I've been preparing all week for the off loom weaving episode of my local access t.v. show. I taped it last Friday with my friend Frances Killam. It won't air for 2 weeks, which means that it won't be on you tube for at least a month.
One important tool that you will need is a belt. I made these belts yesterday out of some ribbon and some D rings. You can buy the D rings from the fabric store or craft supply store. You just sew them together on one side of the ribbon. The belt acts like and anchor, and I use my foot as the anchor for the other side. The belt (and thus my body) and my foot hold the warp / vertical yarns so that there is a good amount of tension in the warp. Warp: vertical threads in weaving. Weft: horizontal threads in weaving.
The show started with card weaving. You can make your cards out of food boxes. I cut mine 3.5 inches squares. Then you punch 4 holes in it and label the holes A, B, C, and D. This picture shows some small bookmark sized card weavings that I have made. You can make belts and other things to.
This card weaving is used on my finger weaving board (shown in a few pictures below). The yarn is strung through the 4 holes in the cards, using multiple cards. Then one end is tied around the belt and the other end is anchored to a table, wall, tree, or your foot. The link above has details on how to card weave.
Then I showed how you can make your own shed out of a food box. The yarn is pulled through the holes and gaps. When you raise the shed, the yarn in the holes move up. When you lower the shed, the yarn in the holes moves down. This allows you to easily plain weave (weaving the odd and the even threads). Here is a you tube video that demonstrates how to make the shed and how weave with it. The shuttle is also made from a food box. A shuttle is what you wrap your weft yarn around.
This is a popsicle version of the food box shed. Be careful when drilling holes in the popsicles since they are very thin. I used wood glue to hold them together. This is a much better version than one made out of food boxes.
Here is my finger weaving board. I made it so that I could easily make wide weavings. It also acts as an anchor. It is made using 2 planks of wood, 2 C clamps, 2 eyelet screws, and a small belt that I card wove (you can use a ribbon). The yarn is held between the boards. The belt / ribbon is there if I need to add tension with my feet or a table leg.
This is the more complicated type of finger weaving, but it can result in some beautiful weavings. It is almost like braiding. You start in the center and weave towards the outside. It is the chevron weave in these instructions.
This is the diagonal weave in the same set of instructions. This is much easier to do.
Just pick up the odd numbered threads (1, 3, 5, 7, etc.), letting the even numbered threads drop. Then you pass thread number one (for me it is the far left thread) through the gap. Then you pick up the opposite threads which have become the odd numbered threads, and repeat. Also by picking up the opposite threads, you can "beat" the weft (the yarn you passed through the gap). "Beating" the weft means that you make sure that it lays evenly and flat against the other threads in the weaving.
I worked on this one some more today. I plan on making a belt out of it. The yarn is a variegated yarn, so all the colors come from the same skein yarn.