Friday, 10 September 2021

OXO

A photograph of a tablet woven band with white, green and blue diagonal lines and diamonds, draped vertically across a leafy background


Back in April 2019, I shared Noughts and Crosses, a new draft I'd put together, with the intention that it would eventually be part of a trio. The second instalment, Tic Tac Toe, came along in December 2020 and now I'm ready to share the third band, OXO. Each of the bands has motifs in common, but are woven using different numbers of tablets and different colour combinations. With only 18 tablets, OXO would be a great choice if you've never woven something where tablets are turned in two directions at once. Like its siblings, OXO is twist-neutral for the pattern tablets, so you won't get a build up of twist behind them.

With regards to the colour choices, the three drafts together represent my place within the SCA. Tic Tac Toe, in red, gold and black, stands for the Kingdom of Drachenwald (which covers Europe and South Africa). Noughts and Crosses, in blue, gold and black (although in the sample band I used navy blue instead of black, as that's what I had to hand), stands for the Principality of Insulae Draconis (which covers England, Ireland, Iceland, Scotland and Wales). Finally, OXO, in blue, green and white, stands for the Shire of Thamesreach (the Greater London area), which was the local group that got me started.

A tablet weaving draft for 18 tablets, producing diagonal lines and diamonds in green, blue and white.

You can download the TDD file for this draft by clicking here.

The text version of this draft is as follows:

  • Threading:

    1. S threaded tablet
      1. Blue (#0000ff)
      2. Blue (#0000ff)
      3. Blue (#0000ff)
      4. Blue (#0000ff)
    2. Z threaded tablet
      1. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      2. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      3. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      4. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
    3. S threaded tablet
      1. White (#ffffff)
      2. White (#ffffff)
      3. White (#ffffff)
      4. White (#ffffff)
    4. Z threaded tablet
      1. Blue (#0000ff)
      2. White (#ffffff)
      3. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      4. White (#ffffff)
    5. Z threaded tablet
      1. White (#ffffff)
      2. Blue (#0000ff)
      3. White (#ffffff)
      4. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
    6. Z threaded tablet
      1. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      2. White (#ffffff)
      3. Blue (#0000ff)
      4. White (#ffffff)
    7. Z threaded tablet
      1. White (#ffffff)
      2. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      3. White (#ffffff)
      4. Blue (#0000ff)
    8. Z threaded tablet
      1. Blue (#0000ff)
      2. White (#ffffff)
      3. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      4. White (#ffffff)
    9. Z threaded tablet
      1. White (#ffffff)
      2. Blue (#0000ff)
      3. White (#ffffff)
      4. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
    10. Z threaded tablet
      1. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      2. White (#ffffff)
      3. Blue (#0000ff)
      4. White (#ffffff)
    11. Z threaded tablet
      1. White (#ffffff)
      2. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      3. White (#ffffff)
      4. Blue (#0000ff)
    12. Z threaded tablet
      1. Blue (#0000ff)
      2. White (#ffffff)
      3. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      4. White (#ffffff)
    13. Z threaded tablet
      1. White (#ffffff)
      2. Blue (#0000ff)
      3. White (#ffffff)
      4. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
    14. Z threaded tablet
      1. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      2. White (#ffffff)
      3. Blue (#0000ff)
      4. White (#ffffff)
    15. Z threaded tablet
      1. White (#ffffff)
      2. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      3. White (#ffffff)
      4. Blue (#0000ff)
    16. S threaded tablet
      1. White (#ffffff)
      2. White (#ffffff)
      3. White (#ffffff)
      4. White (#ffffff)
    17. Z threaded tablet
      1. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      2. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      3. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
      4. Japanese Laurel (#009900)
    18. S threaded tablet
      1. Blue (#0000ff)
      2. Blue (#0000ff)
      3. Blue (#0000ff)
      4. Blue (#0000ff)

  • Turning:

