Monday, July 30, 2018

In Celebration of Plain Weave: Color and Design Inspiration for Inkle Weavers

EDIT: I really appreciate everyone who has told me that they are looking forward to publication. I am too! Thanks for waiting! The book is now in the hands of my designer and publication will be sometime in October. If you want to be put on an email list to be notified when it's ready, please send me a message at: iweavestraps@gmail.com and you'll be among the first to know! 

Due to the popularity of the plain weave patterns that I've shared on this blog, it's become apparent to me that there are many inkle weavers out there who could benefit from having more patterns to choose from as well as well as some tips for designing their own patterns.
To respond to this need, I've completed a book which I hope will be educational and inspirational. 



The book is divided into three sections.
Section One is a discussion of color theory and band design including my best tips from years of experiments. Get ideas and resources for choosing color combinations. 
Section Two illustrates how to get the various elements of inkle patterns. Learn what makes chains, teeth, stripes, etc and how to balance these in your band design. 
Section Three is full of over 200 individual patterns plus tips for turning these into thousands upon thousands more. 

To quote Helene Bress, from her book, Inkle Weaving, “With just three colors and
50 threads, almost a trillion, trillion different patterns can be formed for inkle bands!
All this can be done in just the simplest type of weave there is—plain weave.”

In Celebration of Plain Weave: Color and Design Inspiration for Inkle Weavers will be available as an ebook and in print. Find it here in my Etsy shop in September of 2018.



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hidden Tapestry




When this book was recommended to me, I found the title to be intriguing. Because I had not heard of tapestry weaver, Jan Yoors, I did some quick internet research. It seems that he led a very unusual life. There were many facets to him and his story, each of which would be interesting to explore.

My husband and I read the book together, taking turns reading aloud to each other in the evenings. We were both hooked on the story!

Author Debra Dean really dug deep into her research. Through the use of documents, artifacts, diaries and first person accounts, she unfolds the story of Jan and his two wives, Annabert and Marianne.





While Hidden Tapestry is classified as a Biography/Art History book, it is so much more.
Biography, history, romance and adventure are all woven together in this tale.
It tells the story of the three individuals growing up in Belgium and their childhood friendships. It then follows them through the chaos of living in war-torn Europe in the 1940's and their immigration to America. Living in Bohemian Greenwich Village in the 1950's, they settled into a very extraordinary life as a family, living and working in their own tapestry-weaving workshop.

Jan spent many years traveling with Gypsy caravans and the book is full of interesting cultural detail about the Roma. We also learned much from the accounts of what it was like to live through World War II and it's aftermath. The characters showed us their determination, adaptability, resilience and what it takes to follow a dream.

When Jan is drawn to tapestry weaving, he is able to learn the art without formal schooling. As he moves more into designing the tapestries, Marianne and Annabert become his weavers. The author states, "All three were self-taught and had arrived at their mastery together. "
This part was of special interest to me. I have never had any formal art training, yet have made a life and living from weaving, too.
As a weaver this also was most interesting to read "Traditionally weavers use a special comb or beater to pack the weft thread down tightly against the previous row, but Marianne and Annabert used the tip of a screwdriver because that was the only tool they'd had available when they first started."

I highly recommend this book!

To learn more, visit the publishers website here: http://www.nupress.northwestern.edu/content/hidden-tapestry

In this video you can see many still photos of his work as well as the women weaving with screwdrivers.

https://vimeo.com/76620134

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

MOO Cards! I love them!

   New MOO cards arrived today! I love that I can get such an assortment in one pack. These are for        a special project for my friend in Japan. Fancy gettin' yourself some MOO cards, too?
   You can get 20% off your first order if you use this link. It says "Annie sent me."


Sunday, May 27, 2018

Exciting New Online Tool for Inkle Weavers!!

This is the best new thing to come along for inkle weavers in years!!!

It was created by Jeff Bigot of France. I am especially pleased since he wrote to tell me about it and cited my blog as one of his inspirations. How cool is that?
His other inspiration was The Corolignian Realm's Inkle Weaving Pattern Generator which has helped MANY inkle weavers over the last years.




Try out the new Inkle Loom Pattern Editor here:  http://www.raktres.net/projects/inkle_loom_svg/inkle_loom_svg.html

It has some outstanding features!

Here are some highlights:

  • *You can select your own colors using a color picker. Once you find the exact color you want, copy the HEX code and paste it into the Pattern Editor. Amazing! Here's the Color Picker site I  use:  https://htmlcolorcodes.com/color-picker/
  • *The cells are uniquely shaped to represent threads in a woven band, so you get a great preview of what your woven band will look like.
  • *With one click you can create a PNG file of your design and save it to your computer.
  • *Start your pattern on the left side, and click the SYMETRY button and it will automatically reverse the pattern and fill in the right side for you.
  • *Once the design is filled in, click the ROTATE button to try the colors in a different order within that pattern.


Below is a 1" wide piece that I wove and the pattern for it created with the Inkle Loom Pattern Editor.



I liked it so much that I modified the pattern to create a 2" version. On this blog, I offer many free patterns for inkle weavers to use.  Consider that any of the 1" patterns found HERE could be turned into a 2" pattern by adding some threads. Compare the design below to the one above.
The 1" version has 41 threads and the 2" version has 77 threads.