Troubleshooting Inkle Band Weaves

Every now and then I get the urge to make a small inkle band using my Ashford Inklette loom:

This loom is pretty affordable and great to do some small weavings when you want to have something you can take with you easily.  I wanted to weave something at this year’s MSKR (Men’s Spring Knitting Retreat) 2012, and though I could have taken my rigid heddle loom, I went for ultra, ultra portable.

What I am ultimately making these bands for – beats me. I just make them.

It’s funny how I wove two or three trouble free bands and then all of the sudden, errors kept coming up all on the same project.

First, if I leave an inkle band in mid warp, I tie the active yarn several times around the bottom peg to maintain the tension until I continue. Well I had done that but when I returned, I continued warping without realizing I still had the wraps around the peg. I finished warping and then realized those loops were still there, preventing me from sliding the band around.

My solution was to carefully, slip the warp threads ahead of the problem off and hold them under tension while I took off all of those wraps. I then, again carefully, placed back all of the warp threads in my hand.

Great, except now one of my warp threads was super loose. I decided the best fix for this was to cut that loop and tie it to the adjacent warp thread very tightly. Even after doing so, I still found it too lose so I resorted to the next best logical solution…

…scotch tape.

Then I was weaving happily along when a middle heddle flew off! I guess it wasnt tied all that well. Here I separated the warp as much as I could, loosened the tension, and tried to slip a new yarn in just the right position and tie the new heddle down. Here it is in mid repeair:

I can just say that the space I had to work in wasn’t very generous, but I did manage it somehow. Its still not tight but hopefully I can continue to the end with no further issues.

The lesson is, even when things go wrong, at least you get the opportunity to try learning how to fix them and know what to look out for the next time around. It’s the only way to become really good at your craft.

Introductions

Hi, my name is David and I’m a budding weaver.

I must admit that my attempts at blogging usually fails – a busy schedule usually does very well to hamper regular updates.

I actually have had interests in all of the textile crafts over the years, but my interest in weaving in particular has recently shot through the roof and I have contemplated starting a blog to make a permanent record of my weaving journey.

I’ll probably discover things that are written in a book somewhere, use incorrect terms, and the discoveries made by me are probably evident and already discovered time and time over. Or perhaps there’s better ways to do certain things that will elude me for a while.

However I am mostly learning things on my own. And I think that can be pretty exciting.

My experience in weaving to date has mostly been with a 24″ Kromski Harp rigid heddle loom and and Ashford Inklette. My first attempt at tablet weaving did not fare to well.

However all of that will change soon with my soon-to-occur purchase of an 8-shaft table loom. To prepare, I’ve started thinking about books I’d like to have, and reading a lot about drafting – I don’t mind selecting drafts from various sources, but I do want to design some of my own patterns from time to time.

This is the place where I plan to discuss what I learn about all of this and to document my projects.

For the time being, the latest project to come off of the loom is a rayon chenille scarf done in simple plain weave. I purchased the yarn at Webs when visiting my friend Aaron in Albany for my birthday several weeks ago. This is the first time on my rigid heddle where I thought long and hard about my desired sett and drape, and tried to avoid my usual loose weaves.

A little accident occured (fortunately towards the end of the project) where something snapped and the whole cloth and remaining warp threads rolled to the bottom of the floor. I decided the length was good enough and didn’t bother trying to finish it. But it resulted in quite a bit of waste. I decided to wet finish the scarf, and I think now that its all dried and done, it come out wonderfully and has amazing drape.

Rayon Chenille Scarf
Yarn: Valley Fibres Rayon Chenille, 1450 YPP
sett: 10 epi, 80 warp ends

Amount used: ~ 580 yards

width: 6.5″
length: ~ 56″

Loom: Kromski Harp Rigid Heddle 24″