For over 35 years I have been weaving on an inkle loom. This type of loom makes narrow pieces, no more than 6” in width. Within this narrow constraint, there are endless possibilities for combining colors into patterns. When I create a woven piece, I want it to be both functional and beautiful. I have created many types of useful everyday items including: shoelaces, scarves, belts, bags &..
Once again, I'll be participating in the annual New Mexico Fiber Crawl!!
This great state-wide event is brought to you by the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center.
In it's third year now, it covers even more communities and sites than ever.
"Join in our three-day 2019 New Mexico Fiber Crawl, Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19, to celebrate New Mexico’s rich fiber arts heritage and the people who make wonderful fiber creations. The New Mexico Fiber Crawl is an opportunity to explore fiber studios and farms, experience fiber demonstrations, attend special gallery and museum events, win prizes, and visit fiber arts shops.
Whether you are a fiber enthusiast, a visitor, a friend or a collector, the 2019 New Mexico Fiber Crawl is a great way to discover and enjoy the world of fiber arts in Northern New Mexico. You’ll meet the weavers, knitters, spinners, felters, embroiderers and new media artists who are sharing their love of the fiber arts at this event. Plus, you’ll have a great time!"
You can find me on Saturday and Sunday at Vortex Yarns in Taos!
It's located at 218A Paseo del Pueblo Norte. Phone (575) 758-1241.
I'll have copies of my new book as well as straps, belts and other colorful things!
Launching a book is a BIG adventure. If you are doing it yourself, it can be overwhelming and amazing and frustrating and glorious. For me, it has been all of these things in varying proportions from one day to the next.
It's May 3rd and I am traveling in California to teach a couple of weaving workshops and do a guild presentation. (See my Events page for details.) More adventure! On May the 1st, with help, I launched the ebook version of "In Celebration of Plain Weave" from the road. It is now available in my Etsy shop here:https://www.etsy.com/shop/ASpinnerWeaver
I brought a dozen copies of the paper book along, thinking I'd ship them from the road. They had been selling at a rate of 2-4 each day. But, something surprising happened. The first day out, I sold the 12 copies I had wrapped and brought with me. So, they are out of stock until I return home again. I'm now selling from the 3rd printing!!!! (Each printing has been 250 copies.)
I'm delighted with the response that the book has been receiving!! Check out some of the comments below:
Liz Gipson, Yarnworker.com " Just got my copy of this book in the mail and it is SO GOOD. The section on color is pitch perfect and I think any weaver would find it helpful. "
One of my bandweaving heroes is Susan Foulkes. She is such an important source of information on bandweaving from around the world. Her research and re-creation of historic bands is amazing!
If you don't already subscribe to her blog, I highly recommend it! This week she wrote a review of my book and tried out one of the patterns for herself. Thanks, Susan! You can read it here:
"I had high expectations of this book, having seen Annie's contributions to inkle weaving both through her website and through various Facebook groups. I have to say that, even so, I was blown away by how thoughtfully designed, organized and illustrated this book is. I'm no newbie to color theory, but the concepts and examples here are so well presented that this will definitely be a main reference for me. Brava!"
"I am a beginner inkle weaver, and I find the patterns very helpful to use. The pattern pictures are big, clear, and colorful. I love that the book is spiral bound."
"I love this book. I’ve been so inspired that I’ve completed three and have another on my inkle loom ready to start tomorrow. Great book...so glad bought it!"
"This book needed to be written and I’m so glad Annie was the one to do it. Great job, and beautiful pictures. Thanks for signing it too!!"
"Beautiful book! Well done, spiral binding always a good thing for crafting books. This book goes pretty deep into color theory and design elements specific to warp-faced band weaving. And makes it so understandable. Getting better control over what you want a band to do - sizzle and pop banjo straps or soothing calm yoga staps, it's all about color. Thank you, Annie, for putting this all together in a way that makes sense to a band weaver!"
"A Beautiful book all the way through. I especially liked Color Relationships and Color Schemes. and Color and Human Perception as it applies to more than one of my hobbies. It was you Annie MacHale who inspired me to take up weaving. I really enjoy it. Thank you!"
"This book is beautiful beyond words. Every page was breathtaking. I love it! It arrived sooner than expected which was icing on the cake. Thank you, Annie."
Well, it has been an amazing and busy couple of weeks since the launch of my book on March 18th. After day 2, it was obvious that the initial print run of 250 books was not going to last long, so I placed a reorder. Some folks had to wait for that second order to arrive before I could send their copy out to them. I appreciate the understanding. Over 300 copies have been signed and mailed. If you don't have one yet, here's where you can get it: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ASpinnerWeaver
Waiting for the ink to dry.
Thanks to everyone who ordered one!!! Media mail is slow, so some are still waiting for delivery. One customer reported that she tracked her package and it was sorted through 3 locations within an hour of her home before it finally arrived. Still, I love the U.S. Mail and am grateful for their system which works great most of the time.
