I have been setting up my latest, this Ray Lewis Cell Phone Bag. It includes 80 warps wide and planned to be 95 rows deep. I am halfway through, but have some fun things to share!
Since this is such a wide piece, I'll be utilizing a ©Double Weft Method of weaving. This is also known as a 'double needle', but saying it in that way only confuses many.
I only share my favorite form of weaving on a loom, utilizing 'tension controlled warps'. This forces one warp, between each bead, and two wefts inside each row of beads. Thus is the reason I prefer to call this 'thread saving technique', a ©Double Weft Method.
The other form of bead weaving on a loom entails using heddles and a shedding device. This type of loom forces a set up of two warps and only one weft. But, it can be a great way to weave very wide bead portraits. The feel can be stiffer too, due to the double warps.
Let me share how I set up my wefts. To start off, with my first row, I prefer to cut an extended length of weft thread. Run each end through a needle, (such is the name ©Double Weft Method), then count the first row of beads, following the pattern. Secure the one side of this weft, to an end warp using a bead stop. Each bead is placed in between two warps. The unsecured weft will be driven back across the row, inside the row of beads I just placed.
The secured side, of the weft, will also follow through the same row of beads, but in the opposite direction. This now gives me my first row of beads, secured onto the warps, and a long weft holding a needle on each side. Now one weft will be used to 'pick up' the next row of beads and the other will be used to 'run back through inside the row of beads'.
Obviously, this technique will save time, not having to change the weft thread as often. This can be practiced with any width, of bead weaving on loom, but some of my other techniques are not completed well with a ©Double Weft Method.
I have been skirting along, row by row, counting and following the pattern. If I notice any 'bad bead color choice', these are best made as they happen. So stay alerted to every new color you introduce. Even though I have shared some good tips, to create a perfect bead pattern, it is still prudent to stay on top of the bead colors.
As I weave along, I am thinking of ways to make my piece stand out. This one is a 'no brainer'....look at the tongue! It makes me laugh, but a great way to add some character to this wonderful caricature!
So, mid stream, I put down the loom and graphed a 'tongue'. Ewwww, I know, but how fun is this? I have also thought about two other, very small accents, which will bring this piece to an interesting level.
I have also been consistently thinking about what should be graphed for the opposite side, of this cell phone bag. My thoughts toggle, from 'recreating something more generic so this can be worn on non-sporting days' and 'adding more to the Baltimore Ravens theme'. However I decide, I do have to consider using the same bead color pallet because the addition of fringe and strap colors will be seen, no matter what side I wear outward. I'll be share more as I think on this. If anyone has any ideas, please, lets talk! :)