Monday, August 22, 2011

Learning something new (weaving edging strips with a rigid heddle)

Good evening dear readers! I thought I'd tell you about a marvellous little workshop I went to during the Visby Medieval Week this year, held by Åsa Martinsson.(whose blog you can find right here). The 'real' workshop was held the evening before, but as some of us couldn't make it to that gathering Åsa was very kind to give us an introduction the morning after, in the lovely medieval tavern called Kapitelhusgården. Thank you Åsa!

Now, I have practiced regular tablet weaving for a couple of years (though I still have very much to learn) but weaving with a single card - a rigid heddle - was all new to me.

So here we are, just starting our venture into this unknown world of rigid heddles, fiddling away with the yarn and peering over each other's shoulders.

The task was not only to weave a ribbon, but to weave it directly onto a fabric, creating a nice edging. In theory it was all clear to me, but my fingers were still very much stuck in regular card weaving and it took a while for me to get a hang of.

The picture to the right is of course me, just getting started. As you can see I have one end stuck to the table in front of me and one end fastened to my belt, allowing me to weave directly over my lap. Very comfortable actually! Though I am quite fond of this little contraption shown below, which Åsa uses at times when being stuck just isn't practical.
The rigid heddle in the picture is one that Åsa brought with her, and if you check out her website you can find a close-up of what it looks like (right HERE). We used two different colour of yarn, threading one type through the holes in the tablet and one type through the slits. Then, by moving the tablet up or down the yarn is separated and it's easy to get the needle through.

My problem was first of all to get the tension right, as I started out not tightening it enough and thus creating a sort of checkered surface. But with a little help from Åsa I soon managed to get the desired striped look, and I'm proud to say that I even got the corners right!

Since the whole thing started out wrong it never actually looked good (it was supposed to end up as a small wallet/pouch) so as I came home I discarded it, immediately beginning anew with a fresh set of ideas. However, since this little thing called WORK came upon me as I returned from the Middle Ages, I have not yet finished it. But when I do, you'll be the first to know!

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