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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Inkle Loom How-to do Pick-up Patterns not found in Anne Dixons Pattern Book!

I was recently browsing around on Amazon looking for more pick-up patterns.  I bought Anne Dixons Inkle book a few years ago when it first came out. Back then, I was writing my own book for Tape or Band weaving.  As I wrote here before, I had no clue 15 years ago on how to use the old tape loom in my attic and needed to know how to thread the darn thing, and how to pick-up.

Pick-up Patterns

I love Dixons book. It has many new and exciting patterns. But again, she misses out on the basic how-to of setting up and learning how to separate the threads for pick-up patterns.  On Amazon, she has great reviews from experienced weavers looking for new pattern ideas.  A few book buyers were disappointed that she did not review the basics.

That is why I wrote my book. To teach the beginner how to set up the threads and how to pick the pattern threads for those complicated looking designs.

And the transfer of patterns from Inkle to Tape loom, can also be used from my Tape loom instructions to Inkle!

The set up for Inkles is a little different only in the use of string heddles on the Inkle loom and rigid heddles on the Tape or Band loom. 

If you have an Inkle and need pick up instructions, check out my book. Just set up the Inkle loom transfering the "Hole (H)" threads on my charts to the "Heddle (H) threads on Inkle charts.  Transfer the "Slot (S) on my charts to the "Unheddled (U)" threads on Inkle charts.  And then follow the directions for pick-ups.  

Inkle looms use H - heddle and U - unheddled.  Tape or Band looms use H - holes and S - slots.

Thats all there is to it!  Have questions? Just Ask!  I love weaving theses small bands.  I weave for historical interest so I use the older styles of looms, but I also appreciate the Inkle loom. Its adaption from the Swedish floor looms was a great idea.  The inkles also have the opportunity to do wider bands because the threads can be spaced over those pegs whereas band looms need to be wider (more holes and slots) for more threads.

Stoorstalka Band Loom
Ashford Inkle Loom

At any rate, making bands of cloth is a great fill in activity for established weavers, for those who want to learn a simple way of weaving at low cost, for those who take their weaving on vacations and those who need to make bands for handbags, guitars and belts.  

Pick a loom. Weave. Be Happy!

Friday, December 18, 2015

Band Weaving Classes at The Vesterheim Museum in Decorah Iowa in February

Roger and I are invited back to the Folk School at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Iowa again this coming February.

Last February, we offered a special Valentines Day couples weaving class. An unusual event, we had 8 couples attend and more on our waiting list. One member of the couple carved an old style Norwegian band loom by hand with Roger. The other member of the couple learned how to weave bands on one of my frame looms with me.  A two day class.  At the end of Valentines weekend, the carver presented the weaver with this special loom and the new weaver took it home to make the special bands.

Not familiar with band weaving? Bands of cloth were woven on simple small looms to create ties, ribbons and decorations.  Bright colors and elaborate patterns are easily woven on a loom that is small and portable.  Today, not only is it a fun craft to learn, but woven bands have a variety of uses. And the looms themselves are a wonderful work of folk art to hang on your wall when not in use.

Why a couples Valentines Day class event?

There is an old tradition in Norway. A young man who had his eye on a young woman would carve an elaborate loom with hearts, flowers and birds. Many times he would add her name and the date. He would leave this loom on her doorstep. If she accepted the loom, she would be accepting him. If she did not, he would have to carve a new loom for his next young woman.

Mangle Board
They also carved a special board called a Mangle Board as a betrothal gift. A mangle board is a board to press linen cloth. There is a saying that also applies to the band looms... "Beware of the man with too many mangle boards"... for he has had too many refusals.

We all worked together in a large Vesterheim classroom. The two days of work on carving looms was well worth the time spent.  The 7 men and one woman (yes we women can carve too), carved elaborate looms putting a little bit of themselves into each one.

The 7 women and 1 man (he was a great weaver already), learned the basics of weaving on this simple loom and quickly went on to weaving the more elaborate patterns.

And it was great fun!  The Vesterheim is a friendly place, we all interacted with each other and shared the experience together.

So we are going back!  I look forward to sharing this wonderful time with great people, a lovely museum filled with wonderful folk art and tools from local Norwegians and spend two days in a quiet little town in the farming country of Iowa.

Check out their web site and loom up the classes they offer, and sign up early for the Couples Class. We are sure to have a great time!


Can't get time to travel to Iowa in the middle of winter? There is still time to order my how-to book for Holiday gift-giving or for yourself on my web site or

Tape Loom Weaving... simplified, will tell you how to make a simple loom and how to set up and weave your own bands.

And yes, I am a potter too!