Birka 22…Weaving in Reverse!

One thing that tablet weavers experience frequently is twist in the warp that builds up until *something* has to be done about it. There are a few options that a weaver can consider.

  1. You can untie and comb out the twist and re-tie…but that can create some exceptionally bad tension problems.
  2. You can use a warp-weighted system that will untwist your warp as you go, but that is somewhat less portable.
  3. Or you could try using fishing swivels, which is fine for a shorter warp, but when you’re doing upwards of 7 yards, like I am for this project, chasing the twist through a dozen or more pegs means you need another plan.

I’m sure that there’s a term for it…mirror image weaving…flip card weaving…or…untwist weaving…but I’m calling it Weaving in Reverse! This method weaves out the twist while still maintaining the pattern. Sure, it has a small variation in it, but it’s virtually invisible at first glance.

Here was my first attempt at changing direction. It has…elbows. Sure, it works, but it’s not hard to spot. I wasn’t really happy with it, so I experimented a bit…

And this is what I came up with!

A virtually invisible…or at least excellently camouflaged…design!

And this is how it’s done. First, you’ll be weaving the pattern from bottom to top:

When you finish this sequence, weaving 1 through 8, loosen the tension on your warp a bit and flip all your cards–S will become Z and Z becomes S. Then retighten your tension on your warp.

Then you need to weave four picks of a transition, which are rows 4, 3, 2, and 1, in that order. You will only need to do this once.

Then weave the pattern from top to bottom–8 down to 1–and repeat. The white squares are still forwards; the grey squares are still backwards.

When your warp has twisted too tightly in the opposite direction, you can transition back. After you finish your 8-1 sequence, you will need to flip your cards again, and your transition sequence is picks 5, 6, 7 and 8…then start at pick 1 and proceed through to 8.

Give it a try! Let me know how it works for you! If you have any questions, of course, feel free to reach out and ask questions.

Happy weaving!