You can tell a lot about a person by looking at her bookshelf.
My mother loved books. She was a writer after all. She had shelves of histories. She had shelves of dictionaries (biographical, quotation, geographical, biblical, your standard Webster, and more). She had shelves – and shelves! – of cookbooks, because as a food writer, she researched – a lot! She had so many books that the auctioneer was overwhelmed—literally.
I have inherited my mother’s love of books. I look around me and I have shelves of histories, an interest my husband also shares. I have shelves of books by Wisconsin authors, some friends of my mother’s, some I know by reputation only. But my favorite shelves are those of fiber books!
I still have my green-covered A Handweaver’s Pattern Book by Marguerite P. Davison, a classic I bought when I first started weaving. Right up there next to that is my copy of A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns ed. by Carol Strickler. I did pass along my Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler to a friend who was just starting and I hope she got as much out of it as I did.
Beside these sit books on early weaving manuscripts, and yes, more histories of weaving.
Sometimes I buy books on techniques that intrigue me, but I have yet to go beyond reading the book. Tapestry is one of those. I have two books called Tapestry Weaving, one by Kirsten Glasbrook and one by Nancy Harvey, both of which I have pored over and dreamed through. Someday…
Then there is Weaving as an Art Form: A Personal Statement by Theo Moorman—another classic—and More on Moreman by Heather Winslow. Both very inspiring and worthy of a reread.
And these are just some of the weaving books! There are also books on spinning, books on knitting, and a few on book-making. Handmade art books are so amazing!
Inspiration is right there in front of me. All I have to do is pull a book off the shelf and fall in!
What does your bookshelf say about you?
(For those of you who are interested, I’ve included a bibliography. Some of the books are out of print but you may be able to find them in your local library or on line. There are many other books on my shelf that I didn’t mention. Explore your shelves and see what you can find!)
Davison, Marguerite Porter (1944) A Handweaver’s Pattern Book. Swarthmore, PA: Marguerite P. Davison, Inc.
Glasbrook, Kirsten (2002) Tapestry Weaving. Turnbridge Wells, Kent, England: Search Press
Gordon, Judith (1995) American Star Work Coverlets. New York, NY: Design Books
Harvey, Nancy (1991) Tapestry Weaving: A Comprehensive Study Guide. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press
Heinrich, Linda (2010) Linen: From Flax Seed to Woven Cloth. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
Hersh, Tandy and Charles (2001) Rural Pennsylvania German Weaving 1833-1857. Carlisle, PA: Tandy and Charles Hersh
Jarvis, Helen N. (1989) Weaving a Traditional Coverlet. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press
Kurtz, Carol S. (1981) Designing for Weaving. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press
Lamb, Sara (2013) Spin to Weave: A Weaver’s Guide to Making Yarn. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press
Meek, Kati Reeder (2000) Reflections From a Flaxen Past: For Love of Lituanian Weaving. Alpena, MI: Penannular Press International
Moorman, Theo (1975) Weaving as an Art Form: A Personal Statement. West Chester, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
Oelsner, G.H. (1952) A Handbook of Weaves. New York, NY: Dover Publications, Inc.
Safner, Isadora M. (1985) The Weaving Roses of Rhode Island. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press
Strickler, Carol (1987) American Woven Coverlets. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press
Strickler, Carol, editor (1991) A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press
Thompson, Marjie, Kathleen L. Grant, and Alan G. Keyser. Forgotten Pennsylvania Textiles of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Cumberland, ME: The Linen Press
Wertenberger, Kathryn (1988) 8, 12…20: An Introduction to Multishaft Weaving. Loveland, CO: Interweave Press
Winslow, Heather Lyn (1994) More on Moorman: Theo Moorman Inlay Adapted to Clothing. Sugar Grove, IL: Heather Winslow
My collection would probably fit well with yours. I feel blessed to have weaving, pattern making and dressmaking books in my reference library. I love the old Swedish weaving books for their illustrations, wide range of cloths and the reminders of what a woman’s role was a generation or two ago. I’m lucky to be able to choose to go to work and not be constrained to home-based work by my gender.
And it’s fascinating to see how tastes changed over the years. You can almost tell the copyright date by the designs!
Yes, that’s true. The other thing I love about the older books is the hand drawn illustrations. The Big Book of Weaving is a stand out on that front as the drawings are so clear. It’s not always possible to get that degree of clarity in a photo.
I covet your weaving library! I have a few of the books you show and love them–Davison, one of the coverlet books, the big linen book, and I still need my Chandler! When I went to Vavstuga for weaving class, one of the things I was most impressed with was the library they had. They had one collection in the dorm, for us to use during our down time, and another in the weaving studio! I could’ve spent the whole week just looking through books!
What a great environment–surrounded by fiber and books!
Thistle Rose Weaving said:
Jean, you and I have similar libraries in our weaving studio. I am always on the lookout for new to me weaving books as well as history books about the Renaissance which is my other passion. As a child if I wanted an answer to something instead of my parents telling me what ever it was I wanted to know they would take us to the library. It is second nature to me to learn something by reading about it. Reading for education and entertainment is and always has been where I am happiest.
Yes, in our house too. “Look it up!” was the answer if I asked what something meant. I think if I could have chosen any other major in college, it would have been library science.
You have quite the collection! I love books too…I have a book club on fb and a fb group for craft now too about a month old!😊…my new blog will have plenty of books involved ..and crafts!
I’ll have to keep my eye out for the blog! Thanks for “stopping by”
Are your books still for sale
I’m glad you share a love of books, but no, I have no plans to disperse my library. I use them too much for reference. Perhaps if you looked on Ravelry or on-line used book sellers, you might be able to find some of them.