Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Textile Projects Update

These past few days, I've been making time for my Lagore Crannog tablet weaving and my nalbinded sock project.  Though there hasn't been a lot of progress, I have done enough to have an excuse to take a few pictures.

The first sock in progress
The nalbinding is faring pretty well, considering that I was away last weekend and have been busy at work.  I finally conquered my problem with pivoting (mostly).  However, I don't have much of a cylinder yet.  (To give you an idea of the size of what I have, the needle is 3 inches (about 7.6 cm) long.  My work-in-progress is about 2 inches/5 cm longer than that.  Some people might think that's a bit too wide for a sock, but I have wide feet, want to give my toes plenty of room, and may decide to felt the socks before I wear them.  

I ordered a tablet-weaving shuttle from a nice gentleman in Estonia via Etsy; here's a picture of it.  I suspect this design isn't period (and for all I know shuttles may not have been used in tablet weaving during the Viking era--at least I don't know of any finds that have been identified as such).  It is 9.4 x 4.3 cm (3.7 x 1.7 inches) and a scant 2.5mm (0.1 in) thick. It seems so fragile when you hold it, but in use it's solid enough.

My new shuttle
The new shuttle, unfortunately, is my only success so far with the Lagore Crannog band. My problem is that after the first few passes, I can't discern where the new shed is after I turn the tablets. I undid my work at least 3 times the other night because of that.  Part of the problem is undoubtedly the fact that I chose to use small cards (about 3.5 cm, or a bit over 1 inch) in warping the band. I have larger cards, and I could rewarp it using larger cards, which might make it easier to discern the shed. But before I do that, I've tried to analyze which strings should be on top, and which below, the warp for each tablet position. If that works, I'll probably blog about it.

EDIT:  I've abandoned the proto-sock in the photo above, in favor of a slightly narrower effort with more even stitching.  Meanwhile, I am using my old effort from last year to experiment with methods of making heels.  So there is progress on the nalbinding front, at least, even if it's slow.


  1. Sometimes what it takes to get a clean shed is to put your hand into it right up next to the tablets and slide your hand toward yourself. If you don't get clear separation even right next to the tablets, either (1) the threads are loose or "sticky" (wool especially is famous for this; there are period warp dressings which help somewhat), or (2) the cards are too small. Bigger cards really help.

    It's a nuisance to have to put your hand into the shed and clear it on every pass, but after awhile it becomes part of the rhythm.

    Also, I tend to favor a straight-sided shuttle so I can use the edge of it to beat with. Of course if you have a separate beater (or "weaving sword") that's not a problem.

  2. Chris: I've tried putting my hand right next to the cards. Repeatedly. But I can only detect the shed when I haven't put in a warp.

    I've come to the same conclusion you have--I need to use larger cards. I'll try that next.

    As for using a straight-sided shuttle, my old shuttle is straight sided. But I have no problem with beating with a finger, and I suspect that even my new curved shuttle will be fine to beat the warp on a band as narrow as the Lagore Crannog band.

    Thanks for your suggestions!