    1. 3F 4B 11F
    2. 3F 4B 11F
    3. 3F 4B 11F
    4. 3F 4B 11F
    5. 3F 8B 7F
    6. 3F 8B 7F
    7. 3F 8B 7F
    8. 3F 8B 7F
    9. 7F 8B 3F
    10. 7F 8B 3F
    11. 7F 8B 3F
    12. 7F 8B 3F
    13. 3F 4B 4F 4B 3F
    14. 3F 4B 4F 4B 3F
    15. 3F 4B 4F 4B 3F
    16. 3F 4B 4F 4B 3F
    17. 3F 8B 7F
    18. 3F 8B 7F
    19. 3F 8B 7F
    20. 3F 8B 7F
    21. 7F 8B 3F
    22. 7F 8B 3F
    23. 7F 8B 3F
    24. 7F 8B 3F
    25. 11F 4B 3F
    26. 11F 4B 3F
    27. 11F 4B 3F
    28. 11F 4B 3F
    29. 3F 8B 7F
    30. 3F 8B 7F
    31. 3F 8B 7F
    32. 3F 8B 7F
    33. 3F 4B 11F
    34. 3F 4B 11F
    35. 3F 4B 11F
    36. 3F 4B 11F
    37. 11F 4B 3F
    38. 11F 4B 3F
    39. 11F 4B 3F
    40. 11F 4B 3F
    41. 7F 4B 7F
    42. 7F 4B 7F
    43. 7F 4B 7F
    44. 7F 4B 7F
    45. 3F 4B 11F
    46. 3F 4B 11F
    47. 3F 4B 11F
    48. 3F 4B 11F
    49. 11F 4B 3F
    50. 11F 4B 3F
    51. 11F 4B 3F
    52. 11F 4B 3F
    53. 7F 8B 3F
    54. 7F 8B 3F
    55. 7F 8B 3F
    56. 7F 8B 3F
As with all of the free drafts/ patterns on this site, you are welcome to weave them, sell bands woven using them, and use them to teach other weavers, just as long as you state where you found them.

Sunday, 18 July 2021

New Link for Tablet Weaving Draft Designer!

If you can't currently access TDD or you're getting a 404 error, it may be because the link to it has changed! 

You can now find it at https://jamespbarrett.github.io/tabletweave/ If you usually use http://bazzalisk.org/tabletweave/ it will now redirect to the new address rather than the old address.

Gecko

A tablet woven band with green edges and a green gecko and foliage motif on a purple background, draped across a hibiscus bush


When I was planning this band, I wanted to play around with some things I don't normally do, namely an asymmetrical animal motif, woven with a light motif line on a dark background, rather than the other way around. I also had some new yarn I was excited to try out.

The yarns I used for this band are from Mothy and the Squid in the colourways Intense Iris and Lime Sorbet, both in her platinum merino/nylon blend sock yarn base. I really enjoyed weaving with this yarn and have plans to use it again in the future. It's really soft to the touch, which made me a little worried, as I've had trouble with soft yarns fraying and falling apart during weaving in the past, but it stood up to the friction of tablet weaving really well. Not a single damaged thread. I suspect this is partly because of the nylon in the blend, partly because of the high twist and number of plies, and partly because it's just a high quality yarn. Another thing that impressed me was that it didn't bleed in the slightest when I soaked it overnight as part of wet finishing. The Intense Iris is so saturated and, well, intense that I was expecting a little bleeding, but there wasn't even a hint. I also have two skeins of the Mothy and the Squid luxury merino/silk/cashmere blend base (which I had to put away in a drawer because I couldn't stop stroking them), but I wouldn't recommend them for tablet weaving. They're softly spun to highlight the fibres and improve the drape and there would be too much friction on them as the threads move past each other. I'm planning to use the two of them for a colour work knitted cowl some time in the future.

I have cut the Gecko draft into two pieces, as it's pretty big. Apart from the selvedge tablets, it's twist-neutral (each tablet performs the an equal number of forward and backward turns), so you won't get a build up of twist behind the pattern tablets.

Part one of a tablet weaving draft with green threads at the edges and a gecko motif in green threads against a background of purple threads

Part two of a tablet weaving draft with green threads at the edges and a gecko motif in green threads against a background of purple threads

You can download the TDD file for Gecko by clicking here.

You can download the text description for Gecko by clicking here.

As with all of the free drafts on this site, you are welcome to weave them, sell bands woven using them, and use them to teach other weavers, just as long as you state where you found them.

Wednesday, 7 July 2021

New Video!

 I've made a new video about the steps I use to set up for a new band.



Saturday, 3 July 2021

New Video!

I'm weaving a vacant-hole band at the moment and I've made a video about how I stop the tablets from rearranging themselves when they have one or more vacant holes. If you're having trouble weaving Petre from elsewhere on my blog, this should hopefully help.



