Book Review: Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom

Inventive WeavingWe have been waiting for this book for a long time and it is finally here! Syne Mitchell has done a masterful job of showing the full potential of the greatest loom that ever was.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Syne’s contributions to the weaving world, she founded WeaveZine the first online zine for weaving that focused heavily on rigid heddle weaving. She also hosted WeaveCast a podcast for weavers.  Although neither of these ventures are still active (Syne left us to go back to tech, but she is now back) the full archives are still available online and they are a terrific resource.

From the moment she learned to weave, Syne was interested in pushing boundaries. This book is a cumulation of all her efforts to do so. What makes my heart sing about this book and Syne, is that unlike many boundary pushers, she has the heart of a teacher. She isn’t interested in just wowing you, she wants you to create your own wow.

The first three chapters are devoted to showing you how to weave including a fabulous chapter on color theory. The following 200 pages show you in a project-based learning style how to do the things many weavers don’t know how to do, but want to! Techniques include warping variegated yarns for color blocks, translating 4-shaft weaves to the rigid heddle (you need three heddles—Beka and Schacht are the only loom makers I know of that can accommodate three heddles), weaving twill, overshot, shadow weave, e-textiles that light up, shibori, and so much more. She ends with the frequently ignored subject of loom maintenance, information on sewing handwovens, and a terrific resource section.

I am in awe of all that Syne has presented in a well-written approachable style. Such a great addition to weaving literature.

– Liz