The closer I get to my due date, the more I find myself eyeing small looms. I’ll be taking a couple of months of maternity leave, and I’d like to spend at least some of that time weaving. Much as I love to imagine myself warping and weaving a spectacular baby wrap while wearing my adorable and perfectly behaved newborn, I realize that realistically, I’ll need to find projects that are easy to warp, uncomplicated to weave, and, perhaps most importantly, easy to stop and start so I can take care of baby.
One of the looms I’m currently looking at is an inkle loom. I really like the idea of doing some warp-faced weaving that will let me meditatively weave pick after pick and not worry about treadling or special hand manipulation. I like that I can put a nice long warp on the inkle loom, too. While Linda Ligon insists that babies mostly just sleep all day, I’m not counting on that; I’m planning to warp once and keep on weaving, and I can do that with an inkle loom. I also love the fact that it’s so darn portable— I can take it with me into the nursery or to the back porch if the weather’s nice.
Another appealing aspect of the inkle loom is that once baby lets me get back into a weaving routine, there is so much I can weave on the inkle, from pick-up designs to tablet weaving. Best of all, as I grow in my weaving skills, I can keep the same loom—no new toys or accessories needed.
In addition to all these upsides, inkle bands are, of course, endlessly useful. Sew them together to make beautiful bags, use them to trim clothing, wear them as belts, or use them for bag handles: the possibilities abound. I’m already thinking of a few baby-related projects where they’d come in handy. I see all sorts of designs for handmade baby carrier covers, and they all have Velcro straps that go around the handle. Most tutorials have you make those straps out of store-bought fabric, but how great would it be to weave up some beautiful matching inkle bands? (And for that matter, how great would it be to weave up the fabric for the cover in general? But that’s an idea for post-baby Christina to worry about.) I’m also not a huge fan of my current diaper bag and am mulling over the idea of either embellishing the one I have or making my own. Either way, sturdy straps are an absolute must, so inkle bands would come to rescue again!
Fortunately for me (and for anyone else who’s looking to get started in the world of inkle weaving), Interweave is putting out an exclusive inkle weaving kit. The kit comes with Inkle Weaving A to Z on DVD, an amazing video featuring the wonderful Jane Patrick, who will teach you everything you need to know to get started inkle weaving. It also includes Ann Dixon’s book The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory, which is chock-full of beautiful inkle designs and comprehensive instructions suitable for weavers of all levels. Best of all, the kit comes with a Schacht Spindle inkle loom and belt shuttle—just add yarn and you’ll be ready to weave in no time!
This kit is absolutely perfect for anyone who wants to try inkle weaving, whether you’re a weaver experienced at other types of weaving or you’re a complete newbie who’s looking for a small loom to get you started weaving today! (Well, maybe not today, but certainly in a week or two.)
Featured Image: From left to right: Some inkle loom samples from Ann Dixon’s book; Rebecca Fox uses a sweet and simple inkle band to make her twill apron extra special; Susan J. Foulkes’ beautiful Sami-inspired bands are a perfect project for an inkle loom as well!