Branches

A photo of a green and white tablet woven band patterned with leaves and branches, taken against a leafy background

Sometimes people ask how I come up with my ideas. It varies quite a bit, depending on the project I'm working on. For my books Warp-Twined Angles and Vacant-Hole Pinwheels, when I was coming up with their large number of motifs, I worked out some of them by just playing around with a pencil and some draft paper and some of those lead on to others (what happens if I put this line here instead?). Further motifs came about when I was inputting the motifs into Tablet Weaving Draft Designer when I was inspired by the shapes the lines took on above where I was working.

The idea for this particular draft came to me when my mind was wandering during a Very Large Headache. I'd been thinking about coming up with a branching leaves type motif for a while. Sometimes I have an idea of the type of motif I want to weave, then my brain works away at it until it's ready to draw as a pencil sketch. This can be pretty unhelpful if the draft comes together in my head while I'm attempting to fall asleep!

I made a video of how I generated the draft for this band using TDD that you can view below.



A tablet weaving draft for a band in white and green, with a branching, leafy motif
You'll get a build up of twist behind some of the tablets for this draft, so you could tackle it using fishing swivels or combing it out manually, as I did. If you'd prefer to weave it out (working a version of the draft with turning directions opposite to what you've previously done), I've put together a reverse draft. Before you begin it, make sure that you've completely finish the last repetition of the draft above and that all the tablets are in the A-D position.

A draft for the reversed version of the Branches draft, with green leaves and branches on a white background pointing down instead of up

You can download the Branches TDD draft by clicking here.

You can download the text version of the Branches draft by clicking here.

You can download the Branches reverse TDD draft by clicking here.

You can download the text version of the Branches reverse draft by clicking here.

As with all of the free drafts on this site, you are welcome to weave them, sell bands woven using them, and use them to teach other weavers, just as long as you state where you found them.

Tuesday, 22 June 2021

New Video!

 


I have a new video up on my YouTube channel. In it I show you how I flip a tablet to change its threading direction.

Monday, 7 June 2021

Birka Band B22

A photograph of several lengths of red and yellow tablet woven band, patterned with floral motifs and lattice work, against a leafy backdrop

When I was a beginner, all the way back in 2006, the very first band I tried to weave was based on one of the finds from a Viking cemetery in Birka, Sweden, dated to the 8th to 10th century. It's a lovely draft, but for me it was a tale of disaster from start to finish. I made pretty much every mistake there is and very nearly gave up on the whole thing. Several days later, I warped eight tablets for a simple four turns forward, four turns backward band and the rest is history. I'm not saying that you shouldn't try it as a beginner, but it would be helpful to have some muscle memory for turning the tablets before you tackle it.

I've been thinking about the draft again recently, as it turns up on Instagram pretty often, and I thought it would be fun to go back to the original source and take a look at the find that it's based on. Historiska Museet, Sweden, have kindly made many of the reports about the Birka digs available online as free pdf downloads. The textile finds are covered in Birka III - Die Textilfunde Aus den Grabern[1], with chapter VII "Bänder: Ein broschiertes Band — ein echtes Gewebe" (from page 75 onwards) discussing the tablet woven bands. The reports are in German, but copying and pasting sections into Google translate will produce something somewhat comprehensible.

The Carolyn Priest-Dorman draft[2] is based on a section from band B22, a label that Geijer uses for several similar finds, from graves 731, 750 and 824. The fragments from graves 731 and 750 were poorly preserved, but showed use of both gold and silver brocade wefts, like the better preserved example from grave 824 (detailed notes for the three bands are given on page 88 of Birka III - Die Textilfunde Aus den Grabern). Geijer describes the B22 band from grave 824 as having been woven with at least 29 tablets, with borders that needed a probable 6 tablets on each side (only the threads from 4 tablets on each side actually survive). The tablets were all threaded in the same direction and there were no turning reversals visible on the back of the band. She theorises that as the back of the band appears roughly woven and is rather unattractive, the band would originally have been sewn onto another fabric, leaving only the brocaded side visible. The band itself is 1.2cm wide and 9.5cm long and has around 20-25 brocade wefts per cm, with the gold weft at a greater density that the silver weft, perhaps because the gold was softer and easier to beat into place than the silver.