I've sent books to people in 7 countries besides the U.S. Extra thanks to those who paid as much to have it shipped as they did to buy the book. It's hefty, weighing 1 pound and 6 ounces packaged, and is expensive to ship overseas.
Some lovely reviews have been written on Etsy and I have received many nice personal notes, FB comments and phone calls. I love hearing what each person liked and/or found useful in the book.
My local guild, the Las Arañas Spinners and Weavers Guild, arranged a little book-signing event at our last meeting and I was delighted that so many of my peers wanted copies!
The PDF version is in the works and almost complete. We are working out the delivery system as the file is too large for Etsy to handle. Each of the 200 pattern links in the catalog had to be checked as they will be live links in the PDF. Although I swear I checked them all before we went to print, some errors were found in this round of checking. Also, a customer wrote to mention an incorrect pattern number referenced in the text. HORRORS!
It's a book about weaving design especially for inkle weavers and band weavers. Learn what you need to know about color and design for weaving narrow warp-faced bands. This book is a feast for the eyes, containing many inspiring, full-page, color photos.
In the book I distill color theory into some basic guidelines specifically for band weavers and demonstrate how to get extraordinary while using a simple plain weave. The art is in the warping and the possibilities are endless!
This book is available in a spiral bound 8 1/2 x 11" paperback or an ebook.
* Color terminology and color theory basics * Pattern design basics and advanced tips * 115 pages * 105 color illustrations * 200 interactive pattern charts -Open them using the online program "Inkle Loom Pattern Editor"
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 create plain weave patterns by breaking it down to the various elements which make up a design. Learn how to to use chains, teeth, stripes, etc. and how to balance them to get pleasing results. Section Three is a catalog of 200 individual interactive patterns plus tips for turning these into thousands upon thousands more.
Scroll down for a sampling of pages. Click on them to enlarge.
A while back I received this enthusiastic message, "I have been searching high and low to find a strap to match one of my guitars. I am so happy to have come across your website! I absolutely love your straps! They are exactly what I’ve been looking for." (My website is here: www.WeaverGuitarStraps.com)
"I would love to have one made to match my guitar if you’re interested. The guitar is a 3 tone sunburst Telecaster. It has a few subtle appointments that make it what I consider to be a very beautiful guitar, off white binding and abalone dot inlays on the fretboard."
I can never resist a creative challenge like this. So, what would I make to match this guitar? Since I LOVE color blending, I started with a design which played off of the color gradation, or "burst" as they call this type of paint job on a guitar. I used 9 colors and loved the progression!
But, it didn't include any of the colors from the abalone, which he really wanted. So, Jason, being very clever, found his way to the "Band Weaving Pattern Editor", my favorite design tool and created his own strap pattern, shown below! Good job! Not enough threads, though.
He and I kept playing with variations on this design until we got one that he liked.
I sent him some photos of yarn, so he could help choose the colors. Then, magic happened!
He wrote, "When I started looking at a color wheel to help pick the colors for the guitar strap, I realized that it was separated into 12 sections just like the circle of fifths used in music."
"You and I had already discussed some possible colors inspired by the finish adornments on the guitar so I had an idea of some bass notes, or base colors to look for.
I used the I V vi IV musical progression and set the C note to line up with orange on the color wheel which gave me:
I - C - Orange
V - G - Yellow
vi - A(min) - Green
IV - F - Purple/Wine red
There was the palette! I used that as a base when I set up the colors in the pattern editor.
So what we have represented in the colors is:
The red, orange, and yellow gradient from the sunburst finish on the guitar body.
I really liked the first weave you did with the really elaborate gradient, It was beautiful! I wanted to make sure we paid homage to that.
Then we have the green which was matched to the slight tint of green in the pick guard and also one of the colors in the abalone inlays.
There is also a deep purple / wine red which matches the abalone and the darkest shades of the sunburst finish.
Black as a background color.
And finally the off-white from the binding on the guitar.
We checked all of the boxes from the original inspiration!"
So, I wove Jason's design, sent him a photo and it was a hit!
His response, upon receiving the strap, " It’s awesome! It looks even better in person!
I am so happy with it! It matches the guitar beautifully. I’ve attached a picture for you.
Thanks again! This was a great experience. You are a master of your craft!"
So then, he made me this color wheel combined with the circle of fifths so I could experiment!!!
"You could find the chords to a song you like and see how they correspond to the colors on the color wheel - or vice versa- You could use the color from a pattern you create and then see how it translates musically. Bear in mind too that you could shift the color wheel or the circle of fifths in either direction to get different combinations. Like if C lined up with blue instead of red, you could still use the same intervals and get a harmonious color palette.
Depending on ones knowledge of music theory and/ or color theory you could dig kind of deep with this. You’ll notice that a lot of the same harmonious relationships exist on the color wheel and on the circle of fifths.
Using this method, any piece of music could be interpreted as color and any instance of color could be represented by sound."
