Keith Weaves

Band weaver and occasional dabbler in other fiber arts


Finishing a band

The first step in finishing a band is to secure the weft to prevent unraveling. You can secure the weft by weaving in back into the next-to-last row. Here’s how:

After weaving the next-to-last row, lay in a loop of dental floss, so that the loop is on the side of the band opposite the weft. (You could also use an embroidery needle.)

Laying in dental flossWeave another row.

Weave another row

Cut the weft, leaving a tail about 3 times the width of the band. Insert a short piece of the end of the tail into the loop of floss.

Cut weft

Pull the tail through the band with the floss.

Pull weft through

Pull the weft against the band.

Tighten the weft


Open the next shed and beat, tightening the weft against the band.

Open next shed and beat

Done! Cut the warp and remove it from the inkle loom. Pull out the string heddles and save them for your next project!




Tablet-weaving a necklace with pendant


Wind the warp

Continuously warp the cards (thanks to Linda Hendrickson for posting this invaluable instructional video). My warp wat 72 inches long, probably much too long.

  • Once warped, loosely tie cords to save the loops at each end
  • Choke-tie near each end.
  • Separate the cards into the two packs on each side of the clamps and secure each pack with card clips.

Transfer the warp to the loom

Kokopelli necklace v2 - 5 of 5

  • After removing the warp from the clamps, transfer the warp to your loom and insert the front apron rod into the beginning loop. The half of the warp that crosses the top of the rod will be woven firs (in the photo, the pack on the left will be woven first).
  • Tie a short piece of yarn (yellow in the photo at right) to the warp threads of a selvedge card. This marks the middle of the warp, which will become the center of the strap at the back of the neck.
  • Choke-tie each half of the warp near the front apron rod so that the warps don’t slip while weighting the warps.
  • Depending on how you manipulate the warp while transferring it to the loom, you may see a half-twist in the warp between the two warp halves. If you do, remove the twist before weaving by turning one half of the warp including cards. In the photo at right, the twist has been undone.

Weight the warp

Kokopelli necklace v2 - 1 of 5

  • Find something to rest the cards on between front and back beams at roughly the same height as the beams ( a piece of foam insulation resting on the side supports worked for me — see photo.
  • Cut the warp threads at the back loop.
  • Weight the left and right halves of the warp at different heights. For the half that will be woven first, secure the weights low. Secure them to the other half high near the back beam. This is so that the warp can be shifted while weaving without the weights either hitting the floor or the back beam. When the first half of the neck strap is finished, however, the weights must be retied.
  • Secure weights to groups of warp threads so that all threads are tensioned the same. I weighted the threads in each pair of cards with a 6 ounces of rocks or pennies in a zip-locked snack bag. That weight seemed about right for 5/2 cotton.
  • You may want to space warps on a raddle as shown. My raddle consists of a 1X2 board with finish nails spaced about 6 per inch, two cards in each space.

Prepare to weave the neck strap

threading diagram neck strap

  • Shift the warp so that the center marker is an inch or two before the turn.
  • Flip and rotate the cards in the first half (the left half in the photo above) into the correct starting position. I will weave the neck strap in diamond patterns, turning all cards together in each pick. The threading diagram below assumes that rows of the diagram are ordered A-B-C-D, each card faces to the right, and holes are lettered clockwise, and the initial position is with holes A and D on top.

Weave the left half of the neck strap

  • Insert a spacer in the shed then turn cards backward.
  • Insert a second spacer, turn cards forward to return the cards to their starting position. Adjust warp width. In my case, using 5/2 perle cotton, I expect the width to be about 22-23 cards per inch, so a 24-card strap should be a little over 1 inch wide. Check your width frequently while weaving.
  • Insert your weft thread, leave at least 6 inches of weft.
  • Turn the cards forward and beat.
  • Insert your second weft, leaving a loop. Insert the beginning weft thread through the shed in the opposite direction, also leaving a loop.
  • Turn the cards forward, beat, and tighten both loops to achieve the correct width. Pass the weft.
  • Continue weaving forward or backward as needed for the desired pattern. For my design the turning sequence is 2F, 5B, 5F, 5B, 5F, etc. NOTE. In will be very important to remember the  specific starting turning sequence when you start weaving the other half of the neck strap. In my case, I must start the second half with the sequence 3B, 5F, 5B, ….
  • Weave until you’ve achieved your desired length. I wanted a strap about 30-31 inches long, so I stopped at about 15 1/2 inches after weaving one complete repeat of the pattern.

Weave the right half of the neck strap

  •  Flip the entire warp over so that the two sides are reversed: The warp to be woven into the right half is on the left and with the pattern side facing up.
  • Shift the warp into position to start weaving the right half.
  • Reposition the warp weights so the right-half weights are high and the others low.
  • Flip and rotate the left half’s cards to open the shed of the first pick, and so that the cards’ threading are in the initial position as shown in the threading diagram above.
  • Weave the strap to match the pattern. In my case, I had to weave three picks backwards, then continue with 5F, 5B, …
  • Continue weaving to the desired strap length.


A weaving story taught me to count my blessings

Last year was difficult for me. Then a post on Pinterest changed everything. Read More


Heather’s Hairband-Reprise

The hairband described in my last post turned out significantly different from Heather Torgenrud’s band that I modeled it after. Here’s my second attempt, using the same yarns as the model band’s.
Read More


Heather’s Hairband

I and several of my colleagues at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota eagerly await the publication of Heather Torgenrud’s new book, Norwegian Pick-up Bandweaving. Read More


Up, down, left, right, S, Z: tablet weaving’s confusing nomenclature

You pick up a book on card or tablet weaving at a bookstore or online, and learn how to do it. Later you find another book, but the instructions and diagrams are different. Your attempts to weave from drafts in the second book look awful. What’s wrong? Help is on the way!

Read More


The tablet-woven belts of East Telemark, Norway—Part 2: A closer look

Several members of Scanweavers drove back to Decorah, Iowa for a second visit to the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum to examine the fabulous belts in their archives.

Read More


The tablet-woven belts of East Telemark, Norway—part 1: Inspiration


Each year the Scanweavers (the Scandanavian Weavers Interest Group of the Weavers Guild of Minnesota) select a project for the year. Each member  weaves their own interpretation of the project. This year we elected to weave something that is inspired by an artifact at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, Iowa.

Read More


Doubled 10/2 cotton warp does not equal single 5/2 warp

What on earth led to even asking the question? And in what ways are they not “equal”? Ok, I’ll explain.

Read More


Weaving a lettered band from novelty yarn

Fun and frustration weaving a lettered band from bumpy, metallic yarn.

Read More