Black and white photographs of several sections of a brocaded tablet woven band from the Viking cemetery at Birka in Sweden

Several photographs of the B22 band (edited to remove a photo of a different band from the bottom right corner). Image from Geijer (1938) Birka III - Die Textilfunde Aus den Grabern, Plate 23

Diagrams of the original brocade motifs of the B22 bands, depicted using a series of small vertical lines on a pale peach background

A schematic diagram of the motifs from the B22 band. Image from Geijer (1938) Birka III - Die Textilfunde Aus den Grabern Figure 20, page 83. I believe that the smaller section at the bottom is what Carolyn Priest-Dorman based her draft on. I chose to base my draft on the longer of the two sections

I freely admit that I don't enjoy weaving brocade, so I converted the motifs into 3x1 diagonals instead when I designed my version of the B22 find. I chose a yellow background colour to mimic the areas of the original that were covered by the gold brocade weft and "stave" borders for the selvedges, which are a fairly common feature of such bands[3]. I used red as my motif line and weft colour, as I liked the contrast between it and the yellow and the little spots of the red weft that show through in the large yellow sections mimic the brocade weft tie-down points of the original. I also chose to weave it in King Cole Merino Blend 4-ply (in mustard and scarlet) instead of the silk[4] of the original, as that was what I had to hand in the colours I wanted. This means that my band is 4.3cm wide, rather than the original 1.2cm.

I have designed the band to be twist-neutral for the pattern tablets (you will get a build-up of twist behind the four selvedge tablets on each side of the draft), so the pattern repeat is pretty long to incorporate a lattice section that twines in the opposite direction. I've split the draft itself into two pieces to make them easier to work from, in such a way that you can weave from just one of them without breaking the motifs, if you prefer. You can view them at their full size by clicking on the draft to select it, then right-clicking on it and selecting "open image in new tab", click on it one more time in the new tab and it should be much bigger.

A draft for weaving a red and yellow tablet woven band, patterned with floral motifs and lattice work

A draft for weaving a red and yellow tablet woven band, patterned with floral motifs and lattice work

You can download the TDD file for this draft by clicking here.

As the turning diagram for this draft is over 200 picks long, I've chosen not to include the text description in this post. Instead, you can download it by clicking here.

References

[1] Geijer, Agnes (1938). Birka III - Die Textilfunde Aus den Grabern. Birka: Untersuchungen und Studien III. Uppsala: Almkvist and Wiksells B.A., Kungl. Vitterhets Antikvitets Akadamien. Retrieved from: https://historiska.se/digitala-resurser/filer/pdf/Birka_III.pdf (17/05/2021)

[2] Priest-Dorman, C. (1993). Viking-Style Tablet Weaving: Birka Strapwork Motif, Retrieved from: https://www.cs.vassar.edu/~capriest/birkarcp.html (17/05/2021)

[3] Spies, N. (2000). Ecclesiastical Pomp and Aristocratic Circumstance: A Thousand Years Of Brocaded Tabletwoven Bands, Arelate Studio

[4] Ostrom Peters, C. (2002). The Silk Road Textiles at Birka: An Examination of the Tabletwoven Bands, The Textile Society of America Symposium Proceedings, Retrieved from:  https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1407&context=tsaconf (17/05/2021)


Sunday, 6 June 2021

New Video!

 I have a new video up on YouTube. It's all about how I use TDD to generate narrow drafts from tablet weaving. I'll be sharing the draft on my blog for free, just as soon as I finish the sample band.



Friday, 4 June 2021

The New Warp-Twined Angles is Ready!

I'm really excited to share the new Tablet Weaving in Theory and Practice: Warp-Twined Angles books with you!

Over the past three months, I've been working on a new (old?) project and it's ready to share! In fact, it went live in the Blurb online book shop on the 1st of June.

Tablet Weaving in Theory and Practice: Warp-Twined Angles Volume One
The 42 drafts from the first edition of Warp-Twined Angles, reformatted to make them easier to use, with all new samples and photography.


Tablet Weaving in Theory and Practice: Warp-Twined Angles Volume Two
65 new drafts in the same style as the first edition, published separately for people who have the first edition and just want the new drafts.


Tablet Weaving in Theory and Practice: Warp-Twined Angles Combined Edition
All 107 drafts collected together in a single volume. There's no material in the Combined Edition that doesn't also appear in the separate volumes and vice versa.