Weaving Books That Will Make You a Better Weaver
This weekend is the Annual Interweave Book Sale, where every single title in the Interweave Store is available at a discount. In honor of this massive sale, the editors of Handwoven, Weaving Today, and Easy Weaving with Little Looms are here to share their favorite weaving books and what makes them so valuable. Enjoy, and happy reading! ~Andrea
Editors’ Recommended Weaving Books
Anita Recommends: Next Steps in Weaving by Pattie Graver
My favorite new weaving book is Pattie Graver’s Next Steps in Weaving: What You Never Knew You Needed to Know. The book grew out of impassioned conversations where Pattie and I talked about all the things that expert weavers had known so long that they forgot to tell the rest of us. One day, Pattie said, “I want to write a book with all those things,” and I am forever grateful that she did. This wonderful book explains the practical aspects of popular weave structures, from twill to overshot, lace, and more. It has clear and simple discussion of drafts and interlacement, but also down-to-earth advice about yarns, sett, treadling, and beat. It tells how to retie a warp, the difference between weaving “star fashion” and “rose fashion,” and how to work with sinking shed tie-ups in overshot. With every throw and beat, we all aspire to become better, more successful weavers, and this book helps us progress, as Pattie says, from “knowing how” to “knowing why.”
Christina Recommends: Learning to Weave by Deb Chandler
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved books. Most of my earliest memories involve books—being read Anne of Green Gables in bed or happily paging through books on the King Tutankhamen exhibit from the 1970s, for example. When I have some non-weaving free time, I tend to spend my days happily reading. It should come as no surprise, then, that I often turn to books to help me out with my weaving. While my shelves house many weaving books on a variety of topics, my favorite from the start was Learning to Weave by Deb Chandler.
When I warped my loom for the first time, years after taking my first weaving class, I had Deb’s book by my side as I compared the photos and drawings in the book to what was on my loom. Learning to Weave was the book that gave me the confidence I needed to warp on my own, something for which I am forever grateful. As I wove, I read the book to make sure I was doing each step correctly. When my first warp thread snapped, Deb is the one who coached me through the process of fixing it.
To this day, whenever anyone tells me they are planning on learning to weave, it’s the first book I tell them to buy. Though I know how to weave (at least on most days), I keep this book in a place of honor on my bookshelf because I still use it—especially the handy sett charts that let me know the best way to get the sett I want using the reeds I have. Like all good how-to books, Learning to Weave is more than instructions on how to weave: It’s a resource designed to be useful long after you are warping your loom with ease.
Anne Recommends: Woven Scarves by Jane Patrick and Stephanie Flynn Sokolov
I love my rigid-heddle loom—it’s easy to warp, easy to use, and produces very little loom waste. But sometimes I do tire of miles of balanced plain weave, which is where Woven Scarves comes in. Whether it’s playing with color and texture in yarn choice, mixing materials, or adding some simple hand-manipulated techniques, the 26 weaving patterns in Jane Patrick and Stephanie Flynn Sokolov’s book have shown me so many creative ways to use my rigid-heddle loom!
I just completed the “Spaced and Felted Scarf”—OK, all but the felting—and it was great to finish a weaving project in an afternoon. Next up will be a log cabin design, a basic color-and-weave pattern that gives a spectacular effect with just two colors of yarn. And I’ve had my eye on a lattice scarf that uses the simple hand-manipulated leno technique on a big scale for a huge impact. If you’ve been wondering how to make a scarf with a loom you can easily manage, then check out Woven Scarves for 26 great ideas.
Andrea Recommends: The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon
It wasn’t until I cracked this volume open that I really started to “get” weaving and the near-infinite possibilities it has to offer. I’m a highly-visual and tactile person, who needs to see and touch before I can understand how something works. If you’re like me, you need to get your hands on a copy.
The drawback of many older weaving books is that the images are all in black and white. The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory, on the other hand, is all in full color, with close-up photographs of each weave, color-coded drafts, and useful diagrams to help those who are visually inclined. After browsing through the 600+ patterns in the book, I am really beginning to understand the many ways warp and weft can intermingle to create color, texture, and drape. As I was reading, I felt like there were hundreds of little idea light bulbs hovering over my head!
Plus, miracle of miracles, the book is bound so that it lies flat and stays open. That alone is enough to make it indispensable to me. Beginning weavers: Do yourself a favor and add The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory to your collection. I promise you’ll get lots of use out of it!
There are tons of weaving books to choose from in the Annual Interweave Book Sale. Add one of our editors’ recommendations to your library, or browse for just the right title to fill out your collection! All books are discounted, so don’t wait! Click here to shop the sale now.
P.S. What are your favorite weaving books? Which weaving books and authors have been most significant in shaping you as a weaver? Let me know in the comments!