Dog Collar Weave-Along, Week 2

Welcome to Week Two of Mirrix's 15th weave-along! Please note that we have modified our dates a bit and will have one more weave-along post next week. Now let's get started weaving!

We will be showing you how to do this piece without the shedding device. If you'd like to use the shedding device, you can certainly do so. You will want to follow the instructions in the tapestry/bead cuff bracelet for weaving the fiber, but she adding beads you will put your shedding device in the neutral position and add them as will be done in this post. The advantage to using the shedding device is it speeds up the fiber weaving.


Measure a piece of warp thread approximately three times the width of the loom. Using a tapestry needle weave the warp thread from one side bar to the other going under and over every other warp. Wrap the thread around the side bar and weave back to the other end going under and over alternative warps. Tie the ends together as tightly as you can. This will act as a base for your weaving so it doesn't slip down on the loom.


Using warp thread, weave a header,. This will be turned under your piece when you finish it and will not be seen. Weave about six passes to create this header.









When ending your header weave toward the middle of the piece and stick the end to the back between warp threads. You will start the new weft thread where this one ends.





Cut a manageable length piece of silk and begin it where the header threads end. Stick the tail to the back of the piece. This is one of two methods of beginning a weft thread. We will get to the second method later on. Below is a picture of my lovely curved bamboo needles begging woven under and over warp threads. Even though I LOVE the Mirrix shedding device, sometimes I do like to slow down and just "needle weave." Weave about fourteen passes of this thread (back and forth seven times).













Here is my pile of Delica beads.










To insert a row of beads, do the following. Thread your C-Lon beading thread. Tie the end of it to the side bar of your loom using just one half of a square knot. You will be untying it momentarily. Pick up fourteen beads with your needle.

Place the beads behind and in between the warp threads and sew through on the top of the threads making sure to not pierce the warp threads and to sew in front of them. This is just like standard bead weaving although your warp threads are quite a bit thicker and therefore easier to pierce with your beading needle.


Untie the the end of the beading thread from the side bar and tie a knot with the other end. Weave the free end back through the beads, knotting around warp threads as you go. When it emerges from the other end, trim it close to the last bead.











In order to keep this working bead thread out of your way until you need to use it again, insert the working end into the side bead and pull the thread to the back of the piece. When you need to use it again, it will be ready for you.

Keep weaving with the silk thread.

Weave it to the left side of the piece. We will be a adding a second weft thread that we will alternately weave with the first.







Weave the new thread and then take the end behind the two side warp threads. Stick the end in between the front of the two side warp threads so that the tail is in the back of the piece.










Weave the original weft thread taking it in front of the new weft thread. This method is called pick and pick. When the threads are of very contrasting colors you will see a pattern of vertical stripes. In this particular case, my threads are not that contrasting and hence the stripes will not be that obvious.

Keep alternating the two threads for as long as you would like. Keep in mind that you don't have to follow my design exactly. I am presenting various methods that you can use with any color and in any spot along this weaving.


Next, instead of alternating the weft threads, weave them both into the middle of the piece so they meet between two warp threads. Next weave both weft threads back to the sides. Continue with this method, meeting at different places in the middle and then weaving out to the sides. This will create shading and different effects depending on the color of the threads.



I am going to end the right weft thread and replace it with a new one. Weave the left weft thread over a couple of warps, sticking it to the back of the piece. Begin a new weft thread where it ended. When you want to end the left thread and begin a new one, apply the same method.










I have replaced the left weft thread with a very contrasting color.

Notice the different effect of weaving two wefts of contrasting color versus weaving two wefts of similar colors.

By weaving the contrasting wefts to the same position in the middle every time you create the technique that is known as "hatching. It's a very regular version of shading.

Next I am going to to use the two contrasting wefts with pick and pick which, as I mentioned before, will create vertical stripes.


































Note the vertical stripes! I love this technique whether using it for more subtle shading or using it to create these bold vertical stripes.

Now it's time to play with "soumak" which is actually a knotting technique. If you are using the shedding device you will need to put it in the neutral position.

Take your needle to the back of the piece and around two side warp threads, coming to the front of the piece in between the second and third warp. Stick your needle to the back of the piece in between the the first and second warp.

You can see in the below picture how the thread goes behind two warps in the back and then over one warp in the front, basically circling completely around every warp thread.














You can either continue practicing your knotting technique or just revert to straight weaving. Play with adding new threads.

Retrieve your beading thread and pick up and weave fourteen Delica Beads. Weave them as described previously.











A reminder picture of how to end and add a new thread.











Continue to weave.











Continue to add more beads.











Continue to weave using different techniques and adding beads occasionally. The beads will help to set the width of your piece, so don't go too long without using them. If you have a tapestry book, now is a good time to try out some techniques. Following are some more images of my piece as it progresses:










And finally, I've reached my desired length. To determine the length your piece should be, measure the space on the dog collar that you would like to have covered with the tapestry strip. Make your tapestry strip a tad more than a quarter inch longer to allow for shrinkage. Remember that the warp threads stretch while under tension and will shrink slightly when the piece is removed from the loom.










Weave a footer at the top (the same as the header).

Next weave along, we'll get to finishing!

If you want a refresher on basic techniques and weaving a piece that combines beads and fiber, we recommend our Craftsy class. You can get it for half price using this link:

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