My Autumn of Textiles and Books on Textiles

Back in March I ordered three patterns for sewing jackets. I felt like sewing and perhaps fiddling around with some hand woven fabric. So far I have one of these multi-sized patterns traced out on freezer paper in preparation for laying out fabric for cutting: the Stitch ‘n Save 5162. It is a lined jacket and has no hems, but is finished with bias binding. I can make my own bias from my stash of quilting fabrics, so I am hoping to try out some of the fabric I weave at a closer 25 sett with the new second heddle blocks I bought for my loom.

I got to thinking about ways to sew with hand woven fabric and decided to use some Christmas money buying a lovely book on weaving clothes and a philosophy incorporating Zen and the attitude of going with what happens and creating. So I have ordered the book Self Discovery Through Free Weaving By Misao Jo & Kenzo Jo. It is only sold through distributors for Saori looms, so is fairly expensive; I’ve been waiting since last year to order it.

I like the casual look to the clothes but I also wanted some more jacket patterns to try with the yardage I weave. I went back to Kwik Sew as I really like their patterns. They are only sold online so I had to place a special order, but I’m considering this part of my Christmas present too. They should drape and go together nicely with woven material.

I am weaving with some knitting yarn I bought last Christmas, which is a blend of cotton and modal (a beech wood fibre.) I wanted to try out a checked warp and play with it as an exploration of colour blending in weaving. I am calling the project Quasimodal Towels, a play on words invented by the spouse. The 110-inch warp will make two or three kitchen towels, or kitchen towels and a fabric for sewing later as a handbag. If I do that I will use my tablet weaving cards to weave a strap for the purse too.

Autumn and the cooler weather has made me interested in both knitting and weaving again. My hand and arm pain has diminished enough that I can do a bit of knitting on small things, so it has been fun. I read a book I’ve had on my bookshelf for months on the history of weaving called Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years by Elizabeth Wayland Barber, which I found to be quite a page-turner and full of theories and examination of historical documents and Indo-European languages.

I also ordered a book in from the library called No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting by Anne L. Macdonald that gave me such feelings of joy, because my Mom used to be a terrific knitter and anything related to knitting reminds me of her. I finished this quickly, ready for the next book. I find with inter-library loans that they all seem to come in at once, leaving me scrambling to finish them in time and assimilate the information.

The newest book I received yesterday on inter-library loan is called The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Ulrich won a Pulitzer Prize years ago for another of her books, and she really packs this one with information and interesting pictures. I have only begun but it feels good to have a history book related to my own creative passions.

Explore posts in the same categories: Books, Sewing, Weaving

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