Friday, September 26, 2008


No, not that kind of carded. (My hair went white in my 20's, so I haven't been carded in that way since I was a teenager.) No, the kind of card I'm referring to is the kind you use to weave narrow bands....

Today was the September meeting of a study group in my weavers guild that I'm a member of - a group called Warped Explorers. In the past, we've had presentations on an incredible variety of topics. Recently, though, we've had fewer programs - and more of a social component to our meetings. It's been wonderful to have that time to connect, to hear about the various pursuits, to see some of the results, but a few were concerned that the group was turning into *only* a social get-together.

So.... I thought about that a while, realized I'm one of the people who hasn't had much to share other than enthusiasm for a while. One member had mentioned a few months ago that she would be interested in hearing a program on tabletweaving. That's something I've done a bit of, and have some interest in, so... maybe Gay, the hostess of this month's meeting, and I could do a program on cardweaving. (I actually prefer the term cardweaving to tabletweaving, which is the more common name for this technique on the "other side of the pond." When I think of tablets, I picture big tablets of yellow paper. :-/ So I usually call it cardweaving, although I acknowledge that you can pee in the ocean, but you cannot change the tide.)

Anyway, we gave a simple program. I made some giant cards, threaded with rug wool - a great tool for showing folks what happens with this method of weaving.

When I first got interested in this, I got excited, thinking it was a way you could essentially do four shaft weaving without a loom. But, of course, what I quickly learned, was that this isn't like regular weaving - it's got a very important difference - the warp threads going through the holes in each card twine around the weft threads. With these giant cards, it's really easy to see what's happening with each subsequent weft pick. The bottom card in this picture shows the typical threading for double-faced cardweaving - 1 color in 2 adjacent holes, and another color in the other 2 holes. One color is used for background, the other for foreground, and weaving 2 picks turning the card forward, then 2 picks back, keeps one color on top and the other on the bottom of the band. The upper card is actually a stack of 2 cards, with a different color in each hole - typical of threaded in designs. I used a fat weft thread to show what happens with 4 turns forward, 4 back. In retrospect, I think it would be easier to see by using a rigid weft like chopsticks or something.

Anyway, after the intro, we had several warps for folks to see and try - one with 2 cards for a very narrow band I learned from Ruth MacGregor (who said it was found by Shirley Berlin in Lapland.) One warp was setup for double-faced cardweaving......

and the one in back Gay setup for showing textural effects in tabletweaving.

We had a small turnout, but the best result was that I've renewed my interest in cardweaving.

Fun stuff! So yes, I'd say I've been carded.