Roving Reporter: Handspun Ribbons on a Backstrap Loom
I have been aware of inkle weaving since the beginning of my fiber life and long admired the long strips of useful cloth. However, I somehow didn’t see the possibility of merging inkle weaving with my handspinning practice. Then I learned about weaving on a backstrap loom, and the very idea that my yarn could do this was so exciting.
Have you seen the new Spin Off? I’m on a mission to turn spinners’ heads with colorful bands that only a handspinner can create. All those beautiful, handpainted fibers in your stash—they are just waiting to hit the loom!
Now, I use inkle, rigid-heddle, and backstrap looms to create my handspun ribbons of cloth. Playing with various fibers in 2-ply, 3-ply, chain-plied 3-ply, and beyond is great because so few yards are needed to create a band. In my class at Interweave Yarn Fest, I’ll teach a quick sampling method I’ve developed for trying out our yarns. As handspinners, we have so many opportunities to fine-tune our yarns: slightly changing the twist to create a more durable yarn or increasing from 2-ply to 3-ply to weave a beefier band, for example. A method to quickly test drive our yarns before investing our time in weaving an entire band is incredibly helpful. I’ll show you how at Yarn Fest!
There are still a few spaces open in Spinning for Bandweaving on April 14 at Interweave Yarn Fest.
Featured Image: Handspun, natural-color cotton makes a scrumptious band. Photos by Kate Larson