I finished these two potholders and added an inkle strap on each. They’re lined with an insulated batting, and the backs are dark green cotton. These are my first potholders, and I now know I have a lot to learn about sewing.
A great project for summer is inkle or band weaving using cotton. Here, I made a belt and a band for my new Tilley TH9. I used my inkle loom for the belt, but I prefer using a rigid heddle when doing pickup to be able to better see which strands to pick or drop. For a frame I used a Spears #4 loom and a little heddle I’ve had for years. Worked like a charm.
Another new adventure… tablet (or card) weaving. It’s simple and complex at the same time. Simple because the “ingredients” are basic: cards, yarn, a shuttle, and off you go! Complex because the designs are truly astounding. This method of weaving also made me stop and think, because it involves a “twist” in the motion of using the cards, and that combines individual threads to create color changes and a nubby texture. It’s really a wonderful craft.
My first sample was done on an inkle loom with two colors. That method of threading and warping is very easy compared to most introductory tutorials where you cut individual threads for every card. However, once you get into a variety of colors, you may need to understand the second method.
This pattern was more complicated than my first sample. I found it here. It turned out, so I’m pleased.
It took nearly two bands done similarly to realize I wasn’t weaving warp-faced inkle bands. In fact, they are more of a balanced weave. Normally with inkle bands, the weft isn’t seen except for a snippet on each edge. It’s there to pull all the warp threads together. The threads of the warp are the only threads you see. But with the two bands I’ve just finished–the stained glass one and the green and white one–the weft is visible. I think I started doing this because I liked the look. Also, I had warped it with double and triple threads but only used a single for the weft. It created it a bunchy feeling when I pulled it in to make the warp-faced weaving. So, I started to weave it to be flatter and smoother. In the end, it’s not quite balanced weave (where the weft and warp show equally), but it’s closer to that than a normal band. Why all the fuss? I have a feeling these bands are probably weaker than a real warp-faced band. Also, I learned to weave on a rigid heddle and it makes sense that I reverted to this type of weaving. I also realize that the inkle loom is probably more versatile than I first imagined. I wonder if anyone does balanced weaving on these looms? (But why… when I have a bunch of looms designed for that sitting at home? Because it’s interesting, that’s why!)