Tuesday, June 27, 2023

A Tablet Loom

So, this is another project idea I got from Permies.com's SKIP merit badge program. It's in the textiles aspect, with the requirement of making a small loom capable of weaving a warp-faced fabric at least 2-inches wide. Examples include backstrap and tablet (or card) looms. I am intrigued by tablet weaving, so that's what I made.

One of the most common ways to make the tablets is with playing cards. I found some really cute cards at Hobby Lobby for under $2, so that's what I used.

The cards are trimmed to make squares.

Then a hole is punched near each corner.

The holes are labeled A, B, C, and D, and the cards are numbered. The width of the weaving is determined by the number of cards (warp ends). The weaving pattern is determined by turning the tablets (or groups of tablets) a quarter turn forward or backward.

I started with a sampler and so only measured about a yard of warp. I used a sugar-and-cream type crochet cotton for my first try.

I watched quite a few videos on threading the cards and thought it looked easy. When it came to doing it myself, however, I realized that various videos explained it differently and that some gave opposite directions! There's a difference in the weaving depending on whether the cards are threaded from the front or the back, which was sometimes discussed as left or right, or as S threading and Z threading. 

The more videos I watched, the more confused I became. I finally thought, 'you know what? I'm just gonna do this and at least I'll make a start and learn something! Then I can figure it out later.'

There are tablet weaving stands, but the easiest way to start is with the backstrap method. So, the only other things I needed were a small stick shuttle, a belt, and a ring to fasten the weaving to the belt.

Then it was time to give it a try and experiment. 

It wasn't as easy as the videos made it look, but I learned a lot. I'm definitely going to experiment more with this. I'll do a technical post on tablet weaving soon.

© 2023 Leigh's Fiber Journal

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Thursday, June 22, 2023

Tool Roll for My DPNs

In anticipation of the outcome of our current house remodeling project, I'm trying to get some things organized and ready to go. Some of the things that badly need organizing, are my crochet hooks and knitting needles. My straight needles reside in a tall decorative can, which is fine. The size is embossed on the ends of the needles, so I can easily find what I need. 

My circular needles, crochet hooks, and double pointed knitting needles, however, are another matter. Mostly they reside in pencil cases, so that I have to hunt for what I need. The crochet hooks are easiest, because they too, have the size on the hook. The circs and DPNs, though, aren't labeled, so I have to use my needle gauge tool to figure out which is which. Plus, the DPNs are usually scattered everywhere, so finding enough to make a set is another chore. I needed a better system. 

That's when I learned about tool rolls. What a great idea, I thought. I can keep things organized, tidy, and easy to find. I started with my double pointed needles. 

I looked at a number of designs, but eventually figured out my own. A tool roll is basically a rectangle of fabric with pockets, that can be rolled up and tied into a compact bundle. 

One of the things I didn't realize, is how many DPNs I have. I have multiple sets of some sizes, but there are some gaps in my collection as well. The nice thing about a customized tool roll, is that the pockets can be made to suit. 

This will be home for my sizes US1 through 10. 

I left empty pockets for needles I need, and had enough space for a pocket for my needle gauge tool!

Folded, it looks like this...

And here it is rolled up and ready to tuck away in a handy place.

Besides being extremely useful, this is a great project for fabric scraps. 

One tool roll down and two more to go.

© 2023 Leigh's Fiber Journal