Now, it should be noted, for those who are big into the recreationist groups like the SCA, this is not a period piece. Historically, the only mention I can find is from a web site that reads: "The Ram's Horns pattern popularlized by Crockett's "Card Weaving" book comes from the 20th century Anatolian (turkish) belts and it has not equivalent in archeological finds." http://weavedmagic.deviantart.com/journal/Origins-of-most-popular-tablet-weaving-patterns-394709084
So let's get to the full color demonstration of this pattern! READY?
If you're not sure if you're going to like it, or if you suspect you might get frustrated from trying and pitch it across the room, you may want to try a short piece first. Don't warp up the loomzilla for this first project. When I first tried this pattern, I did one-yard lengths for each thread, just to test it out. I ended up getting about a foot done before I knew I needed to do a larger piece!
- 3 colors of carpet warp or crochet cotton thread--I used Maysville 8/4 Carpet Warp. It's good stuff, heavy duty and will make great belts, bag straps, and heavy trim (it's not delicate and as flexible as finer threads, but a great place to start).
- 22 cards--mine are the store-bought 3" cards with ABCD labeled in clockwise order
- 1 loom--I use an inkle loom that weaves up to 4 yards of trim
You will warp it up with the #1 card on the left; #22 card on the right, reading the pattern just like reading a book. The next thing to note is that, for this pattern, you should have the top surface of the cards facing *left*. If you have the cards facing right, the pattern will show up on the bottom side of the weaving. Also, and the pattern (below) has the rows lettered backwards--D, C, B, A. (If they were lettered A, B, C, D, you would have to face your cards to the right--good tip to note for when you find future patterns!)
This is the pattern for the dreaded Ram's Horn pattern.
Just a refresher: Each column in the pattern is marked with S or Z. Some patterns will be marked with \ for S or / for Z, but since this font doesn't have a significant slant, it can look a bit more confusing, so I've used the letters instead. Many new weavers get confused about how to do S and Z threading. This is one of the best diagrams I've found to remind yourself how the threads go through the cards.
Now you've got the pattern, the threads, the cards, and a refresher on S and Z threading. Go ahead and thread up your loom...I'll wait. (I often put in a movie that I've seen a dozen times so I have something to listen to while I work.)
OK. Now your loom is threaded and you have a shuttle loaded (I recommend using the same color as the thread on the border--in this case, a dark red--to make it blend in, but some people like to make it stand out as an added pattern on the edge. Your choice!) Ready to start?
The pattern alternates between the cards moving together, as a pack, for four quarter-turns, and then some of the cards turning in opposite directions for four quarter-turns.
To begin the pattern, turn all the cards so it has A & D at the top, like the image above. This is the "home" position. To better keep track of this, I have colored the AD side of the card blue with a permanent marker (the opposite side, the BC side, is colored red--I'm big on visual cues!). Throw your shuttle and turn the cards one quarter-turn toward you. Do this for four quarter-turns away from you, then for four quarter-turns forward (toward you), throwing the shuttle after each quarter-turn, just to anchor everything together and adjust your tension.
Then you can start splitting the deck! The cards now will turn in groups in opposite directions for four quarter-turns. First separate the cards into groups. Slide the cards 1 & 2 toward you, 3-5 away from you, 6 & 7 toward, 8-15 away, 16-17 toward, 18-20 away, 21-22 toward. See the picture above? That's how it should look.
Now the cards will turn in the direction that they have been placed. The cards closest to you will turn towards you; the ones further away will turn away. Turn all cards a quarter-turn and throw the shuttle. Turn another quarter-turn and all the cards will have the red side facing up. Throw the shuttle. Make two more quarter-turns, continuing in the opposite directions, throwing the shuttle between, until the cards are back to the home position again.
Once at the home position, all the cards will turn together for four quarter-turns. Since the first two cards were turning *forward* in the last round, all the cards will turn *forward* in this round. Turn toward you for four quarter-turns, throwing the shuttle between each quarter-turn.
Then, back to the split deck. Repeat and you will see the ram's horns appear! Yes, you will see a dimple after each repeat. Don't panic! When you switch directions, a tiny hole appears in the middle and the weft shows through. If you don't want the dimple, you can change your weft thread to match the middle, but then it'll show on the border, unless you also change the border color to match.
So, in brief, here's the turning directions:
1. Turn all the cards four quarter-turns FORWARD, throwing the shuttle between each quarter turn. End in the home position.
2. Slide cards 1-2 forward, 3-5 back, 6-7 forward, 8-15 back, 16-17 forward, 18-20 back, 21-22 forward. Turn cards 1/4 turn in opposite directions (forward cards forward; backward cards back). End in home position.
Repeat steps one and two to your heart's content!
The other thing you can do is carefully untie the threads that are twisted, untwist them, and re-tie...it's time-consuming and can be frustrating. I've done it...a couple times.
In this pattern you were repeating steps 1 and 2, now you have to take steps 3 and 4 to go the opposite direction!
3. Slide cards 1-2 back, 3-5 forward, 6-7 back, 8-15 forward, 16-17 back, 18-20 forward, 21-22 back. Turn cards 1/4 turn in opposite directions (forward cards forward; backward cards back). End in home position.
4. Turn all cards for four quarter-turns back. End in home position.
You will repeat this pair of steps until the twist builds up in the opposite direction. Then you'll change directions again, finishing step 4, then going back to step 1 and 2.
Now you can weave your Ram's Horns and show your Advanced Card Weaving skills to all your friends!
Elewys of Finchingefeld, GdS, JdL
Barony of Aquaterra, Kingdom of An Tir