Warning, the content herein is solely about fiber. If you’re not interested in fiber, talk amongst yourselves.
Since I’ve become more interested in weaving, I decided I would weave during my three month time on Deal Island. And weave I did. Without any loom! I found great resources online: backstrapweaving.wordpress.com for backstrap inkle weaving and lots of interesting techniques; TWIST, a newsletter and group for tablet weavers; and great tablet patterns from flinkhand.de
So I started with what I knew, tablet weaving and made a belt. Tablet weaving dates back thousands of years and patterns are created by a combination of how the tablets are threaded and then how the pack of tablets is turned. It’s really pretty fascinating because it puts a four shaft loom in the palm of your hand. When I needed more cards, I cut them out from discarded cardboard boxes.
When I ran out of commercial cotton, I spun cotton on a charkha loom and used it in in both tablet weaving and inkle weaving. I used various devices to keep the yarn stretched out while I wove, depending on the weather and on my mood. During nice sunny days, I tied one end to me and the other to either the laundry post or a vertical post near the house. Some days I sat in the sun room and attached to the lovely goose that adorns the coffee table there. https://www.flickr.com/photos/24868212@N05/17583060869/in/dateposted-public/I often got started by attaching to a door latch and a chair. And off I went.
I occasionally fashioned a backstrap from a pillowcase, but for the most part, I used an old camera case strap I found for the strap. Although I brought string heddles with me, I learned how to make continuous string heddles from any yarn, which was very handy. I found the idea for a simple tensioning device in a back issue of TWIST.
When my spun cotton dwindled, I turned to sewing thread and wove a couple of ribbons. I had this idea I would weave my own labels for hand knit items, and I did. I experimented with Baltic weave, Andean pebble weave, supplementary weft and horizontal stripe pick up patterns. The patterns are endless and now I want to incorporate them into larger pieces. We’ll see.