Yesterday I had my first lesson in how to weave on my little inkle loom. My kind, generous, and expert weaving hero, Joy Selby Cain, gave me the lesson at her home (for some of the great wool that she has hand-dyed, hand-spun and hand-woven, see my post at Hand-woven wool by Joy Selby Cain). We are both members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, SCA for short.

The green wool that Joy wove, which is featured in the above post, is going to be the front panel in a new smokkr, or Viking apron dress, that I’m hoping to wear for my local annual SCA event, Red Dragon. Another SCA friend of mine, Kacy Burchfield, is going to sew that smokkr for me, because I’m afraid I might wreck such gorgeous wool!

Unlike the fairly wide woven woolen piece Joy made that will be part of my new smokkr, the products of inkle looms are narrow bands or braids that you use for trim or belts or sew together to make larger pieces.

My mini inkle loom was made by another SCA member, Gary Phillips. It has a cool carving of a green man on the back.  See New mini inkle loom

So now back to my lesson in Inkle Weaving 101.

I hadn’t even been sure what the term “heddles” meant until I looked at a couple of YouTube videos. But the problem was that the inkle looms in those videos weren’t built the same way as mine, so I wasn’t sure how to tie heddles on my own loom.

Joy sorted me right out! 🙂

Here are the pegs that I need to use to tie heddles on my loom so they will be the right size. The pink threads are the heddles wound around the pegs. After winding them, Joy cut them, and we tied them off.

I would never have guessed that these were the right pegs to use to measure heddles. Thanks heavens for Joy! ❤
Heddles are wound!

Here are the patterns that Joy gave me and taught me how to read.


The patterns for stripes or checks are for Weaving 101. Baltic Pickup is Weaving 102. 🙂 We used the pattern for stripes for my lesson.

Joy also made some notes to help me once I was on my own:

Helpful tips from master weaver Joy to total novice Timi. 🙂

So, once we had enough heddles, next was warping the loom with green and gold thread. Joy started the warping, then I did some, and Joy finished it for me when my legs gave out from standing in her studio. Old age sucks, but the alternative is definitely no good! 😛


This closeup shows how only the active threads are heddled.
The loom is warped now and ready for some weaving.

I made a start on weaving while I was at Joy’s house. It was much easier somehow to do it with her right there to answer my questions and give me some reassurance. Here’s what I did, not perfect by any means, but definitely a start!

In Joy’s kitchen. I discovered that I could stow the shuttle against the woven band for transit.
A closeup at home. It looks to me like one thread, on the far right edge, didn’t get woven in for the first few rows. Yikes! 😛
The inkle loom at home, after my lesson.

It turned out that I had gotten the wrong cotton thread for this kind of weaving. Joy wrote down “Aunt Lydia’s Size 10 or 20 Crochet Cotton” for me, and today I returned the wrong stuff and got the right stuff for future projects. But Joy does a “free warp” for first-timers, so all the thread on the loom now came from her personal stash. ❤


Here are the books I’ve gotten so far. The “Bible” of inkle weaving, by Helene Bress, should be arriving in a couple of days.


But getting a personal one-on-one lesson from a kind, expert teacher such as Joy, is worth more than any book that money can buy! ❤

And I’ve already got more questions for her. LOL! 🙂