by Lori Law
The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory, Anne Dixon, Interweave Press, 2012.
Hardboard, spiral bound, 173 pages.
When I first received this book to review, I thought, gee. How interesting. I thought I would have a look through it and give my opinion as to whether or not it would be something an inkle weaver could use (it definitely is) and whether or not it was clearly and concisely laid out and put together (it is that, too) and look at the pretty photos.
It’s kicked around the house for a while and I’d pick it up here and there and noodle through it and think about how the patterns were executed, thinking, how nifty it is to load up a loom and then have these patterns happen.
I don’t know exactly what made me ask my husband one weekend if he though he had lumber around to put an inkle loom together. I don’t actually remember. But, he did, he said, and he put one together one Saturday afternoon following these plans.
Being a floor loom weaver, I had a lot to learn. My first project wasn’t brilliant because I was still thinking along those lines. I thought I’d make some sort of mug-rugs, not really ‘getting’ the concept of weaving on the inkle being warp-faced. Eventually I gave up on those and cut them off the loom and started warping more ‘traditionally’, with cotton or cottolin yarns for the ‘ground’ warp and varying yarns (hand-dyed wools in fingering weights, mostly) for the highlighted warps and, voila. I also used it to make simple bag straps for a line of bags I’d woven up the fabric for on one of the ‘big’ looms.
Eventually, I’d decided I’d like to make some smaller items, like bracelets. I thought about making multiples out of longer lengths on the inkle, but I wound up, intrigued, purchasing a ‘tinkle‘ loom which turned out to be grand fun. Here’s a selection (yet to be finished):
For all of the above, I blame the book arriving in my mailbox.
I’m not sure I would have ever really thought about it if it were not for the book. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough time in the day to do all the things I would like to so I haven’t been churning out bracelets as quickly as I was over the summer. I think it probably will be more of a summer ‘thing’ for when it’s too hot to knit.
Now, about the book. :D
It is a great book. I learned mostly everything I know (so far) about inkle weaving from this book. Although there is an introductory techniques section on equipment and how to read drafts, I wound up having to seek out a Youtube video to assist in building heddles the first time and for warping the first time.
But, otherwise, as the title says, it is an inkle weaver’s pattern directory. Patterns are grouped from simple stripes and checks/bars/dots, then into repp, Baltic, unheddled (I haven’t wandered there yet), Runic (next on my list of desires), different styles of lettering, Monk’s Belt (which I have tried but find beyond my capabilities at this point). There are patterns for everyone in this book, from simple to extremely complex. Krokbragd rounds out the more ‘traditional’ feeling techniques. The book finishes with more modern techniques such as scribbling, auxiliary warps, pleating, Soumak, overlays, selvedge treatments, fringes, clasped wefts. There is a brief section on tablet weaving and manipulating the widths of the weavings. There is an extensive section on finishings.
The book is brimming with clear and beautiful photos of every technique and accompanied by pattern charts and instructions. Each technique is introduced and explained and there are various finished projects using specific techniques peppered throughout the book. There is a resources section near the end of the book, for yarns and looms.
Even if you don’t think you’re an inkle weaver, it’s an interesting book to have a look at. But, beware. If you do look at the book, you might find yourself in possession of an inkle loom.
More about Inkle Weaving : Pinterest is full of inkle weaving eye candy.
Lori Law dyes and knits and spins and weaves for Oceanwind Knits. She is also the editor of Ennea Collective.