Monday, February 02, 2015

A Sample and a Book Review

I've been testing a new-to-me loom. I got it years ago! These things take time. First we had to build a room to house it. Then I had to assemble it. Then, and here is where the time got away from me, I had to weave the first sample:


Fire. Handspun pile, a bag front or, actually, a pocket for a leather bag (not yet made, watch this space! wanna lay bets on how long that will take??)

Here is the loom's debut, when I started the sample: two years ago!

knotted pile upright loom

Well, things intervene. I needed to try a sample to A) see how the loom works, and B) check the sett, warp and weft yarns together.

Well, the loom works just fine, so well, in fact that I will be re-homing another upright loom that I have, and using this instead. The sett? Too wide. This is sett at 16 EPI, 8 knots per inch. If you look at the sample, the design is truncated slightly, not square. That big borderline around the center section? Should be square. It's not.

I used two strands of pile yarn for the knots, and it might have been better to use three. But I worried three would have been too much, so I continued and finished this using two strands. It's a sample!

Next up? re-sley and try a sample at 24 EPI, 12 knots per inch. I will do an Actual Sample, little squares with a border, just to see how a single pile yarn works, and then two strands again. I hope this does not take me another two years.... but good things take time.

In the meantime:


I got a new book this week! That's an exclamation point because it's a good book, and I was so excited to see it in print. I met the author Heather a few years ago, at which time she showed us (Abby Franquemont and I)the manuscript for this book. We encouraged her to find a publisher, and luckily, Schiffer Publishing accepted her manuscript and produced this fine book in record time.

This is the kind of book I will keep on my shelf forever: hardbound, it includes a bit of history, culture and traditions in the introductory text, a wonderful gallery of bands and textiles from the Vesterheim Museum, in Decorah, Iowa, and a section on how to weave traditional Norwegian pick-up bands, including pages and pages of graphed patterns.

The section on Norwegian history includes text and photos, describing how the bands were used in Norway, who made them, with illustrations from Vesterheim and the Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo. There are many types of band looms pictured: upright, floor standing, inkle style, and back-strap, using a wooden rigid heddle, many of which are also depicted.

The gallery section has a treasure trove of textiles in close up well-lit shots. A weaver could extrapolate the patterns from many of these, but would not need to, given the number of graphs the author has provided in the how-to section.

The instructions are clear, the illustrations and photographs are very clear and close up. A new weaver could start here, and with a bit of dedication be weaving bands from this book alone.

I'm thrilled to recommend this book: some of the paintings and photos are haunting and evocative, and the whole publication is neat, clean and crisp, like the bands Heather writes about. A truly fine book!

And now? The publisher sent me this copy to review, and I will give it away to one lucky weaver. If you wish to receive the book, leave a comment on this post by Monday February 9th. I'll use a random number generator to pick a winner, announce the winner in the next blog post, and you can send your contact information. Good luck!


Blogger Aubrey said...

Is there a link to buy the actual book?? (I don't win things... LOL)

I love your sample - call it wide screen.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Pat/Ombra said...

Hi, Sara,

Thanks for the intriguing review of a book I hadn't yet
heard of and for the peek at your weaving, which inspires
as always. What make is the new loom, and what is the
one you'll be offloading now? What are you
liking about the new one? Am always curious about
equipment, and find myself thinking about building a
bigger Archie Brennan type loom.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Oh! I did some of that at Vavstuga last summer - it was fun! If I don't win the book, I'll have to get it (and get around to weaving bands). Speaking of gorgeous bandweaving, have you seen the book Eesti Kirivood (Estonian Bands)? Vavstuga has it; go look here:

5:14 PM  
Blogger Gloria said...

Sample is finished! and on to the next. At least you did enough to know that the loom is a keeper. So much to do and it all takes time.
Will the finished sample go on the leather bag?

6:13 PM  
Blogger Devin said...

Well, I feel better for putting things down for a long time before picking them up later to finish them. The book looks FASCINATING!

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Lynn in Boise said...

I got hooked on bands on a trip to Estonia -- would love to see what the Norwegians are up to!

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Marjorie M. said...

I'd love to have a copy of the book, Band weaving seems like fun.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Spinfoolish said...

I would love to win the book, but in case I don't (HAHAHA!!) can you give us a link to purchase it? Thanks for the review!

