About a few months before the pandemic hit and lock down happened I had discovered a link on my phone that I had saved to make my own inkle loom. I had never heard of the loom until Nancy Newman brought her adorable handwoven sheep key fobs to sell at the MD Sheep and Wool Festival the spring prior (of course I bought one). Not that I needed to bring another loom or tool of any sort into the house, I decided to look up the loom and process anyway. There are so many of your typical big name fiber tool makers that make them but I had also discovered several handmade on Etsy for sale, including this little cutie. It was also when I ran across instructions to make your own from Make. I think at the time I saved on my phone to check it out later.
Several months later, while at the shop I thought “Hey, I work in a wood shop. Why can’t I make my own?!”. Mark let me have whatever scraps I could find and slowly over time on my lunch breaks I worked on my loom. Then lockdown hit and it sat on the shelf in the finishing area until a month ago when it was pulled out again and I finally decided to finish it. It just needed a few things like a base and several dowels. I managed the dowels and Mark helped me with the base and then brought the pieces home. The next evening while watching television I assembled the loom and warped it the next morning. I’ve been weaving ever since. Btw, if you want to make your own, here is a link
So far these are just some of my samples. These have not been wash. I’m thinking that like knitting and weaving, if they were steamed or washed the threads may even out a bit. I’ve mainly been using wool, which can be sticky at times, but I love the end results. The neon threads are embroidery floss. My favorite so far is the hand dyed yarn and embroidery floss. It has a bit of a water color effect to it.
You’ll notice that these are pretty basic weaves. A lot of stripes or checkers. While tablet weaving is something I’ll look into in the future I’m just sticking with the basic. I have gotten some inspiration from looking at various types of sanada himo cords which are woven in a similar fashion…kind of. I think in most cases it’s done with the backstrap method using just a heddle.
Of course, just starting out from scratch I needed more tools like a few shuttles so luckily I had some thin scraps of wood to make a couple. These are out of teak.
I’m enjoying the process. I’m finding that it’s relaxing and I can easily zone out while weaving and listening to music… or watch episodes of the original Iron Chef on Prime. Anyone else watch this back in the early days of the Food Network? It’s turned into a comfort watch for me.
Speaking of watching, as I’m typing this I have a YouTube video from a creator who makes high quality videos oh him walking through various parts of Japan. Primarily through Tokyo. They are filmed at all times of the day, completely random. I thought I could have a few of his evening videos on and just listen to the surroundings while I put this post together, like a rainy nights in Yachio Katsutadai and Akabane. You would think how could that be exciting but they are quite interesting. Besides, while I was trying to avoid distraction I keep looking up to see if any of the areas look familiar from our past travels. If you have any interest in watching a walk through of various parts of Japan I highly recommend checking out Rambalac
I updated the shop recently with a small batch of darning kits. This is a small batch I found left over from MD Sheep and Wool. They include the moth printed needle book, two darning needles, a pair of snippers and a darning egg. Everything you need to get you started repairing those well loved threads of yours. Hopefully in the next week or so I’ll get some crochet branch hooks up in the shop finally.