The design for this band was inspired by numerous variations of ‘Birka-style’ threaded-in patterns available online. Experimenting with Saxon patterns helped me figure out how to make it reversible.
If you like the colours I used, look for Grundl Häkelgarn 100 crochet cotton, colors 129, 130 and 134. Various online craft stores (and Amazon) stock it.
The simple turning sequence allows you to get used to working with more cards, without having to manipulate each one individually. You’re working with two packs, each of which is turned on alternate rows; a technique referred to as ‘pack idling’ by Collingwood.
There are no ‘selvedge’ cards that are treated differently to the rest of the two packs. I wanted a band that was the same thickness across its entire width, and I like the edge produced when all cards are treated as pattern cards.
The width of the band depends on how firmly you pull/beat the weft. For smooth lines in the design, you’ll need to work to a much tighter tension than you normally would. The resulting band will be narrower and thicker than you’d perhaps expect for the number of cards used. Perfect for a belt!
Working to a wider width (looser weft) gives less well defined outlines within the design. When looking at the belt/strap from a distance, this isn’t an issue. The fabric of the band is also more pliable.
Inevitably, you get twist build-up when working this pattern because the cards are always turned in the same direction. I usually work on a warp weighted loom, so it is easy to push the twist out. When you need to reverse the pattern to undo the twist: flip the cards from S to Z (or vice versa), move the outermost edge (odd) card on each side between the two packs, and continue the turning sequence by repeating the row you just completed. Shelagh Lewins outlines this approach in her Anglo Saxon belt weaving instructions.
I’m off to finish weaving. There’s almost a metre of warp left on this project. I’m hoping to have a new belt for Ffair Rhaglen XI in August.
- A Practical Examination of Wefts used in Medieval Brocaded Tabletweaving (Guntram)
- A Saxon Threaded-In Tablet Weave (Carolyn Priest-Dorman)
- Anglo-Saxon Belt Weaving Instructions (Shelagh Lewins)
- Anglo Saxon threaded in pattern (Sylvie la chardonnière)
- Rams Horn Pack Idling Tablet Weaving Pattern (Melanie A. Thompson)
- Silver Brocade (Sarah Goslee)
- The Techniques of Tablet Weaving (Peter Collingwood)