Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Weaver's Knot

My weaving education has been mostly a DIY affair. Even my "apprenticeship" with an experienced weaver was mostly self-instructed. She dropped off a bunch of weaving. I set up the loom myself and we talked on the phone if there were any problems.

I've always just done the best I could. I figured out ways to do things and then always do them that way. Tying knots is one of those things. I mostly just used simple overhand knots.

Now, I was an OCD Boy Scout in my early teen years so I "know" many knots. But knowing when to use them and how to tie them in skinny thread are completely different skills.

Over the years, I've heard of a thing called a Weaver's Knot, but never bothered to learn what it was until this week. Well, it's amazing! It is a tiny knot that can be tied with very short tails. (No trimming necessary!) The small size lets it slip easily through the heddles and reed while weaving. This knot tightens under tension and can be used to tie two different yarn weights together.

It was this last fact that made me remember learning it in Boy Scouts. They call it a sheet bend or a two-end bowline.

Since I have 1200 knots to tie this week, I thought I'd let myself slow down a little in order to get LOTS of practice tying this useful knot. Well, I'm halfway through and loving this new skill.

And here's how to tie the knot and make sure that only tiny ends stick out when it's tight. (You'll notice that I've let my nails grow for this part of the warping. It really helps!)

Step 1: cross the left thread over the right and squeeze them together

Step 2: pass the main body of the righthand thread behind its own end to make a loop

Step 3: bend the end of the left thread down through that loop

Step 4: grab the two ends on the front and back of the loop. Grab as close to the two ends as possible. These will be your tails. Use the pinky and ring finger to secure the loose body of the lefthand thread.

Step 5: gently pull the righthand thread up, making sure the knot tightens evenly.

With lots of practice, you can make these knots with almost no tails. This knot will also allow you to trim the tails almost to the knot itself if you like. Just make sure it's very tight first.

I've tied 600 so far. Another 600 to go! In a couple more days I am going to be so experienced at tying this knot that it will feel like second nature.

1 comment:

Susan said...

Thanks for this lesson. I've tied this knot many times, but not so elegantly. I hope I can learn to do it like this