Friday, 2 September 2011

Adventures in Inkle Weaving

♥ ♥ Greetings fellow fibre junkies! ♥ ♥

First I thought I'd play around with supplemental weft. In the following two bands I have two wefts (horizontal) threads on separate shuttles: one finer and one that has 3 or more threads. I open the shed normally and throw through the fine weft, the, holding the same shed open drop selected warp threads, and shoot the thicker weft through. This allows that weft to pop up to the surface and create a pattern I couldn't make with a basic threading alone.

In this first example my supplementary weft wasn't very thick so the colours beneath shine through, but depending on the angle you see the band at the pattern becomes more or less visible:

In this band the supplemental weft is comprised of 4 strands of navy blue Clea crochet thread. The pattern is much more solid.

The Clea compresses more inside the shed but opens up at the surface because it's so much softer than other crochet threads, so I find it works really nicely for this!

And a shot of the two finished supplemental weft bands next to a plain weave one:

And now for the pick-up patterns! Pick ups are where the pattern is created by a secondary warp (the vertical threads) that can be lifted or dropped to create the pattern. So only one weft was used for this:

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ Celtic knots! ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

I can't get enough of this celtic design. It's sooo cool. And the way the pattern is drafted in combination with the threads lifted and dropped on a normal shed--you really don't have to lift or drop more than 3 or 4 threads on any given row. It's too much fun.

This basket weave structure always reminds me of snakeskin, so I thought I'd try and obtain the effect. I'm not as close as I'd like, but getting there. It did give me a really cool idea for a future band. But I'm not telling!

This purple one was a pattern I designed myself on graph paper, but it involved picking up AND dropping the supplemental threads in every row and it just about made my head explode. This is why there are only about 2 inches woven on it. But I will conquer it:

I was inspired by a project (thank you Anne Dixon) in this Autumn's issue of Hand Woven magazine to weave a pleated necklace on my inkle loom. I used crochet thread for the project because it was what I had on hand, but in hindsight I should have used the size 30 or 50 thread for this, as my final product turned out super chunky. I really didn't beat down the weft either, so the ruffles wound up being bigger. Overall I am pleased with the outcome and hope to try it again soon with finer cotton. My brain is already chewing on some possibilities for integrating the technique into my other jewelry work. this done in a small scale with just one ruffle would make pretty snazzy earrings. Also I am wondering about crocheting lace along the bottom edge (again of a more delicate inkle).

Thanks for taking a peek! Happy weekend!



Gottwinkies said...

That is beyond beautiful/awesome! One of my kifs has access to an inkle loom(?). I will have to show her this!

Anika said...

Wow, those are awesome! I've never even heard of that kind of loom.

Anita said...

Oh wow, these are amazing. I can't decide if the Celtic knot or snakeskin pattern is my favorite. I really need to learn how to do this so it makes more sense to me when you talk about the process. So how long did each of these take?

ASpinnerWeaver said...

Google Alerts just told me about your inkle weaving post and I'm thrilled! I've been inkle weaving for decades and am always happy to meet others who are using and appreciating this little loom.
Loved the informative way you talked about the different pattern techniques.
Your work is beautiful and I look forward to watching what new things come up on your blog.

JQ said...

Gottwinkies: That's awesome! I hope she finds inspiration! I really like this process. It's especially awesome for shoelaces and bracelets etc.

Anika: Thanks! I never heard of it either (or anything else about weaving or spinning) except I took a fibre elective when I was in art school and got hooked.

Anita: Cheers! I can never decide! I've had several requests for the celtic knot design, so I am assuming it's the biggest hit. Actually the purple one is still where I left it at 2 inches. But I am finished the snake skin one and it took about 6 hours. The celtic knot one is going to be 6 feet long (for a guitar strap), and I am about 3 quarters finished. I've just been putting a half hour in here and there.

ASpinnerWeaver: Welcome! Thanks for commenting! I'm so in love with inkles because they are so quick and easy, and provide an opportunity to muck around with all kinds of colour/pattern combinations!

Thanks everyone!

Laverne said...

Hi! Backstrap weaving gal here :-). I love what you did with the blue and peach band and the supp weft. That is so clever how you used the alternating colors on the warp with your weft pattern. Very inspiring! I definitely want to play with that idea on my backstrap loom. I use Clea here in Bolivia as that is the only cotton I can get. It comes in from Brazil. Who is your supplier in Canada? I would like to put them as a reference on my blog for my readers. Laverne

Guzzisue said...

I am just starting on an inkle loom adventure :-) desperate to try designing my own patterns, so impressed with what you so! please keep the posts coming.

Anonymous said...

These bands are beautiful! I love the basketweave band and am intrigued to know how you did it. Did you warp it for basketweave or did you do it as a pick-up? It's truely beautiful, might have to give it a try. I am passionate about inkle weaving and love finding other people who appreciate the art too! Jennifer

Lausanne said...

And now, years later, I discover your peach and navy band made with the Clea...Stunning! I found it on Pinterest and tracked you here, now I'm curious what your wide ranging creative interests have led you to over the past 4 years...Your supplemental weft idea opens up many possibilities, though in no way does it resemble overshot except in using two thicknesses of weft. At first glance I thought "Krokbrad" but not.Glad to discover your blog!

Ebbersmom said...

Absolutely love the Celtic Knot design and colors that you have chosen! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and you inspired me to chart it and attempt it. I came close...and appreciate all the inspiration you have here. Thanks!!!