I had a bit of birthday money to squander, and so, what’s a girl to do? Why, buy some fiber-loving books, of course. In the past, I have purchased a few books that have not really served me well in terms of the long-haul (more on that in a later post); but my errors have taught me a lot about what I really want on my bookshelf. Here’s a brief review of a few of the volumes I am obsessing over this month.
The Sock Knitter’s Handbook by Charlene Schurch and Beth Parrott
Why I wanted it: I love books that give me options and provide explanations about why I might make one choice instead of another. This book checks all the boxes. It’s not exactly a pattern book or a technique book, but somewhere in between. Most importantly, it contains tons of info about sizing, stitches, repair, construction (top-down and toe-up), and excellent, color photos of many, many heels and toes.
Why I purchased it: It’s an excellent reference guide that will expand my sock-making repertoire and grow with me–offering explanations for the things I already do, and offering options for ways to shake things up.
Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler
Why I wanted it: My dear partner, Spencer, has taken to weaving like a fish to water and I want to encourage him to keep at the loom and have some fun while doing it. That means that I’m usually in charge of the behind-the-scenes learning and pattern deciphering that allows him to weave-on! And, once I finally get a shot at the loom–which will be years from now methinks–I want to be prepared to weave! Finally, I just like learning new things and I find weaving to be challenging to understand. Hopefully this book will educate me, as it’s a textbook-like read that does not teach via patterns. Instead, the focus is on technique.
Why I purchased it: As with the next book on this list, my local library does not have a lot of weaving books on hand–what?! you may ask! So, no hope of borrowing as needed. Plus, and more importantly, these weaving books are essential reference material that I would want by my loom in a permanent-kind-of way.
The Handweaver’s Pattern Dictionary by Anne Dixon
Why I wanted it: See above . . . but also, and in the case of this book, my guild-mates Debbie and Beth wholeheartedly recommended it. I can see why. This book is a treasure trove of patterns, 600 to be exact, for a 4-shaft loom. As Beth pointed out in my first pattern-reading lesson, with our treddle tie-ups, we can weave many, many different twill patterns and that’s just the beginning.
Why I purchased it: Again, see above re: library lack. But also, this book is the kind of refernce that you want to have with you while you learn and when you think you have accomplished a lot on the loom. Just ask, how lobg would 600 patterns take me?
“Bulky” Ply Magazine’s 13th fabulous issue
Why I wanted it: Three words: I Love PLY. I have a subscription, so as far as purchasing, this was a no-brainer. But more than automated mail-delivery led me to include this issue here. PLY has a way of focusing on specific topics that is unique and really, really helpful. Other issue themes have included “BFL” “Woolen” “Color” and “Fine”; and for many of us, “Bulky” is something we used to spin, but don’t often spin any longer. It’s a great challenge, as it turns out, and this issue provides all the tips and tricks for getting (back) into bulky yarns and loving every spinning moment.
Why I purchased it: I am an indie-magazine geek and I love supporting small businesses, such as PLY and Taproot. If you know of other indie crafty magazines, please post in the comments so we can all share the love.