The Two Books That Taught Me to Weave
It’s true, Interweave taught me to weave. This might sound like an obvious statement coming from someone who works at Interweave, but it actually happened well before my time here. I was first introduced to weaving through the fiber arts program at Colorado State University. I fell head over heels in love with the craft, thanks in large part to my amazing professor and department head Thom Lundberg, but also with the help of our two class textbooks, The Weaver’s Companion and The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory. Call it an auspicious sign that I would eventually end up working for Interweave—in the book department, no less—after being taught to weave using these two books.
Even though I’ve grown as a weaver and now have access to a whole library of weaving books, I still refer to my two worn textbooks often. The Weaver’s Companion and The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory are great books for beginners and experts alike, and together they make quite the dynamic duo. Trust me when I say these are two of my favorite weaving books that you should have in your library, too.
The Weaver’s Companion contains the A-to-Z basics of weaving in a compact size perfect for tucking into a loom bench drawer It offers helpful illustrations of all the parts and pieces of a loom, which is great for quelling the panic that happens after the first time a part comes off your loom. (I still gasp when my completely removable warp crank falls off.) And I always keep the reed chart, sett chart, and warp calculation chart bookmarked and handy for the days I really can’t handle math. No matter how long I weave, I will always have this book handy for all the “so easy you can forget them” parts of weaving.
Ah, The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory. Without sounding too much like a home shopping network host, talk about bang for your buck! With over 600 weaves, it’s a great resource for anyone wanting to weave on four shafts. In college, we were taught all the different weaves by sampling through each of the chapters. Even after moving on to advanced classes, I remember myself and my classmates continuing to pore over this book for inspiration. To this day, I reach for The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory if I’m feeling stuck, need a basic draft, or just want to return to my roots.
I think what made these two weaving books so great as learning tools is how well they pair together. While The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory is bursting with patterns, its front how-to matter is difficult to navigate. Although the encyclopedia-like format of The Weaver’s Companion is great for quick reference, it does little in the way of pattern inspiration. To put it simply, they’re the perfect pair.
I’m grateful to Interweave for a number of reasons: my job, the opportunities it brings, and all the knowledge I have learned. But I will be forever indebted thanks to the two books that gave me the gift of weaving.