I love weaving books.
I really do think that every weaver should have their own little library of books to reference, get inspired by, or at least flip through from time to time.
If you are looking for a book on rigid heddle weaving then I will come right out and say that I recommend Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom Syne Mitchell.
Now that you are up to date, I want to tell you why I recommend this book.
Let’s get into it.
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About Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom
Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom is FULL color and 296 pages of information, photos, and ideas.
While I have said in a different weaving book review that flashy is not always what you need, (not to say that this book is flashy) but a bright book in full color is a fun and easy book to get into. It catches your eye and the cover, images, and projects are exciting and inspiring. If you tend to look for books that feel fresh then this is a good option.
With 7 chapters there is plenty of information from the beginning to the end of the weaving process. It is really beginner-friendly and even goes over some of the most popular rigid heddle looms (Schacht, Ashford, Harrisville, Glimakra, and Kromski) that you may come across to help you choose what loom will be right for you.
The chapter titles give you a really good idea of what you are about to get into:
Chapter 1: Welcome to the Warp Side
Chapter 2: Get Set to Weave
Chapter 3: Get Your Weave Thing Going
Chapter 4: Color Theory in a Nutshell
Chapter 5: Slow & Fancy
Chapter 6: Fast & Fancy
Chapter 7: Textural Effects & “Wild” Yarns
I appreciate the fun titles and the fact that this book doesn’t take itself too seriously. I think sometimes weaving books can be a bit dry. Weaving is fun! Weaving books should be fun too and this one fits that well.
What it has
If you are needing to learn how to warp your rigid heddle loom then this is a great book to reference or walk you through the process.
It goes over both the direct warping method using a warping peg as well as warping your loom using a warping board. This also includes troubleshooting for common warping mishaps that may just come along. Solutions for mishaps are always a great thing to see in a book because we all make them.
Another thing that I appreciate about this book is the fact that it gives you multiple options for different parts of the process. For example, you get more than one option when it comes to fixing a broken warp. This can be a great thing because it makes it even less intimidating to know that there is not a one size fits all solution.
A great feature of this book is that it has a lot of different and interesting projects. You will find projects such as woven felted potholders, using painted skeins, multiple lace variations, pick-up stick options, woven shibori, and a lot more.
If you are looking to get even more out of your rigid heddle loom then it also goes over warping 2 heddles for more options. This requires a rigid heddle loom like the Schacht Flip Folding Rigid Heddle Loom that has a built-in spot for a second heddle or purchasing a kit to add a second heddle onto a different loom.
This book doesn’t just stop after the actual weaving is over. It also goes over taking your weaving off the loom, finishing techniques, and even some loom maintenance tips.
Not everything is perfect
I strongly believe that instructional books should be spiral-bound!
While it is by no means a necessity to be a great book, I do think that it is a useful feature that should be utilized more. It can be hard to use this book while you are weaving because it doesn’t stay open or lay flat. Despite that, not having a spiral-bound option would not deter me from purchasing and does not deter me from recommending it.
It would just be nice.
On a different note: while this book does talk about weaving tapestry on a rigid heddle loom it is not a technique that I recommend for that loom.
It is possible, but it is not recommended.
Rigid heddle looms generally don’t have the same sort of power to keep the really tight tension you need for tapestry. I have woven tapestry on a warp that wasn’t super tight and it was… frustrating. So while I agree that you can do it and I don’t disagree with it being discussed in the book, I do wish there was a disclaimer that said that rigid heddle looms are better for other types of weaving.
Who this book is for
If you are new to rigid heddle weaving or looking to expand upon some of your rigid heddle weaving options then Inventive Weaving On A Little Loom is a great book for you. It goes over a lot of different techniques that you may have not even thought possible if you do not have a floor loom. I also think that this book can grow with you as a rigid heddle weaver because it has both simple beginner projects and more complicated and more technical projects that you can work towards.
These types of books are really great because they really make the purchase worth it because you will find yourself going back to it when needing to move on to something new.
If you are not interested in rigid heddle weaving then you can probably skip it. It does have a specific chapter on weaving with color that might interest even non-rigid heddle weavers, so you can keep that in mind. (Interested in weaving with color? check out this post here.) While there are some books that can be useful even if you are not directly interested in that topic, this is one that is probably best left for those that want to weave on a rigid heddle loom.
I did a review on Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler if you are interested in reading a review on another weaving book that I highly recommend.
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