There are a few different ways you can warp your tablets/cards, but it doesn’t hurt to thread one card at a time and get a feel for working with the four holes and your colours.
If you are warping for a pattern, remember to keep the colours in the right order as you move around the holes in the tablet (e.g. black, black, red, red), but remember that you can rotate the card at the end to ensure the right colours are at top and bottom. Essentially it’s the order that matters when you warp!
You can start with as few as eight cards/tablets, but many patterns ask for more.
Once you’ve warped, you need to adjust the cards in two directions. First which card are angled to the left or to the right (more on this in a future post). Generally you want at least the outermost card on each side to angle a different way to the ones in the centre. Two is even better, but obviously that depends on how many cards you’re working with.
Why do this? Well, it stops your finished weaving from twisting in one direction.
Then you might need to rotate them toward or away from you to get the colours you want on the top. If you’re doing something simple, like a stripe, you can just align the cards so two of the same colour appear in the top two holes, but you might offset them to create chevrons, or something even more fun!
This is your starting position.
So, once you’re all lined up and you’ve got the ends of your warp tied and under a bit of tension, you can pull those tablets down toward where your hands are and start to weave!
Now, in tablet/card weaving the cards will all be edge-on like in this picture here. The shed is made by the top and bottom holes closest to you and it’s always a good idea to clear the shed with your fingers before passing the weft.
You can tie your weft thread into a little butterfly if you don’t have a shuttle and, like in any loom weaving, you just pass it through the shed and then you change the shed. I beat after changing the shed, because the shed is quite open so the weft can spring out again otherwise!
To change your shed, you rotate the cards a quarter turn away from you.
This means the hole that was on the top, closest to you, moves to being the hole on the top at the back. (In the diagram A would move to D’s position.)
In coming posts, I’ll talk about how the shed change works and how the angle of the cards affects the direction your threads are twisting in – yes there will be diagrams! Before that though, there’ll be a short post just on the way that tablet/weaving captures the weft (that’s a nice easy bit).