TEXT: REBECA SCHILLER
Much of what we cover in HAND/EYE is the work of established textile artists who have been weaving, knitting, sewing embroidering since they were very young. When I was contacted by the publisher of Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom by Syne Mitchell, I was interested in taking a look at the book and determine whether it would be beneficial for readers who have been fooling around with the idea of learning how to weave.
The first three chapters of Inventive Weaving covers quite a bit of ground from selecting the perfect loom, acquiring the accompanying tools, selecting yarn, weaving terminology and preparing the loom, as well as how to correct snafus along the way.
Mitchell provides a great overview of the various Rigid-Heddle looms that are available with an explanation of the parts. Each type is illustrated and comes with both the up and downsides to each loom. Her favorite is the Schacht Flip, which she uses as her teaching loom. Once you’ve determined the loom you want to use, Mitchell goes on to describe all the other tools you’ll need move forward.
Chapter Four’s Color Theory in a Nutshell is my favorite. Mitchell explains the language of color, how to combine them in weaving project by getting the proportions correct. She illustrates the combination of color between the interplay of weft and warp.
There are sections that to a beginner might appear intimidating, for example, designing warp-wise stripes using mathematical theories like the Fibonacci sequence or even Morse code patterns! But don’t close the book, she also shows a simpler way to design stripes by picking yarns you want to work with and winding them around a narrow flat object to build a representation of the stripe pattern you’re considering.
Like many how-to books, Mitchell provides easy to follow patterns from simple scarves using one color for those who are just beginners. For more ambitious weavers, sophisticated designs like woven shibori are included. Each of the projects includes numbered steps with illustrations that show what the fabric should look at during each stage.
Does Inventive Weaving make me want to set aside my crochet hook? A resounding yes! Mitchell has written the go-to resource for weavers of all levels that also provides ideas to inspire you to go beyond the beginner level.