With Handwoven Home, I set out to write a book chock full of project ideas and know-how as it relates to weaving cloth that lasts for your home. It is a follow-up to my first book Weaving Made Easy, where I assume you are new to weaving. In this book, I assume you have some experience and offer you techniques to solve some of your most vexing weaving problems.
In this new book, I talk about how weaving cloth is like baking a cake. You select the right ingredients—Have you put salt in a recipe instead of sugar? Selecting the wrong yarn can be like that. Apply a know-how—fold dry into wet, don’t beat. Then finish it off so that your hard works shines—You get the metaphor, finishing is the icing on the cake.
I was writing this overview in a social feed, and it inspired me to write this post. Here is look at what you will find inside the pages of this new book:
The yarn section is succinct and focuses on the most asked questions from my students about yarn as it relates to weaving—not all cotton is the same; what’s the real difference between weaving and knitting yarns; synthetic fibers are good or bad for home use.
The know-how section highlights my most used techniques for weaving for the home, including ply splitting for seamless joins, why an s-hook fixes almost all tension and selvedge issues, how to make sure that all your things are the same size or the decorative elements fall in the right place, and answering questions like: Do you measure your cloth with or without tension.
I also include a section on reading a weaving pattern, since that is not often discussed. Weaving pattern instructions includes a lot of information that a knitter or other yarn crafter might not be used to seeing—yd/lb for instance, and weaver’s charts.
The projects show techniques you may or may not be familiar with—one heddle Theo Moorman, anyone—in a wide variety of forms. I also sprinkled in other information like: How to read a weaving draft and create a drawdown to make a front-of-the heddle pick-up patterns; tips and techniques for composition and color selection; direct warping log cabin; how to cut rag strips on the bias and why you might want to; and a small section on the relationship between two heddles and four shafts.
The brief warping section was designed to give you that quick, easy place to refer for the basic steps, information why you may want to use one warping method vs. another, and tips for managing wide, long, fine warps that are often required when weaving for the home.
I really tried to push the finishing section. I know this frequently where my students would like to see more options. It’s one thing to see a finishing in a finishing book, but I think seeing them in the actual project helps you think about them differently. I also included information on washing and spot cleaning, because these handwovens are meant to be used, not worshiped.
Books are a form of dissertation. You have a big, sweeping thesis you set out to explore—and you don’t do the work in a vacuum—you have the benefit of lots of feedback. I would like to thank, from the bottom of my yarn-laden heart, everyone who ever offered me another point of view—from my mentors, students, editors, and the folk that I inexact with online. All of these perspectives help me be a better writer, teacher, mentor, and student.
In truth, this is the book my students wrote. They showed me how to hone the information to be the most useful to the widest majority of weavers. Students teach me far more than I’ll ever teach them.