A book review written for the Cut Out and Keep blog, originally published here.
Weaving Un-loomed, is the new e-book from craft blogger Diane Gilleland covering simple but clever tricks, techniques and projects for weaving without a loom.
The book is aimed largely at the absolute beginners audience, albeit a craftily experienced one. Presuming as it does that its readers have never weaved before but are familiar with a variety of craft techniques. Reader beware, if you don’t own a sewing machine then choose your projects carefully.
Like many of the current trend in craft books it seeks to over throw the image of weaving as a stuffy craft, requiring a cumbersome and expensive loom. Instead it emphasises the wide variety of creations that can be woven and materials that can be used. Everything from magazine page strips to embroidery thread to ribbons and burlap.
The first chapter of the book is devoted to explaining the four main elements of weaving and why they’re important. It keeps things simple and the explanations are short and succinct, avoiding any unnecessary jargon or technicalities. There’s also a helpful section with illustrations to show different ways of combining colours to create different patterns and how the weaving itself can be manipulated to create a variety of effects.
The book then plunges straight into the projects, with no messing around making little practice squares that you’ll never find a use for, starting with an easy project and then working up through the skill levels. Which means after your first attempt is finished you’ve actually got something practical you can use. Admittedly one tablemat may seem a bit pointless, but making a set gives you plenty of chances to practice and get the hang of the technique. The skill levels themselves are quite straight forward, dividing the book into ‘easy’, ‘moderate’ and ‘a bit of a challenge’.
The projects’ instructions come in two versions; first the instructions are laid out in short paragraphs each with an illustrative photograph and helpful sidebars with tips. Secondly there’s a ‘printer-friendly’ version that can be easily packed in the knitting bag to take with the reader as they craft on the move or just away from the computer.
A nice touch, for people who don’t want to shell out for the full book when they aren’t getting an actual physical book in return, is that the five projects included in the book are available to buy individually for $2.95. Which is ideal for the more experienced weaver who’s just after some new ideas and inspiration.
Overall it’s a colourful easy to read and follow book, and I’m rather looking forward to trying out the woven appliqué technique in particular.