Halcyon has a book club. Did you know? I had't read her newsletter emails for a while because I've been so busy, but I had to register right away. And there's is a Handweaver's Pattern Directory!! Save me, Weaving Goodess, not only am I poor, but I haven't got any room on my bookshelf...
So, weavers, what was/were the first weaving book/s you bought, or were given, do you remember? I bought my first three from Amazon after I test-drove a few from the North Shore Library in August 1995, and they were:
* Sharon Alderman's A Weaver's Notebook,
* Betty Linn Davenport's Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving, and
* Susan Gilmurray's Weaving Tricks (1981)
Alderman's book I liked so much I bought three; I gave one to my mother, and had (and still do) her save the third in her house, just in case mine got lost or damaged. My first copy is pretty tatty now, as it lives under my bed.
Davenport's is still good when I want to look up hand-manipulated techniques, though I haven't done them in a long while. Gilmurray's is a used copy even in '95, and has little notes penciled in by the previous owner/s. It saved me from many predicaments in my early days, and still now I love the drawings and the explanations.
At one point I got New Key to Weaving, and upgraded to Key to Weaving, but I find weaving books without photos or drawing excruciatingly difficult to understand, so it sits in the best position in the bookshelf, and gets pulled out whenever someone refers to it, or I have to learn a new structure and other books fail.
When new weavers ask me to recommend a book, it's been Deborah Chandler's Learing to Weave, except I have to tell them to ignore the Front-or-Back treatise until they've dressed the loom a few times.
Madelyn van der Hoogt's The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers catapulted me from plain weave to multishaft when I recklessly signed up for a Bonnie Inouye workshop in 2002. I love the graphics in this book. I arrived at Weaver's magazine quite late, (in fact, I paid for my subscription and received two copies before they shut it down), so this and their Best Of series give me a taste of the excitement that magazine must have brought to weavers when it arrived in their mailboxes.
Three books I keep carrying around are:
* Bonnie Inouye's Exploring Multishaft Design,
* Alice Schlein's Network Drafting: An Introduction, and, though less frequently,
* Deramay Keasbey's Designing with Blocks
A short while ago I was invited to join an on-line study group of Bonnie's book, and you know I did. For the first time I'm reading beyond Chapter 1, and it's really an excellent book, but I must admit it's the musings, questions and comments by my "classmates" that help me understand the text. Left alone, my eyes would tend to glaze over the text and settle on the drafts. And naturally I'm quite behind in the study group.
The one I had to buy relatively recently is Carol Strickler-edited A Weaver's book of 8-Shaft Patterns from the Friends of Handwoven because everybody around me refers to it, and it's a great gazing book, as well as to learn new structures.
Don't get me wrong. I have heaps more on the bookshelf, and I've justified the purchases because I learned to weave from books, but I never said I read them all. I think I've read ... four of them from start to finish. Others I've started and put then down, or read only pertinent chapters, but I can tell you I have looked at the graphics in all of them enough times that I remember many; it's almost creepy when I go back to a draft or a photograph and can recall exactly when and where I saw it last.
I have enough weaving (and other) books to keep me happy for the rest of my life without requiring additional purchases. At least I can stay happy reading them for the first time for probably a decade. (I'm also a slow reader.) But since I've been good the last few years, I think I might get a couple more this year. And at the top of the list just now are two conflicting choices: Allen A. Fannin's Handloom Weaving Techology Revised Edition (and there's not a lot of graphics to gaze in this tome), or Matisse, His Art and His Textiles: The Fabric of Dreams, which I had a chance to drool over at the local Polytech library. I think I'll get more enjoyment out of the latter, but I'd also like to learn the type of information inside the former.
For now, Bonnie's study group is keeping me busy. I'm reading it, with the assistance of my new friends, and lots of extra "stay behind class" correspondences with Bonnie. I'm so lucky.