If you have children or friends with children aged between about 5 and 10 you will undoubtedly know what loom bands are. My facebook feed is full of people complaining they are finding loom bands all over the house, going up the vacuum cleaner and that their children are obsessed. I walk past Claire's Accessories every day on the way to work and had noticed the brightly coloured packets in the window, and have to admit I was intrigued.
Then I went to stay with a friend who has a five-year-old daughter. Though her daughter wasn't there at the time, I couldn't help but notice her loom band kit and asked if I could have a look. We were going to the open air theatre in Regent's Park that evening which is how I came to be making a loom band at midnight after we got back!
The original product, the Rainbow Loom, was invented by a father who watched his daughters make jewellery from rubber bands. He invented a sort of peg board- the loom- that you wind the bands around and knot them to make bracelets and necklaces. You can make all sorts of things including a dress - and while the basic design is easy to master, there are all sorts of patterns you can weave that look far more complicated.
My friend's daughter had a similar product called the Cra-Z-Loom; the instruction leaflet was really confusing at first until my friend explained what I needed to do, then it was very straightforward, but a bit fiddly. I am impressed at young children who have made the super-complicated patterns!
Here's the pink and blue bracelet that I made - as this is a craft (as well as food) blog I thought I might as well include it! I didn't have time to master anything more than the basic design but if I get a chance I would like to have a go at something more detailed.