Love ‘Em and Weave ‘Em

I love the Best of Handwoven eBooks. And that might sound surprising, because it’s one of my jobs to make them.

Books Backs  
A portion of Madelyn's eBook
collection printed out and

I’m doubly lucky there, since it’s a job I love. For one thing, I get to go through all the old issues of Handwoven, starting with the very first one in 1979. Every time I do this I am amazed by how enduring handwoven fabrics are—especially when they are beautifully designed, woven, and photographed. 

With each project I choose and edit, I get to follow the original designer through all the steps of weaving it, a virtual weaving experience with a guaranteed successful outcome. Many times the yarns are no longer available, so I get to wallow around in my yarn samples to find some that will work. With the digital drawing programs available now that weren’t when many of these projects were published, I get to make the drafts prettier and clearer. This means I do a lot of learning. There are those who believe that “projects” are not something to learn from, but I have learned as much from Handwoven projects as from teaching texts. You just have to really look at what’s there.
  Comprehensive Guide to Blocks
  8-Shaft Placemats

Madelyn likes to store woven samples
in binders along with the
 eBook pages that inspired them.
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  Winning Towels and 8-Shaft Scarves

Woo-hoo! Printing and binding
eBooks justifies a fun visit to the
office supply store.

The best part, though, happens after my job with them is done. As each eBook is finished, I add it to my collection. I love seeing the finished pages on my computer screen (where they are brighter and sharper than they ever are on paper). I can enlarge them if I want to see them better.

 I print them out, of course, knowing that if I need more than one copy of a page—to make notes on, to take to a loom, to put with another similar project—I can print out as many as I want. But my favorite part is making them into actual books.

This usually means a trip to my nearest office supply store (darn). I buy what are called presentation books. These come with 12 or 24 plastic-pocket pages, and they have a plastic envelope over the cover. I put the eBook pages inside the pockets, arranged in book form. I can put woven samples, notes, enlargements of the drafts, yarns—whatever I might want to keep into the pocket with a particular project. 

If I am inspired by the project to weave something different from it in some way, I like to put that sample there, too, to remember the source of my idea. I print out the cover and slide it into the plastic sleeve on the outside of the book, and I even print out the title, cut out a strip with the title on it, and slide that into the plastic envelope along the spine.

I put my eBooks in magazine holders on my shelves, where I can find the one I’m looking for in a flash. Sometimes I worry that I “love ’em” (organizing my eBooks) more than I “weave ’em” (getting that warp on the loom).  


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