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What is Zentangle?
Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher


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How to draw INCHWORM

Zentangle pattern: InchwormIt’s back to school time, here in Florida at any rate, and tangler Lori Byerly’s Inchworm seemed a perfect tangle pattern to start the week.

Inches and rulers and pencils and books, can Fall be far behind?

Inchworm is fun and easy, and every child can do it!


Click the inchworm for the source of this image and a sweet inchworm song from the UK’s High Bentham Primary School website.

The inchworm, we learn from Wikipedia, is the caterpillar stage of the Geometer family of moths. The inchworm is so-named because it appears “to measure the earth” as it moves along in a looping fashion. The reason they move this way is they lack the intermediate legs of other caterpillars. Instead,

equipped with appendages at both ends of the body, a caterpillar will clasp with its front legs and draw up the hind end, then clasp with the hind end (prolegs) and reach out for a new front attachment – creating the impression that it is measuring its journey. The caterpillars are accordingly called loopers, spanworms, or inchworms after their characteristic looping gait.

Inchworm is Lori’s first pattern on the site. She writes that she was “crocheting a baby blanket for my next grandchild and I became rather fascinated by the wave pattern in the blanket.” After experimenting with deconstructing the pattern for a bit, Lori came up with Inchworm.

Composed of simple triangles and rectangles placed together in a random fashion, Lori says to then “stitch” them together with dots in the triangles and loops in the rectangles. In addition to Lori’s “stitched” version of Inchworm, in my example I included a smaller size variation that’s also fun to play with by placing random fills in the Inchworm sections.

Lori illustrates the step-by-step instructions for drawing Inchworm on her blog with two lovely Zentangles featuring her tangle, some cool shading and another variation.

Update April 2020: Lori’s original site no longer exists and she has graciously given me permission to include her steps here for your convenience.

How to draw the Zentangle pattern Inchworm, tangle and deconstruction by Lori Byerly. Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Image copyright the artist and used with permission, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. These images are for your personal offline reference only. Please feel free to refer to the images to recreate this tangle in your personal Zentangles and ZIAs. However the artist and reserve all rights to the images and they must not be publicly pinned, altered, reproduced or republished. Thank you for respecting these rights. Click the image for an article explaining what copyright means in plain English. “Always let your conscience be your guide.” ~ Jiminy Cricket

Check out the tag lorib for more of Lori’s patterns on


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2 comments to How to draw INCHWORM

  • Judy C

    Linda, I have been very remiss in enjoying your patterns and not thanking you for the pleasure they bring. But today’s little article about the inch worm, was truly food for thought! When you think about it, in the creature world he could be considered handicapped, and yet the lack of middle legs doesn’t hinder him at all and because of his missing legs and his unusual way of navigating the earth, he is the most famous worm of all. Except for fishermen, I’ll bet not many of us know worms by name. But we all know about inch worms, even if we’ve never seen one. And now we know the rest of the story.
    Thank you Linda for all that you do to open up our creativity and our ability to really “see” our inner world and the one that is all about us.

    • Linda Farmer, CZT

      Thanks Judy, I always love learning the new things I discover when I jump down some of these rabbit holes. Glad you have fun along with me! And I’m delighted to bring pleasure to fellow tanglers. Cheers, Linda

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