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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!DSCN3998a

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.

There are books on coverlets,DSCN3997a

books on design,DSCN3996a

and books on linen.DSCN3995a

Beside these sit books on early weaving manuscripts, and yes, more histories of weaving.DSCN3990a

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…DSCN3993a

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