Welcome to week two. We hope your warping went well. Now comes the fun part!
With this piece, weaving without a plan tends to work very well. As long as your colors go well together (if you have a kit from us, they will), you can really decide what you want to do as you go along. You may, however, want to plan your piece a little more and decide, for example, you’ll put beads every inch or that you want to focus on certain colors or textures. You can follow our design closely, or once you’ve gotten the hang of it, stray a bit and do your own thing. Your piece will have to be SEVEN inches long to fit on the one inch cuff. That might seem a tad too long, but when you take your piece off the loom it will shrink slightly and we have found that seven inches is the perfect length. Having it a tad long is way better than not having it be long enough. Trust me!
We had you end your header in the middle of a row just by tucking the end behind the warp. For tapestry, this is all you need to do to end a thread. We don’t really care what the back of the tapestry looks like. It is usually easier to start and end threads in the middle of a piece. But sometimes when you are, for example, ending a single thread and starting a double thread, ending at the selvedges is a better idea. Sometimes, though, you will want to start and end threads on the selvedges of your piece. If the shed is in one direction (as you saw when you wove your header), this will work fine and your thread will face the back of the piece naturally. When in the other shed, however, your thread will face forward. To fix this, you will need to make a pigtail. We will show you plenty of that farther on.
To start a thread in the middle, tuck the beginning of the thread in the same place you tucked the end of the old one and continue weaving as if you are weaving with the old thread.
Before we weave in our first row of beads, we want to weave a few rows of fiber. Do this just as you wove your header, making sure to change the shed between each pass of fiber.
Note that the loop at the selvedge (edge) is neither baggy or so tight that it pulls in. All your selvedge threads should look like this.
Now that you know the basics of how to weave fiber, we’re going to focus on how to add beads to your piece.
First, take your sewing needle and thread a few inches of C-Lon size D beading thread (not the cord you used before). Then, tie the ends of the thread together in an over-hand knot making a loop on the needle. I suggest an over-hand knot because you will be using this set up more than several times and a square knot will want to undo itself.
Make sure you have a long enough length of a thin weft thread (like the silk) on your loom to weave a few passes. Take the tail of that thread on the loom and place it through the loop you made on the needle. Pick up 14 beads with the needle. Then, push the beads down the needle, over the loop and onto the weft thread. Now your weft thread will have 14 beads on it.
Change your shed and weave through with your weft as if you were weaving normally. Your beads will have to be at least a couple of inches above the last row you’ve woven in order for them to fit into the shed. Position them evenly and push down so they fit between the warp threads on top of your last row of weaving. Change the shed again and continue to weave with just the fiber weft. Easy!
Check out this short video showing how to add beads to your piece:
Continue weaving a few more rows of just the silk thread. When you are ready to add a new thread, stick the end of the old thread in between and behind the warp threads and start the new one where the old one ended.
We’ve ended our latest thread in order to start a new one. You know the drill.
Weave a few rows turquoise.
Technique time: Pick and pick which miraculously creates vertical stripes. You might ask why? The answer is that it takes two passes in weaving to create an actual line because one pass goes over warps 1, 3, 5 etc. and the second pass goes over warps 2, 4, 6, etc. If you alternate colors this creates vertical stripes. But don’t believe me. Try it yourself.
You will need to start a new thread on top of the existing (turquoise) one. This is where the pigtail gets employed. Take the end of the new (green) thread behind the two selvedge warp threads and then stick the end through the front of the piece and between the those two threads so that it lands at the back of the piece.
Weave the original thread. Notice how we’ve come around the top of the original thread before weaving the second thread.
Weave the second (green thread).
Keep alternating the two threads to create those really fun vertical stripes.
The silk thread we are using (in the kit) is hand painted and hence the colors change. The green thread is becoming coral color. I mentioned this because I don’t want you to think I replaced it with a new color.
We are moving from the pick and pick technique to a new technique called wavy lines. To do this you will instead of weaving each thread once, you will weave them twice. This creates the appearance of wavy lines. We one more pass with the thread you just wove.
Weave the other thread twice.
Weave the other thread. Continue with this pattern of weaving each thread twice for a bit.
We’ve ended one of our threads by making a pigtail so that the end of the thread does not land on the front of the weaving.
Weave the remaining thread once.
Thread fourteen beads and weave them.
Weave a few passes of that thread and then end it in the middle of the weaving.
Start a new thread where it ended.
Add to that piece some novelty yarn. Because we’ve begun ours where the selvedge thread is lowered, we needed to make a pigtail.
Weave with the silk and novelty thread for a bit. You will love the texture and the way those bits of color in the novelty thread fall between each other as you weave.
See what I mean about how they mange to line up just right!
Cut off your novelty thread and leave the silk thread.
Weave with just the silk thread.
Sam is exhausted from watching us weave! That’s Claudia sitting on the pillow.
Get ready for some new techniques! We’ve replaced our thread with a new color.
