how to write music. I am experienced in playing improvisational music on my cello. And I don’t have a problem making up a tune to sing on the spot. But nothing touches the richness of music’s beauty like getting out the Beethoven Sonatas at the piano, or Bach’s Six Suites for the cello, or singing from an old-fashioned hymnal. Likewise, I do know how to write a weaving draft from scratch, but I usually find my starting point in one of my favored weaving books. There are countless designs and dreamy pictures. From simple to extraordinary. Sometimes I follow the instructions precisely. But most often, the improviser in me examines the elements and finds a new version to “play.”
Here are just a few of my favorite weaving books, and a sampling of what they have produced.
Favored weaving books, in no particular order. Do you see a theme? Yes, I like to weave Swedish patterns from Swedish books on my Swedish Glimåkra looms.
Rosepath band with turned rosepath. Lundell, Laila, and Elisabeth Windesjö. “The Big Book of Weaving: Handweaving in the Swedish Tradition: Techniques, Patterns, Designs, and Materials.” North Pomfret, VT: Trafalgar Square, 2008.
Rosepath rag rug. Hallgren, Ann-Kristin, and Monica Hallén. “Älskade Trasmattor: att Väva Som Förr.” Kalmar: Akantus, 2006. (“Beloved Rag Rugs: To Weave As Before”)
My version of this rosepath rag rug makes itself at home in our Texas hill country getaway.
Rosepath rag rug. My very first rosepath rag rug is positioned in a prominent place in our home where it is seen and stepped on every day. Much to my delight. Ignell, Tina, and Catherine Zienko. “Favorite Rag Rugs: 45 Inspiring Weave Designs.” North Pomfret, VT: Trafalgar Square Books, 2007.
Another rosepath rag rug. No end to rosepath rag rug possibilities, it seems. Hallgren, Ann-Kristin, and Monica Hallén. “Alla Tiders Trasmattor.” Akantus Edition, 2007. (“All Time Rag Rugs”)
Rosepath rag rug uses alternating weft colors in the plain weave sections, adding visual texture.
Called “ warp-faced combination weave” in the book. I don’t know what else to call it. I wove this scarf when I didn’t know exactly what I was doing yet. If you see any mistakes, just think of them as “design elements.” Johansson, Lillemor, Charlotta Bosson, Conny Bernhardsson, and Katie Zienko. “Happy Weaving from Vävmagasinet.” Glimåkra: Vävhästen, 2004.
Cottolin twill towels. I have a small sample piece. All the towels I wove are happily drying hands and dishes in homes of family and friends. Björk, Birgitta Bengtsson, Tina Ignell, and Bengt Arne Ignell. “Simple Weaves: over 30 Classic Patterns and Fresh New Styles.” North Pomfret, VT: Trafalgar Square, 2012.
Double binding rag rug. This sweet rug is resting in my Etsy shop, waiting for a new home. Johansson, Lillemor, Pia Wedderien, Marie Rolander, Conny Bernhardsson, and Katie Zienko. “Swedish Rag Rugs: 35 New Designs.” Glimåkra: Vävhästen, 1995.
May you play as much music as you can find.
…and speaking of Etsy! The original
and River Stripe Towels that I wove are now listed in the Table Centerpiece Cloth Warped for Good Etsy Shop. And there may still be one River Stripe Towel Set Pre-Wound Warp Instructional Kit (Workshop in a Box) left! UPDATE: THE KIT HAS BEEN SOLD.