6:52 PM  
Blogger Loredena said...

OH, I love the sample! And the book looks nifty too, but the sample! :)

7:26 PM  
Blogger Judith said...

Just the other day a friend and I were discussing how long it takes to work through the creative process. We finally came to the conclusion that the main delay was the amount of time it took each step to "age" to the right level of maturity before we could proceed to the next. A good reason for having multiple projects on the go at the same time.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Lainey said...

This book will be a keeper. Isn't the cover itself just beautiful.

8:12 PM  
Blogger ktweaver said...

I had just come across this new book somewhere, and appreciate your review. I haven't added a new book to my library in a while, and this looks like a great choice.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Magpiedyestudio said...

Me! Pick me! Subtle, right? I would love to read about this?

8:41 PM  
Blogger Goatldi said...

Well Miss. Sara it doesn't take a chance to win a weaving book to get me to comment on your wonderfilled blog but it certainly won't hurt ;-) Thank you for a very thought provoking entry.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Freyalyn said...

What an interesting post - and I love your sample. Goodness, what unusual colours for you (snigger...). I don't deserve the book as I still don't do as much braid-work as I'd like to, but an fascinating review. (I like the history stuff)

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Shirley, surely said...

I got an inkle loom from my mother for Christmas/birthday, and I think this would be a nice addition to the growing library for that! I'd definitely like to have a link for the book!

12:04 AM  
Anonymous Mardi said...

Oh, Fire came out gorgeous! Can't wait to see Water.

That Schacht loom is ginormous. An amazing thing. Unicorn loom!

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Lara said...

I would also love to learn more about pick-up traditions, and this new book looks fabulous! Best of luck re-homing your other upright loom, and getting to know the new-to-you loom too

5:18 AM  
Anonymous Shirley spin said...

Thanks for sharing about the new book sounds like a great addition to my library.

7:28 AM  
Anonymous Alice W. said...

I would love to win the Bandweaving book. The past eighteen months, most of my creative fiber pursuits have been weaving narrow warps with tablet weaving or hybrid inkle-backstrap weaving. This book would expand my repertoire.

10:48 AM  
Blogger blopeep said...

I think this is a ploy to see how many of us are reading. :-)

Which reminds me. I should be spinning. Or weaving. Or something.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Jane said...

Pick me!

Thanks for the review; I put this book in my "save for later" cart, pending review from someone I trust. I'm currently working my way through Susan Foults's Sami bands.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I would love to have this book. IYou can never have too many spinning and weaving books, just in case you are trapped in your house for two months.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Marlene Golden said...

I'd love to get this book! It actually is on my Wish List at Amazon.
And your sample is lovely, even if it isn't square!

5:41 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

With that review, I'd love to win a copy. Love your blog. I've been following it for years.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Tobie said...

That book is on my wish list! I would love a copy!

7:18 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I was hooked with the words "this is the kind of book I will keep on my shelf forever!"

9:13 PM  
Blogger Charleen said...

I would love the book too. I have a back-strap loom that would be good to use. I also still have that Turkish upright loom I showed you in the parking lot in the Poconos!! It still sports the sample knots I did upon my return. Guess that's more for my retirement to-do list!

4:58 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

So very cool! This is a must-have for my library.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Um, I guess I forgot the URL

9:09 AM  
Blogger KathyC said...

I've been eyeing this book and was glad to see your review. Winning it would be even better!

9:54 AM  
Blogger Kathy said...

I am happy to see your review of this book. Also happy to see it turning up in the hands of several of our Guild members. Maybe I can win a copy too!
Love your work, and look forward to meeting you in at our Bend Retreat this September.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Michelle Chase said...

This sounds like a wonderful book!

3:42 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

I would love to win this book. I received a braid loom for a birthday present last year and would like to learn more about it.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Janice said...

What fun! With Norwegian ancestors would be great to check out and try these bands!

11:46 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Love to see the book

9:51 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Love to see the book!

9:53 AM  
Blogger Heston Folks said...

Looks like a wonderful book! And Vesterheim is a great place to visit. Decorah is a neat little town, too.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Appreciate the review - I've been seeing bits about the book here and there, but this is the first review I've found.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Appreciate the review - I've been seeing bits about the book here and there, but this is the first review I've found.

10:52 AM  

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