Woven Shoelaces

Back in 2021, I purchased an issue of Little Looms magazine (Summer 2021 edition), tempted by the idea of weaving shoelaces. I’ve been thinking about attempting those shoelaces ever since, and finally made the effort to learn how over the Christmas holiday.

The pattern, by John Mullarkey, uses tablet weaving (using cards to manipulate the yarn), which I’d never tried before. I borrowed as inkle loom from my guild, signed up for a Tablet Weaving Made Easy online course, and practiced the pattern with some scrap yarn from my stash. With the help of the online class, I picked up the technique/pattern really quickly, and ordered some yarn in the correct weight (10/2) to attempt the laces in earnest.

The diamond design of the pattern reminded me of Oluwande’s hat in ‘Our Flag Means Death’, so I picked yarns in colours inspired by the hat (Valley Yarns Mercerised Cotton, in colours Alabaster and Burnt Sienna, from Weaving Yarn). I probably should have gone more orange, but I made a guess without any yarn samples.

I took the first shoelace I completed along to the monthly weaving class which I started attending last year, where my weaving teacher gave me advice on weaving more tightly. I wove two more shoelaces, following my teacher’s advice, and they turned out much smaller and firmer than my first attempt, and similar enough to make a matching pair.

I finished the laces with metal aglets (the bit on the ends of a shoelace) purchased on ebay. These aglets are quite large, and the eyelets on the boots pictured are quite small, so I had to lace the boots before attaching the aglets. Luckily, the aglets are easily removable for future cleaning, or moving the laces onto different shoes.

I really enjoyed weaving these laces and will definitely make more laces in future, or try different tablet weaving projects. A member of my guild generously gifted me an inkle loom which her mom was getting rid of at this month’s meeting, so I’m going to put it to use and start a next project soon.

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