Wove that for a bit in preparation for adding an additional thread to show you how to weave threads in opposite directions as well as demonstrating slit tapestry. When your threads are woven in opposite directions in any given shed you will be able to do some very magical things with them. Just trust me on this. For now we are just going to weave a simple slit in one place. Then we will move the slit over. It will all make tons of sense. Just follow these directions exactly!
Never miss an excuse to take a photo of our materials!
Change sheds, and weave a new thread at the opposite selvedge from where the working end of the other thread emerges.
Change sheds and weave the two threads toward one another.
Weave the threads away from one another leaving a slit in between. Make those interior wraps around warps as neat as if they were at the selvedges: not too tight; not too baggy.
As you continue with this technique you will see the slit that appears between the two colors.
This is fun! Weave one thread (I don’t care which) into the other thread’s space.
Weave the other thread toward that thread.
Weave both threads back to the selvedges, again leaving a slit in between.
Keep weaving this pattern, forming a new slit join in a different place. This gives you a hint as to how shapes are built in tapestry (just one of many exciting techniques!).
Here we are ending one of the threads. Again, use that pigtail if you need to.
Weave the existing thread.
Throw in some beads. If you don’t like the look of the beads, you can leave them out. One of the things they do is if for some reason your threads are getting out of alignment or you have been pulling in a tad at the selvedges, they will even things out since the space between the warp threads is exactly the space those 8/0 beads fill.
Weave an empty thread.
Weave that thread for a few passes and end in the middle of the piece. If you’ve been following our piece exactly you will now have woven three inches. Seven to go. But don’t rush it because this is fun.
Replace existing thread with a new one.
Weave a pass with the new thread.
Insert a new thread on the opposite side as you did before.
Our next technique: warp interlock, called that because the two threads when they meet will not form a slit, but will wrap around the same warp thread.
Meet and separate!
Do this pattern a few times.
Note the piling up of threads on that warp. If you continue with this pattern for too long you will create a ridge in that place. Which is why slit tapestry is better for longer vertical lines.
The next technique is shading. Move one thread into the other guy’s space. In our example we are wrapping around the same warp where they meet but you actually employ slit tapestry as well. It’s our choice.
Now move the place where they threads meet to a different place.
Just follow the pictures!
In preparation for adding a third weft weave the two wefts toward one another.
Time to add a third color. This will change your view of tapestry weaving. I call this weft dancing when you have several or more weft threads playing together. It has always been my go-to favorite technique.
Change the shed (this should be implied, but might be a bit confusing in this case). Insert a new color on the selvedge and weave in over part of the existing thread.
Weave all the threads again, making sure not to cover the working end of any thread. See below photograph. Can you see how all these weft threads can dance together and how they are all actually going in opposite directions when in the same shed.
Keep playing with your three colors.
End the two colors on the left.
Weave the remaining color to cover the two you just ended.
Add some beads. Pour a cup of tea/coffee or a glass of wine depending on the time of day and sit back and admire your beautiful work!
Add a strand of novelty yarn to your silk and weave with that.
Weave a few rows of novelty yarn and silk.
For a little fun, replace just the silk thread with a different color.
Weave the new color with the novelty yarn.
Replace the novelty yarn with a strand of silk yarn.
Weave a few rows of two silk threads and then get ready for Sumack knotting. This is not a weaving technique since you are not taking your weft thread under and over the warp threads. Rather, you are wrapping around the threads. It’s a much lower technique that adds some really nice texture to your piece. It also makes the piece more durable which was useful when such weavings were used for, let’s say, saddle bags for your camel.
Take your double threads behind two warp threads and to the face of the weaving.
Insert the the thread between the two side warps and bring it behind two warps and to the front of the weaving.
Continue with this pattern taking the thread behind two warps and then through those two warps
Head back in the other direction by first inserting your thread through the two side warps.
Take your thread behind warps two and three and continue making knots in this manner.
Weave the two threads on top of the Soumack.
Weave a few rows of the double weft threads.
End your double thread and start a new one with silk and novelty yarn.
To advance your weaving, trim the bottom two threads.
Turn the wing nuts clockwise to release the tension.
Pull up on the warping bar to advance the weaving.
Turn the wing nuts counter clockwise to increase the tension.
Weave a row of beads, if you’d like.
Weave an empty weft thread over the beads.
Add a thread of novelty yearn to the silk thread.
Time to do pick and pick again. At the end of the first section of pick and pick weave one of the weft threads twice in order to shift the pattern.
Repeat techniques already learned until the weaving reaches seven inches.
Below I’ve done: weaving with a double strand; a single strand of silk weft; a row of beads; some weft dancing with two wefts.
I’ve ended one weft. . .
and then replaced it with a new color.
Turn the single weft into a double weft.
After a few rows of that do a couple of rows of Sumack knotting.
After I ended the Sumack knotting I did the following: a couple of rows of weaving with the double weft thread; a row of beads using one of the weft threads; some more weaving with the double thread; some rows of silk and novelty thread combined.
End the novelty yarn and weave with one strand of silk.
Weave until you reach seven inches.
Then weave a header with warp thread as you did when you started the piece.
Next week we will show you how to remove your piece from the loom and turn it into a beautiful cuff bracelet!