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Linda Farmer, Certified Zentangle Teacher
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Use this Random Tangle Selector with your TANGLE GUIDE to help you select tangles. See Pages 7 and 9 of the Guide for instructions. You can also use this to select random Strings: simply pop in any number in the range of 1 to 250.


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 here on her blog with two lovely Zentangles featuring her tangle, some cool shading and another variation.

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

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"Absolutely the best Zentangle Book yet! As an accomplished artist I used to think I did not need instruction on this art form. How wrong I was! My tangling improved by leaps and bounds after reading this book. If you think you have Zentangle down then you need this book more than ever!" ~ Kris H

The Official Zentangle Kit Another great jump-starter for new tanglers is the original Official Zentangle Kit. The Kit includes all the supplies you'll need to get started properly: Sakura Micron Pens, Zentangle Tiles, pencil, sharpener, tortillion, a booklet and an instructional DVD by co-founder Maria Thomas. Click on the image for more information about the Kit and its contents.

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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