Saturday, 15 June 2013

Card Weaving

On Thursday, I drove up to Lindsay to participate in a card weaving workshop with the Kawartha Handweavers and Spinners Guild and some ladies from the Scugog Handweavers and Spinners Guild. I do the website for the Kawartha group and have honourary membership status but it was the first time I've ventured up to their meeting place.

Judy Chapman got underway and quickly showed us the warping method between two pegs, one at each end of the table.
Basically we thread two ends each through holes punched in sturdy cards that are 3 1/2" square.
Warping involves winding the warp back and forth around the pegs, dropping one card one each side each time. This was the hardest part but once we got the hang of the first couple of cards the rest went quickly.

We then started weaving the first pattern on Judy's instruction sheet - the basic striped pattern - rotating all the cards in the same direction after each pass with the shuttle. The popsicle sticks were spacers to get the warp nicely spread out at the beginning in preparation for weaving.
The next pattern we tried was the checkerboard where we rotated groups of 4 cards 180 degrees for the setup, then rotated them all together in the same direction.
Diagonal stripes were next where we gave each card a quarter turn for the setup, then turned them all continuously in one direction then in the other direction to slant the other way.
I thought I'd try a chevron pattern next. I liked it because I didn't have to count the number of turns of the cards. Once I had the setup done, I whipped along quite nicely, rotating the cards continuously in one direction.
I tried the diamonds but didn't like what they looked like and besides, I had to count too carefully. We were having so much fun yakking and oohing and aahing at each others' weaving I lost track.

Then we only had about 1/2 an hour to finish up. I was determined to get my whole warp woven so I did the last foot or so using the chevron pattern.

Once I was done and had cut the warp off the pegs, I turned my weaving over and saw how lovely the other side was. I had threaded my cards from front to back by mistake and was actually weaving on the wrong side the whole time! Doesn't this chevron sample look better from the right side? D'uh!
I cut my samples apart and have determined that they shall be bookmarks.  Below are all the right sides of my weaving. You can see the diamonds 2nd from the right are a little wonky but the rest look pretty darned good, if I do say so myself.
I want to thank the kind lady who gave me the cards I needed and the two ladies who provided me with the proper yarn. I was the worst prepared participant but once I got going I got the most weaving done! (Ever the competitive crafter).

You can see card weaving at Renaissance fairs and other period events. It is also called tablet weaving and you can read more about the craft here, here, and here.

With a minimum of equipment, one can easily create beautiful woven strips which can then be seamed to make larger objects.


  1. Your bookmarks look great. You'd never know it was your first time.

  2. You have really shown some fun design possibilities here. I may have to finally give this a try.