You may have heard of this book before, especially if you have been around Warped Fibers for a while. The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon is a very well-known pattern book in the weaving world. It also happens to be one of my favorites. Before I give away my review though (!) make sure to keep reading.
A little background info: I have had this book since I started weaving on a floor loom when I was a student. It was a required purchase for my class, but I 100 percent would have purchased it even without the requirement! I use it any time I want to weave patterns on my floor loom. I also recommend it left and right to my students because, yeah, it is that good.
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About the Handweaver’s Pattern Directory
Devoted to 4 shaft patterns this book has so many different types of patterns for you to choose from. It has 256 pages with full-color images of the draw-down for each draft and diagrams at the beginning of each section to help you understand each pattern. That is a really good point that I want to spend another sentence or two on. You can try out these patterns all you want, but actually understanding why they work the way they do makes a big difference in your learning. Real learning (for anything) requires going beyond the surface and getting a little deeper.
Speaking of learning – make sure you check out How To Read A Weaving Draft.
With the large full-color images The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory is really great book to look through and get ideas and inspiration because the images are large and bright. Feeling stuck? Just browse the book and try something new!
The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory is also spiral bound! If you have read my other reviews then you know how much I love spiral-bound weaving instruction books.
Spiral-bound instruction books allow you to lay the book flat and stay open to the page that you need when weaving. This one specifically also has a harder binding over the top of the spiral which makes it so the spiral stays in place. Sometimes with spiral books, it can move a bit and you have to fiddle with it at the top or bottom, but this book does not have that issue.
We do not have time for that.
Check out my other books reviews:
What this book has
Well, pretty much any pattern you can think of that can be done with 4 shafts!
But that is not all!
It also includes information on color theory plus other basic weaving information. The beginning of the book has 17 pages that get you started and ready to weave.
So what are some of the patterns that you can expect to find?
Plain weave patterns
Straight and point drafts
Yeah, this is not all of them.
Plus, all of these are actually categories that have multiple variations in them. So there are tons of patterns for you to try out.
What I wish it had
Nothing is perfect and I would be doing you a disservice if I pretended that this book has no faults. That being said, I am not sure this could really be considered a fault, but something that would have made it even better!
I wish that this book had more information on converting drafts for other types of looms.
This is such a great pattern book but this would make it so that even more weavers could utilize it. It is possible to convert floor loom patterns for table looms and possibly also for rigid heddle looms, but it does not give you information on how to do it.
So is this a deal breaker? Not necessarily, but it is something to keep in mind.
Who this book is and is not for
The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory is a must for anyone with a floor loom who is interested in patterns. The patterns that it contains are varied and that means you are not stuck with just one type of pattern. Even if you think you are only interested in twills, you still have access to all that overshot!
Just looking through this book can inspire you to try out new patterns.
So if you are looking for a way to bring new inspiration to your weaving studio then this could also be a really good book to add to your weaving library. There are so many different patterns and variations to look through that you will not be bored.
While the book does also have some general weaving information about tools, materials, and more I would not recommend buying it just for that.
That is not what this book is for, but instead an extra added bonus for those that are looking to weave patterns.
If you are looking for a book that covers those topics more in-depth then I highly recommend Learning To Weave by Deborah Chandler. You can also check out my full review (also linked above)
Got a favorite weaving book? Wanting a book reviewed before you buy it for your weaving library? Let me know!
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