Weaving has got to be one of the oldest of human occupations, countless generations have been honing and perfecting their skills across millennia, and continue to do so to this day.
Although industrial weaving now dominates the textile industry, hand weaving is still an important element within the textile world, it has an enviable status and position, and is often considered one of the senior skills within the many that make up the varied textile world.
That hand weaving is still very much with us, still a learnt skill, has much to do with the individuals that have been involved in the hand-weaving world, those who work within hand-production, and just as importantly, those who teach and in teaching, pass on the accumulated skills gathered from seemingly countless generations.
Teaching hand skills in order to bring enjoyment to one generation, and to pass on learnt skills to the next, is an important part of the story of hand craft in any discipline. Without teachers, generational skills would soon shrivel up and die, which is why individuals such as Pattie Graver are so important.
Pattie is a weaver who lives her passion. She sees weaving as being part of the essence of who we are, an integral part of our history, as well as our present-day culture, and therefore in many ways a birth-right to us all, and one that she can share with us if we wish to follow her into the world of weaving.
As a former Managing Editor of Handwoven magazine, Pattie was always well-placed to understand the passionate interest so many in our contemporary world have shown for learning basic, as well as more complex skills involved in hand-production. it is one of the main reasons for the publication of her brand new book Next Steps in Weaving.
This is a book that makes the fundamental practical understanding of weaving, its main drive. It is definitely a technical book, and one that makes the assumption that you have at least some prior knowledge of weaving. As the main title suggests, the book covers the next steps beyond the initial ones of warping up, and answers the often-used question of new weavers, where do I go next?
Pattie has added a useful subheading to her book What you Never Knew you Needed to Know, which very much sums up the emphasis of Next Steps in Weaving. There are main chapters that deal with weave structures and ideas such as twill, color-and-weave, overshot, summer and winter, lace. It also contains a seemingly infinite supply of sub-headings that cover everything that you could possibly want to know about moving forward with weaving projects. Diagrams, color photos, tips, and troubleshooting suggestions also abound, so it would be hard for anyone to lose their way when attempting any of the different sections within Patties book.
Each topic within the book is explained, and then supplemented with instructions for both a woven sample, as well as a more complex project. this is definitely not a book just giving a list of weaving patterns, it is a book that is meant to give you more experience, and with that, more confidence, which inevitably leads to being the springboard for personal projects.
Overall, this is a book for the enthusiastic learner, for the beginner who has passed through the very first initial steps of weaving, and who wants to move fully into the discipline, but it is also a book for those that want to make a connection with the past, as well as to make connections with the future. Pattie has produced an invaluable book that promotes, encourages, and projects her obvious love and affinity towards hand weaving.
This is an invaluable addition to nay hand weaver's reference library, and anyone buying the book will know that with Pattie they are in safe hands.