first one was a simple 4X4 what I stretched to being a 5X5 to make the pattern more interesting. I’ll be using this around the bottom of his tunic. It measures 98″.

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The next couple pics are double-face weaving that will go around the cuffs of his tunic. It is 88″ long. Yes, that says Aloysious, his SCAdian name.

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These next pieces of band are also double-face woven, and will be around the neckline. The diamonds will come down around the neck. The blank bit will be where I fold it into a point before running it back up the other side of the neckline.

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I know it seems like a lot of medieval bling for one tunic, but I will be teaching a couple of Beginner Tablet Weaving classes at GNEW, and I’d love to have something to show off to the people taking the classes.

Hopefully within the next week I will be able to get up pictures of Stacy in his tunic with the bands attached. Fingers crossed. Keep checking back as I’m going to work hard to get something posted here at least once a week, showing what I’ve been weaving each week.

Mallaidh of Huntley

EDIT: Five hours after the original post and –
– I’ve eaten supper, did an hour of actual work (like stuff for my boss).
– Ironed five yards of brown linen.
– Cut out a T tunic from one Stacy already has.
– Sewed the side seams, cuffs and hem.
– Attached the wide diamond trim around the bottom – by machine.

Yes, all of that is done! So, tomorrow all I have to do is attach the Aloysious arm bands and connected diamonds neck band. Fingers crossed that I can bet the rest attached as I’m doing that by hand.

Going Strapless

I know I’m going to be doing a lot of backtracking, because there’s a year of weaving, a year of growth, that I want to look at and have a record of, but right now I’m so excited about a project I’m working on that I just have to get it out!

About two weeks ago Sam, the youngest of my children, picked out a dress for me. Normally I don’t wear strapless dresses as I have quite a rack, and at 41, it’s not where it was when I was 21! But Sam has a fantastic eye for clothes, for other people, sadly she can barely dress herself on a good day, and she just turned 11, is in the 6th grade. But put her in a store, and she can find the best pieces of clothing for the most amazing prices. I’ll admit that I can be quite cheap, so when she found this dress at Target for all of $7.48, and it was so me (other than being strapless), I was all up in that. Add in that I hadn’t even thought about what I was going to be wearing to Stacy’s (the boyfriend) convention dinner coming up the end of the month, and I was sold.

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So I have this dress, but it’s strapless, so what’s the next step? Putting straps on it, of course. But, with my loom, why bother trying to find something to make the straps out of, when I can make the straps myself? Of course the pink/lilac color in the dress is just odd enough that the closest match I could find was DMC floss.

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I learned that DMC floss stretches in a strange way, and doesn’t bounce back, at all. I tried a couple of ideas, but in the end, none of the borders worked, so I went with the original design I planned without thrills.

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I love the band I wove, but it’s not really wide enough to cover my bra straps, so I wove another band, and I’m trying out ways to make the straps work while showing off how interesting they are.

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While I haven’t put it all together, I will have to do it soon as I’ll be wearing it less than 48 hours from now! I’ll post pictures to show how it all came out.



I wanted to start here by explaining why I’m starting this blog, and what I hope to accomplish with it.

I’ve been involved with the SCA for over twelve years, and while it’s a huge part of my life, it’s not all I do. Because of that, I’ve forgotten things I’ve done over the years, don’t recall patterns and garb I’ve made (sometimes that’s a good thing), and I’m not sure which alcoholic drinks I really did like. Because of all this I’m going to try to keep track of some of these things here – mostly how things are made, the research that goes into it, and why it’s medieval, or anachronistic.

Back in the day I went to college for fashion design, but I have to admit that I’ve lost most of what I learned due to being quite ill for the better part of three years. Okay, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease when I was seven, but 2009-2011 were specifically horrific. So I’m piecing things back together, re-teaching myself how to build clothing the right way, and learning as much as possible about to make medieval garb the way it was made originally. I will fully admit that I have a bad habit of mixing areas and time periods when making my garb, but I’ll get into that more when I explain my persona.

The summer of 2013, I learned about tablet weaving. I’d seen the finish product being sold by merchants, but I’d never seen a loom in action. I met the Little Loom Girl, and ended up buying a loom over the Labor Day 2013 weekend at Harper’s Retreat in Stonemarche, and I’ve been going crazy on it since. I did have to take some time off through the following winter due to Gamer’s Thumb that I got from too much weaving and too much typing. Now I have it in both hands, and possibly more nerve damage, but I’m fighting through it, a little pain won’t stop me! They might call it Gamer’s Thumb and Carpal Tunnel, but I think they’ve been around a lot longer, and our ancestors dealt with the pain and just worked through it.

One last thing before I sign off, I’m also an archer. It took me a long time to get it, and I’m about to put (what I hope are) the final touches on my crossbow to make it so it works. Fingers crossed that this is the last tweak I need to do to get it working. I’ll be writing about how the crossbow came about, and all I went through to get it.

I’m heading to Harvest Moon Shoot and Tyger & Bucket tomorrow at Hebron Pines Campground. I’ll be writing all about it soon. Please, I hope you enjoy this adventure of the SCA with me.