While we talked, I wove, to keep my hands busy and my heart steady. The picture below shows the newest member of the fibre arts family at our home, an inkle loom which I've christened Miranda. The name seems appropriate, since (according to my favourite name website), it was created in the 1500s by Shakespeare, and the first recorded use of 'inkle' to describe narrow-woven tapes or bands dates from the 1500s. "Inkle" doesn't appear to be related to the word "inkling," from what documentation I can find from online etymology websites, but their similarity in sound is rather poetic.
|Miranda, my inkle loom, warped, with a few inches woven|
I bought the loom on Craigslist, from a seller who was actually in my area, so I didn't have to spend a lot of time lugging the strange arrangement of boards and pegs on the bus. I did get questions, and I had fun introducing people to the concept of an inkle loom.
When I arrived home, I watched a video, read a few how-to's, and then warped my loom. I did the shortest warp that this loom does, using leftover dishcloth cotton for my warp, and crochet cotton for my heddles. Then I wound some more dishcloth cotton onto one of my flat bobbins (it didn't come with a shuttle) and started weaving.
|My first two woven straps, made of dishcloth cotton. Number 1 on the left (brown warp yarn as weft), number 2 on the right (crochet cotton as weft).|
At any rate, it's something to do with my hands that's rather different than the knitting. Which, of course, I'm still doing. There's the first of a pair of slippers sitting next to me on the table, and I was knitting on a sock whilst having tea with a friend this afternoon. The new thing for my making repertoire is exciting, even if all I can make right now are belts and ribbons.
And it helps when I feel useless. At least I can make something, and put well-wishes into the fabric as I create it.