Weaving your first band

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Cut two lengths of yarn in one colour, and two in another, all about 6 foot long. These are called warp threads and will run along the length of the band you will weave.

Thread each warp thread through one of the holes in a tablet, as shown in Figure 3, with the two threads of the same colour in adjacent holes. Now fasten the threads between two fixed points about 5 feet apart, so that they are horizontal and moderately taut. The tablet will tend to turn sideways so that it lies along the threads, which is fine.

If you now rotate the tablet as shown by the arrows in Figure 3, it will twist the four warp threads into a cord, and you will see that the different colours alternate along its length

Twining.png Fig. 3

Now cut 14 more warp threads of each colour, and thread up the other seven tablets in the same way, so that the 8 tablets lie side by side in a deck, as shown in Figure 4. Make sure the tablets all have the same colours in the same holes as each other: turn the tablets to achieve this if necessary.

The gap between the top two threads and the bottom two on each tablet is called the shed. By passing a weft thread through the shed each time you turn the tablets, you will lock the eight separate cords together to make a sturdy patterned band.

Wind a few yards of thread onto the shuttle and pass the shuttle through the shed, leaving the end of the thread hanging out the other side.

Turn the 8 tablets, all together, a quarter turn, thus creating a new shed. Don't hold the tablets too tightly; a little bit of space between them helps the threads to turn more easily.

Use your hand to push the warp threads towards the beginning of the band, so that the weft is pushed back as far as possible and the band will be firm and tight. This is called beating. You can also slide the tablets to and fro along the warps a little, which will make the shed clearer. Pass the weft back through the new shed. Don't worry if it's uneven to start with: the beginning of the band is always the most difficult part.

Bandweave.png Bandweave2.png Fig. 4

Turn the tablets again, beat the shed, and now pull the weft tight before passing it back through the shed again. This helps you to keep the width of the band even.

Continue weaving like this. You will see horizontal stripes appear on the band as you weave it, as shown in Figure 4.

Weaving patterned bands