fbpx Skip to content

Tablet Weaving – A Beginner’s Progress

While I was just beginning to learn how to tablet weave I discovered that there were many different resources available out there on the web, but many of them were either out-dated or confusing. I’m a little bit of an introvert so my only resources were what I could find online, I didn’t really approach anybody IRL in order to learn how to do this really neat thing I wanted to learn.

Often you find resources with some crazy beautiful work, and as a beginner start to feel a little discouraged with your own work. Sometimes the attempts are full of absolute fail and look like crap. I know mine did!

So with this post I wanted to show some of terrible things I made to start.. and then the “meh” stuff I did after (though at the time I was pretty impressed!!)

Let’s get started!!

Attempt #1

I would qualify this one as a pretty big failure as a result, but I did learn a lot from it. Not like I could help that since it was my very first band!

So what went wrong?

1. Poor material choice – I just used a regular old store bought yarn, probably a polyester.. and it stretched like crazy. I couldn’t keep the threads taught enough for things to keep properly tidy.

2. Bad Directions, or following directions poorly. I am pretty sure I was weaving in the wrong direction. My finished band portion was on the far end of the cards and as I wove I was getting closer to myself. Turns out that is not correct at all LOL

3. I attempted a pattern. This isn’t necessarily a mistake but I tend to try and take on way too much in beginning and want to get it all perfect.. I needed to go back a couple steps and just get my hand into the process. Just play with it, not worry about how it looks and see just what happens when you weave like this.

I’m sure there was plenty more wrong but lets stop there!

Attempt #2

Much better result this time! I thought it looked pretty damn good actually. I didn’t go with a pattern this time. I just kinda went back and forth as the twist on the threads got too much.

This time I used a thickish crochet cotton, so I had no issues with stretching.

Looking back now though I see some problems.. primarily with the texture of the band. The weaving on the left side looks good, but the right side looks a little weird. This I’m fairly certain is caused by not having the cards threaded the right way. Your cards can be threaded in either S or Z, which basically means the threads go through the cards either back to front, or front to back. This will change the direction of the wind on the threads.

Looking at my band I whatever I did for the left (most likely S threaded) I should have done the opposite on the right.

Attempt #3

Another band in crochet cotton. Again with this one I didn’t follow a pattern, which I guess is probably pretty obvious. This portion in the picture here is the worst part of the band. It is currently being used as a neckhole decoration on a brown wollen cloak.

I’m not entirely sure what all went wrong here but I suspect that it might have a lot to do with issues getting the proper tension. At this point I don’t think I’d swapped over to using weights on the end of the weft so everything is all kind of loose and unpleasant looking.

Attempt #4

Much nicer!! This one is lining the top hem of my (currently) fanciest viking over-dress.

I did not go from a pattern on this one, but it is I guess a simple checkerboard. The materials for this one is a super thin DMC embroidery floss, I believe it’s size 12.

I really like the results with this much thinner thread. I think this one is where I started using weights to help with the tension. Before this I was just winding the weft around the dowel I was using for the loom and the weights are much better!

Attempt #5

Weights! We made weights to use for this weave and I think it helped out quite a bit. At this point I’m still using crochet cotton, but I’m using the thinnest kind available. I think it’s a 10.

I’m really happy with how this turned out, and it’s in use as the shoulder strap for my long bow’s bow sock.

This is also my first real attempt at a real pattern (Attempt #1 doesn’t count anymore LOL) So I picked a relatively simple one. Not all the cards are

Attempt #6

Not gonna lie, I struggled with this one at the beginning A LOT. I weaved and then unweaved the first chunk I think 6 or 7 times before I finally got it right.

Turns out “Forward” isn’t necessarily what I thought it was! I will explain this more fully in a dedicated post I think.. But the basics is that the direction you turn your cards in is influenced by the numbering on the card themselves, and which was they are facing (numbers visible on the right, or the left?) For this particular pattern, I had the numbers visible on the right sides of the cards, and I was turning them in the direction I thought was forward.. ie: spinning the tops of the cards away from myself.

This was wrong.. and it results in the pattern going completely arse backwards soon as I got to turn #5. I really should’ve taken a picture of this, but at the time I just wanted it fixed and working.

Googled around a bit and finally saw a picture where the numbering on the cards went in the opposite direction from mine.. and tada! Figured out the problem!

Once I got that nailed down this band is actually remarkably easy to do considering how complex it actually looks. For 4 turns it’s all cards forward, and then 4 turns with some of them going backwards. Then repeat. Easy peasy 🙂