Saturday, October 24, 2009

Seasonal? / Disappointed

Is it the time of the year? My Google Reader has been showing me so few updates lately, and since I only read weaving and weaver blogs there, it must mean you all are out and about enjoying the changes of the season, or blindly, madly, passionately weaving. Which ever it is, I hope you're having fun.

I finally received a long-awaited book from Amazon.com yesterday. Ever since I discovered "Creative Weaving: Beautiful Fabrics with a Simple Loom" on Taueret's blog a way back, I've coveted it, but finally got around to ordering it. I think I read her review at the time, but I don't remember what she said so I must revisit it after I finish this post. I've read lovely reviews on-line (albeit by book sellers!) as well.

That the book would be about simpler weaving, I knew, so I didn't mind that the first 20 or so pages didn't do much for me. But I was disappointed in three ways.

The Zing Factor: because I discovered the book on Taueret's blog, I expectied to see mind-blowing hand-manipulated examples, aesthetically innovative and inquisitive stuff, and, well, an overdose of eye candies like Easter, Halloween and Christmas rolled in one. But I found the photos to be relatively sedate and safe, veering towards pretty but boring. I get far more mileage gazing at photos of Taueret's scarves than this book when it comes to zing.

Colors: it turns out the book focuses mostly on color combinations. While these combinations are given cute names and illustrated with pretty pictures, most are analogous. Again, a good majority use relatively benign yarns, lacking, overall, in the textural zing from which any book on plain weave could benefit. I understand this could be a result of an editorial decision, but I think there is scope for improvement.

But by far the most alarming aspect of a book, particularly as this is intended for beginners, is there is no mention of washing in the instructions pages, and most photos appears to be either straight off the loom or with insufficient wet finishing. This, to me, borders on heresy.

Lest I forget, there is one great feature of this book: with every project example, there is a small photo showing the weft yarns placed horizontally, and another with the warp yarns shown vertically.

This is a carob, not the satisfying velvety dark chocolate: I'm giving somewhere between 4 and 6 out of 10. Though this is prettier than many introductory books, my favorite introduction to two shaft weaving remains Betty Linn Davenport book by Interweave Press.

Edit: Tauret's review says the book covers wet-finishing. She is a more careful reader than I, so usually I would take her words for granted, but since this is an important issue for me, I checked three times and I still can't find it. But it could be there. I agree with everything else she said.

2 comments:

  1. I thought the book was full a pretty pictures, some inspiring color combos, but yes definately lacking I borrowed it from the local library. You're absolutely correct in stating that Betty Davenport remains the authoritative voice on simple weaving, I have both Hands On and Patterns & Textures love them both, use them both way more than I should by now, but I do. I would also recommend, Plain weave is anything but Plain.
    http://halcyonyarn.com/books-by-name.php?item=52013000&title=Plain+Weave+is+Anything+But+Plain

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  2. Just just got the last one after being reminded of it on your blog. It's a good one, but I do like books with pictures. Especially when I'm learning stuff. Ergo the Davenport vote.

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