Thursday, May 20, 2010

Interweave Press Books

I was checking out the Interweave Press book sale this morning. To me, they are the absolute last bastion of weaving book publishing, and not a shabby one at that, but a while back I was sad to see a reduction in weaving books and an inverse (is that the word?) increase in knitting publications. Then, beading. Now it appears quilting/mixed media/textile art/art cloth is all the rage. And though these books are very attractive, it's weaving I'm interested in. And if Interweave won't publish weaving books, I'm not sure whom I can count on to continue to produce quality weaving books. (Not to mention the wonderful books on herbs they also had once.)

A casual perusal yields the following numbers of books and magazine back numbers under these categories, though I think some books appear in more than one category:

Beads/Jewelry: 1266
Knitting: 847
Mixed Media: 471 (Some exquisite books in this category.)
Quilting: 427
Sewing: 58
Spinning: 55
Weaving: 65

Their website looks like Opera.com in that they have everything and, for me, a bit too much, but sadly, there is no weaving community.

I'm glad they continue to do well, and I know it's because they develop new markets and are not afraid of "in with the new and out with the old" policy. But as a weaver, I can't help feeling a bit sad.

11 comments:

  1. I completely agree- there is an endless amount of info to explore with weaving, especially in this contemporary art world that is so rich in fiber art right now... If I ever become rich, I will certainly be an Interweave weaving library! It's too bad they seem to be playing it safe with their already established audience, and not bringing new, invigorating ideas and people to the weaving table...

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  2. Meg, you do have to keep your eyes peeled for new weaving books and they are far and few between, but they are out there....I have two newer ones mentioned on my blog today and neither is an interweave press. Not ground breaking techniques but nice books and the scarf one has some interesting drafts.
    Quilting books always seem to be popular and while I would like to see many more weaving titles, I do like some of the mixed media publications.

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  3. Julia, let's hope you do become mega-rich! Then, move to New Zealand where the richest get a low tax rate, and live very near me. Perhaps within walking distance.

    Theresa, whilst I'm rather indiscriminate in the buying department, I'm critical of weaving books, the contents, the explanations, the photographs, and the production value. I think Interweave used to be able to be held very accountable, until Goddess Sharon Alderman's structure book - boy, the printout of all the mistakes could make a short book. So, I knew they were coming to the end of the era with weaving publications, and they have been putting out stuff just to keep us happy, but to me, the contents have dumbed down. And because I can almost never examine a book before I order them from the US, UK or Sweden, weaving book purchases have become a big gamble for me. All this makes me very sad.

    I don't dispute that anything they make tend to be still visually very beautiful. And mixed media books, by most anyone, are very beautiful. But that's not my main primary focus.

    I think there are enough weavers around the world, and that's why endeavors like Weavolution is taking place. There are quite a few special-interest pages on Facebook. But there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of books on paper coming out. Perhaps we/you are too technically savvy?

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  4. Hi Meg!

    Someone forwarded your comments to me, and I first want to say, I'm really glad you have appreciated Interweave books. There are two coming out soon, one of theme I think you will especially like, Doubleweave by Jennifer Moore.

    I have other good news for you, too which is that in June, our community website will open (www.weavingtoday.com). Keep an eye out for it.

    There is a huge difference between the number of knitters and the number of weavers, which is really the reason for the difference in the number of books for both groups. We are seeing a current really exciting growth in weaving, though, which is a good sign for the future of weaving books.

    Madelyn van der Hoogt

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  5. Yes, Madelyn, Weaving Today, YES!! And an increase in weavers, well, that's a whopping fantastic news! Thank you very much for letting us know!

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  6. PS. My comparison of Weavolution to Opera.com; I understand Weavolution was modeled after Ravelry, (and I know nothing about Ravelry,) I guess it's a natural progression for those weavers who have been in both places. Buy, boy, to this simpleton, there are too many clickable buttons on both places.

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  7. Meg,

    How is postage to NZ? I'm always willing to put a book out on loan if there is something in my library you would like to see before you buy. Since it easy for me to get most books, I have a pretty good current library and the offer is always open.

    T

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  8. Oh, thank you, Theresa. But the answer is, very expensive. So, thanks you for the thoughts.

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  9. Oh dear. I discovered a couple of the mistakes in Mastering Weave Structures (which I adore) for myself, but I didn't know it was THAT bad. I guess I will have to look for the errata sheet. On their website, is it?

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  10. Yes, here, Trapunto: http://www.interweave.com/corrections/be_mast_weave_struct.asp

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  11. I had the very first edition/printing. The web site says with each printing, some (?) of the errors have been taken out.

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