I am so excited to finally be able to share these pictures with you! This summer my husband Collin built me a really gorgeous inkle loom so that I can weave straps and bands. Like I mentioned a couple posts ago, straps are one of knitting's weakest points and inkle/card weaving is a perfect complement to knitting. The straps are all tightly woven, strong, and beautiul.
Collin based the design of this loom on one built by British woodworker Michael Williams. If you were going to buy a loom like this you'd need about $300, and since that wasn't really in our budget (and because Collin likes a challenge and something he can build with his hands), Collin agreed to make me one himself.
Collin used some beautiful hardwood scraps from my Granddad's wood shop: cherry for the main crescent shape, and walnut for the base and the inkle shuttles (not pictured here). The dowels are oak and the tensioner and support pieces are hickory. He used walnut wedges to firmly secure the dowels, since they can be under significant strain during weaving.
I'm using this loom for two different but related weaving techniques: inkle weaving (the traditional use for a loom like this) and card weaving, an even older technique which can be done without a loom but works a lot better on one. Both techniques produce very strong warp-faced bands, which means that the only strings that show are the long vertical ones. Card weaving uses a set of square cards to separate the strings, and can produce a huge array of thick, intricately patterned bands.
Inkle weaving, on the other hand, uses string "heddles" to separate the strings, and results in a slightly lighter-weight woven fabric. This is very important when you're weaving with a heavier thread, like t-yarn, or something more delicate like the cassette tape in the guitar strap above.
The shuttle in all these pictures is an old one Collin made for my frame loom. He made me some new inkle shuttles from walnut that have a sharpened edge for beating the strings open, but I haven't been able to get pictures of them yet. Before he finished the inkle shuttle I had to borrow Annie's toy chef knife to do the same job!
In a couple days I hope to be able to show you some finished guitar straps that I've woven on my loom. I also recently bought the hardware to make some dog and cat collars, so watch for some very neat pet collars to show up soon. I can't wait to work more on my new loom and show ya'll the results!