I'd love to hear from anyone about experiences designing with musical harmonies! ~Annie
Pam Groff of Wide Sky Ranch sent me this photo of a PINK skein. This is what she told me: "As an alpaca breeder for the past few years and as a result of having my own white yarn, after much consternation, I faced the challenge of learning how to dye yarn and have not looked back! I simply love the process of researching popular color ways, finding or developing the colors with Gaywool acid dyes, and then the fun application of dyes. It’s simply magical."
This band was woven by Kathryn Nielsen to hold the detachable pocket. Click the photo to enlarge it and see the lovely detail in the band as well as the hand-embroidered pocket!
Judy Chapman needle felted these little piggies with wool around wire armatures.
Cynthia Loveall sent this photo of the second band she has woven on her inkle loom. She says" I like hot pink, fuschia or magenta but not pastel pinks." This is a sentiment that she and I share.
This is my dose of pink for the week. I'm working on a custom order and these colors were the customer's choice.
Pink is not a color I've ever been especially attracted to. I rarely wear it, and it rarely
shows up in my weaving. But, lately, I've been thinking more about it.
On a Christmas Day road trip last year, we went to Gallup, New Mexico. It is known as "Heart of Indian Country" because it is on the edge of the Navajo reservation and is home to members of many other tribes as well. It's a great place to shop for Native American art because there is such a high concentration of galleries and trading posts there. I loved looking at all of the sparkling silver jewelry which happens to be one of my favorite things ever. What surprised me though, was how much I loved the paintings. Especially what we saw at Richardson's Trading Post, and especially those by J.C. Black. I loved them all, but settled for one of the smaller ones to bring home. It is very pink! The colors are all rich and beautiful and the patterns in the landscape where patterns shouldn't be just thrilled me! I love patterns! You know this, right?
Do you use pink in your inkle bands? I'd love to see photos! Send me a photo with a short description. If I get enough, I'll do a "Readers Gallery" next week here on my blog in honor of Valentine's Day. Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
I do have a couple of favorite pieces that I've done in pink. The one below was inspired by the flower on a camping trip. It's woven from linen.
This one was a custom guitar strap. The challenge was to use the colors of the rainbow, replacing red for pink. As weird as this seemed, I always liked the design.
This fun new tool is sort of like the kaleidoscope of inkle weaving patterns. The patterns are generated at random, or "procedurally" by clicking the refresh button on your browser. Visit the site and every time you click, you get a new pattern. Hours of fun! Like turning the wheel on a kaleidoscope!
This could be really helpful if you are stuck and just looking for new ideas. It's the brainchild of Rebecca Green, software engineer and fiber artist and you can find it here: ~~~ Procedurally Generated Inkle Patterns ~~~
After receiving a message from Rebecca, I went to the site straight away and played around a little. I saved a couple of patterns that I made and wove them. It's easy to save a pattern by using the Snipping Tool or any other screenshot tool.
For this one, I added a few red threads to the borders to make it wider.
A wad of string heddles is not an easy thing to deal with while warping. I have somehow
been able to wrestle with them one-handed and make it work for all of these years.
But as long as I can remember, I have wished for a heddle dispenser that would just
give them to me, conveniently, one at a time. My wish has been granted!!! Yippee!!
I couldn't be more delighted with my new discovery! It's like having a new toy!
It seems that a smallish plastic container with a hole in the top will do just the trick!
As long as the container is fairly full, the tension of the heddles will keep most of them
in place inside but allow me to pull out one at a time.
Occasionally, I find that they get tangled around one another, but this has been very rare.
When I cut a piece off the loom, I have a heddle bundle that looks like this.
At this point, they are not tangled, but sort of lying next to each other.
The mint container has a big flap opening on top which allows me
to easily stuff the bundle of heddles inside........
and a small one which allows me to pull them out one at a time.
This hummus container has a tight-fitting lid. My husband cut a 5/8" round hole in its center. I pull off the lid, fill it up with heddles and snap it back on. The heddles are easily pulled through the hole one at a time.
Currently, I am experimenting with different methods of securing the heddle dispenser
to the table as I work. A small piece of duct tape made into a roll works great,
but isn't reusable for long. So, I am in search of some sort of putty to do the job.
None was available in our small town, so I'm waiting for the next trip
Well, it turns out that there's much more to this book project than I realized. I'm very grateful to my friend and book designer, April Jouse, for helping me organize all of the information in a consistent and nice-looking format. It has required many re-do's and I would have given up many times, except that I really believe in the information that I have to share.
The book will be fun to use because the 200 patterns which I've charted will be interactive. They were created using the Band Weaving Pattern Editor and each one comes with a link for you to use. Open it using the Pattern Editor and create your own version by changing colors, making it wider, making it narrower, etc. Or use it as it is. Save and print it for reference. I've added some sample patterns to this post. They will not be in the book, but will give you an idea of what to expect.