Band Weaving, Schacht Inkle Loom

Band Weaving Diary – The First Band (Part one)


Lots of learning happened in this band!

THE SPECS: 62 threads of 5/2 perle cotton woven on a Schacht inkle loom. Warp Length: 60″ Woven Length before drying: 43″. Width: 1.3″ Waste” 7″

It’s drying now, so we’ll see what the final length/width is. It’s really easy to see the gloops on the selvege while it is wet.

The pattern came from the Chain section of A Spinnerweaver

My take aways so far:

POSITION: There are a couple of position options for warping. You can put it in your lap or balance the loom off the edge of a table and warp from the front. Or, you can put it on a table and warp from the side or the front. For me, the important part is to have the loom up high enough so that I am not bending down to reach it. A regular table feels very low unless I am sitting at the table. The kitchen counter is perfect! It’s so much faster and easier for me to have it up high.

PATTERN: Converting the pattern to a single line of colored squares with dots over the heddled threads is much easier for my dyslexic/ poor line tracking brain to manage. I was having a terrible time reading the pattern- bad enough, I considered just calling it a day. After converting to the one line version, I could hear little birdies singing while confetti fell from the sky (ok, maybe not, but you get the idea)

MAKING HEDDLES: I followed the booklet instructions on how to use the loom pegs as a jig. I had a certain amount of angst over how exactly I needed to match the lengths. Mine are pretty close, but they are by no means exact. When the heddles are placed on the warp, the heddled warp is at the same height as the threads. I had one heddle that was noticeably looser than the others, so that one got replaced.

PLACING HEDDLES: Placing the heddle with my left hand while wrapping with my right sped things right along. My dominant hand changes based on the activity- and not always in a helpful way. Fortunately, I wind things on with my right hand, and the loom is open on the right, so that’s convenient.

KNOTS! So many joins! So much waste! Every time the color changes, I tied the new color to the old. At first, I was being very generous with the tails because it’s just a few joins, right. No! It’s a gazillion joins. The little Schacht booklet assures me that I only need a 2″ tail, so that became the new norm.

TENSION: I watched a few videos before starting, and I have to admit, I rolled my eyes every time I heard someone say- you’ll just have to get a feel for when your warp is tight enough. It’s not like I have a bunch of warps to inspect (OK, I tried a variety of verbs in that sentence and inspect is the only one that comes out not sounding trashy!) I’ve never been a big fan of the goldilocks approach to learning because I don’t want to build up a bunch of bad habits accommodating something that is set up incorrectly- so, I converted an old spinning exercise. I ran the yarn around the pegs and kept the tension consistent with the peg at the 1/2way point just the way my little booklet suggested. Then I tightened the tension just enough so that the threads didn’t slide on the peg while beating. Then, I wove for a few inches, tightened the tension, wove for a bit longer, tightened the tension, etc. When I reached the spot that I found myself having to be really careful not to crush the side while pulling to tighten the selvege, I relaxed the tension enough so that I could feel the slide of the weft into the selvege edge without feeling a little jerk as it moved.

I have no idea if that will hold as I change the yarns I weave, but for the perle cotton, tension so that it takes a firm pull but not a tug to get the weft loop into place is a repeatable thing. I’m playing with some wool yarn later tonight, so I’ll see if it holds true there!

That’s it for now. There’s more. There’s always more! But I’ll do some more weaving on band number 2 before I put much more e-ink to the page.

Happy weaving!

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