New Free Inkle Weaving eBook from Weaving Today
Today's inkle weavers have many
wonderful inkle looms to choose from.
When I was in eighth grade, the girls were required to take a year of home economics classes and the boys were required to take either shop or draft class. (In ninth grade, my friend Sarah and I flew in the face of tradition and wangled our way into a technical drawing class with the boys, but that's another story.) This being the 1970s, in a token nod to gender equality, the boys and girls traded classes for two weeks a year. The boys went to "home ec" and learned to boil hot dogs, make mac-and-cheese casseroles, and other cooking skills considered necessary for the modern, liberated man. The girls were sent to shop class to make an inkle loom.
We were issued some dowels and some boards, shown how to use a bandsaw, and handed some vague instructions by a shop teacher who was thoroughly disgusted to have a bunch of girls in his domain, but eventually I managed to assemble a crude inkle loom which I dragged home and stuck on a shelf because I had no idea what an inkle loom was or what one could possibly do with it. (Oh, had we but had Google back then!) I think my poor misbegotten loom eventually ended up as firewood for a summer cookout, which is just as well because the shoddy construction would probably have put me off weaving for life.
Fortunately, this inkle weaving story has a happy ending, for you as well as for me. By the time I taught my own daughter to use her inkle loom, inkle weavers had banded together to make an inkle-friendly world.The weaving marketplace now abounds with excellent inkle looms of all sizes, with adjustable tension and other useful features. They're inexpensive and portable, so you can weave wherever you go! There are great inkle projects and patterns available and plenty of other enthusiasts to learn inkle weaving techniques from. (In fact, over half of Handwoven readers report having inkle looms.)
So to celebrate this happier state of affairs, and perhaps to help you catch the inkle fever, too, we have created a free eBook of inkle patterns and projects, sponsored by our good friends at Ashford. In this friendly little book, you'll find patterns for a handsome hatband, patriotic pins, a nifty necklace for your loom, and beautiful bands inspired by traditional Guatemalan jaspe patterns. There are even plans for a PVC starter loom that you could try before you take the plunge and buy an inkle loom of your own. So, boys and girls, school's almost out for the summer. It's time to grab your trusty inkle loom, download the patterns, and hit the road for new weaving adventures. Inkle on!