In art school I was able to experiment with lots of different mediums. This included weaving on a 4 harness loom. Since then I've been in search of a small and affordable way to weave.
There are lots of small looms that require the use of a needle to move the weft (horizontal threads) through the warp (vertical threads). However, I really wanted to be able to swap out the layers of the warp more like it works on a 4 harness loom. I was thrilled when I learned of tablet weaving.
With tablet weaving the warp is threaded through holes in cards then the cards are rotated to lift the next selection of the warp.
Above is the loom I purchased here on etsy. It was very affordable and so tiny I wish it had a handle so I can just carry it along with me. Above is my second attempt where I'm focused on creating a consistent pattern and clean edges. Below is my first attempt.
A couple things I learned along the way. Tablet weaving is warp based so your weft thread should match one of the warp threads. You can see above I used gray as my weft when I really should have used black or white. I also learned that the cards need to be turned an equal number of times away from you and towards you or else the warp will get twisted. To help me remember my place I put numbered post-it's on the loom and move them in order either away from me or towards me. I also learned that the warp gets tighter as you weave so that big piece of wood (pictured above on the loom that goes through the groove), should be close to you when you start so as you weave and the tension increases you have room to move it further away from you in the groove. If you don't accommodate for the change in tension then you have to move part of the warp off of the wood pegs, which isn't the worst thing ever but it does interrupt your weaving.
I will be doing this project with the boys this summer. I will teach them the technique and have them create a design. I'll also teach them the history of the craft that dates back to the eighth century BCE.
I'll end with these early depictions of tablet weaving: