Saturday, July 11, 2009


Our guild doesn't have meetings in July and August, but we still have access to our rental space, so often, Bev, the education chair, will line up classes. I like to do cardweaving - the American name - same thing as tabletweaving- so I decided to teach a class on making Tabletwoven Shoelaces after seeing the cool article on Weavezine on Inklewoven Shoelaces written by Daryl Lancaster's daughter Brianna.

I prepared kits in baggies - each containing warps for 2 shoelaces, 2 EZ Bobs for weft, a loop of thread for securing the far end of the warp, a safety pin to secure the near end to a belt, a binder clip to hold the cards secure when you're idle, some toothpicks to even things out at the start, an index card with an arrow on it (used to keep track of which direction you're currently turning, in case your mind wanders), and last, a piece of waxed paper with 4 little squares of clear packing tape (for wrapping the ends after weaving.)

I started by giving a demo with my giant cards so everyone could see the twining that happens with tabletweaving.

Then I got everyone setup - the loop of thread secured to the support bar of the table with a larks head knot, then with another larks head to capture the knot at the end of the warp. The near end of the warp was tied in a knot and safety-pinned to the belt (or around the belt, if necessary.) We wove in a header of toothpicks to even things out, then launched into the weaving.

Here's Linda and Mary...
and the other Mary and Joyce...

And Karen and Taryl...

After weaving for a while, I had everyone take a break, and talked about some of the options - 2 vs 4 cards, size of threads used, options for holding the weft, different turning patterns.

All in all, it went pretty well. Turns out the EZ Bob thingies weren't ideal for holding the weft threads since I had probably overfilled them and the thread was fairly fine compared to knitting yarn that you usually use these for. Floss bobbins might be a better choice. I had everyone using two wefts - a trick I learned from my friend Ruth MacGregor ( which makes it easier to tug on the wefts to keep the edges neat and tidy. I also suggested they keep a finger in the shed until they are ready to turn so that the band doesn't tend to twist or flip over.

It will be interesting to see how many of them bring their finished shoelaces to the September guild meeting. :-)

My looms still wait patiently.


Lynnette said...

I have a friend who made shoe laces from cabled long llama guard hairs several years ago, and they are still in perfect shape after constant use. The quality of handmade is amazing isn't it? I did a masters test question a while back with card weaving and had a's so relaxing and fun.

bspinner said...

Looks like everyone's having a great time. I've never done any card weaving. May have to try it.

Life Looms Large said...

Too bad I don't live closer! My one card-weaving attempt is still a tangled snarl in a bin in my studio. I can't quite bear to throw it away, but it's probably unlikely to get into my project queue at this point. A class would definitely help me!

Shoelaces seem like a great thing to make!