I wanted to design the pattern myself to make it a unique gift, so I downloaded a nice looking laurel leave from the internet. I loaded it in Photoshop, copied and mirrored it, and played a bit with the width to get a number of pixels that gave what looked like a reasonable resolution and number of tablets combination. I ended up with 29 pixels or tablets.
A single laurel leave (left) and a string of three identical ones (right).
The laurel leaves string after reducing the resolution to a width of 29 pixels.
I took two tablet weaving classes on double faced 3-1 twill at the most recent FFF event: a hands-on class and a pattern designing class. That to me was a good enough reason to give it a try, but what decided it was the technique's ability to create well defined solid areas in a single color with smooth transitions along the diagonals. Given the width of 29 tablets and the pixelated figure of a couple of laurel leaves, I set out to draw a weaving diagram on brick paper. The first attempt had 14 picks along a cord across the leave and 8 between the leaves, but after weaving the first leave it was clear that the pattern was much more elongated than intended. I reduced it to 10 picks along the leave and 6 between them and that looked much more natural. I wanted a design with a branch starting at each end of the band and growing towards the center, so after finding the base repeating pattern satisfactory, I designed the transition in the middle where the two branches from either end meet. A slightly smaller terminal leave completed the design.
The start of the pattern with the repeating section between the two lines in the top border. The same pattern in reversed other is used for the second half of the band.
The transition in the middle of the band.
I use a warp weighted tablet weaving loom that I designed and made myself. I like the level of control of the tension, the flexibility in warp length and the ability to simply take out build-up twist very appealing to warp weighted weaving. The rod at the front of the loom is freely rotating with a ratchet to lock the rotation. The other rod is fixed and the cords simply hang over the end. The warp tension is maintained by weights tied to the end of the cords. If the warp is too long, the cords are braided and the weight is tied to the braid.
My tablet weaving loom.
The loom was warped with a total of 33 tablets, two selvage tablets on either side with brown threads in all four holes and 29 tables for the pattern section with two yellow and two green threads per tablet. The same brown was also used as weft. Single ply 16/1 Bokens linen was used for all threads. All cards were S-threaded, except the rightmost two selvage cards, which were Z-threaded. Constant tension was maintained by hanging weights at the end of the warp, a single 25 gram weight per cord. The selvage cards were always turned forward and the build-up twist was periodically removed. I used the one-pack method for 3-1 twill as described by Peter Collingwood. Two bands were woven, one of 17 inch and one of 12 inch.
The first inch (top), halfway (middle) and the finished bands.
After completing the bands I found Guntram's Tabletweaving Thingy and learned just enough to reproduce the pattern in GTT. Hopefully that makes for a more suitable medium to share the pattern with others. Anyone interested please feel free to ask!
The design pattern (top) and the weaving image (bottom) from GTT.
The linen was bought online from Vävstuga:
Collingwood, Peter (1982) “The Techniques of Tablet Weaving”, Echo Points Books & Media (Vermont).