I wove a piece of coarse damask fabric years ago and made it up into a little bag. The intention was to make some kind of woven or braided band forthe strap. It is still waiting for me to decide what kind of band to make. I thought it would be kumihimo or some sort of braid, but I now think this would be too thin with the materials I would like to use so am thinking that inkle weaving would work. I have been very inspired by sites linked to on the Weavershand website as well as Sara Lamb’s beautiful inkle woven bands. Edit – also just found Ruth Temple’s inkle weaving instructions here on Weavezine! and Weavolution with lots of examples and talk about inkle weaving.
The fabric was woven on a 10/2 mercerized cotton warp using 16/2 Vavlin, a nice smooth swedish line linen yarn. It is fairly ordinary as far as bags go, just brown and white and I want to make the band using the same colours. The design was borrowed from a book of Mexican motifs and represents a hummingbird. Maybe I could have been more colourful, but this was my third damask warp and I was still working on technique and two colours make it easier to see errors , which I didn’t see anyway! But it will work for a camera or something bag.
So now I have borrowed an inkle loom. It had an ancient warp on it which I have cut off, cleaned up the loom (though this photo is pre-cleaning).
I looked online at various inkle weaving sites (because I could not find my inkle weaving books), but had not seen this particular arrangement of pegs. Why was there that little peg under the heddle peg? The heddles were in the photographed position and I assumed this to be correct. Perhaps the heddles should be on the small peg? This would certainly help make a longer warp because without the peg with the heddles on it I would have to use the small peg and I don’t think it could stand the strain. Then I recalled a box I hadn’t looked in which was accessible. Lo and behold there were all my inkle books and references including Helene Bress’s Inkle Weaving. And there on page 6 is a loom with the same arrangement with the heddles on the lower peg.
Years ago my father was teaching a highschool woodworking class and they all made the looms, he made one for me as well (I have heard similar stories of homemade inkle looms – must have been the times!) . I tried it way back then, didn’t have any references and never did much with it. I tried it a few times over the years, showed my children how to weave shoe laces and never did much else with it, I was busy with other forms of weaving. The loom travelled along with me until it was loaned out and was never returned. Recently I was at a garage sale and there in the free pile was a homemade inkle loom. It must have been meant for me and so it came along. It does need a little work as it doesn’t have a tension peg and is missing a peg and hole as well as needing some sanding. My free find can (I hope) be upgraded as it is a bit sturdier than this borrowed one.
So I have decided to try an inkle band for my little bag and will use two the colours of brown and white in 16/2 Vavlin. I will have a go on the borrowed loom now that I have found my books. Maybe I will have a nice little damask bag soon.
Julia wrote and said she had the same understanding of skeins and hanks and balls as I did. I think it was in reference to buying “balls” of sock yarn that I saw them referred to as skeins. I will probably continue to use my old terminology for now.