Well, weaving friends . . . it’s that time of year! While some of you may be preparing for tomorrow‘s Pins and Needles Day . . . (Which sounds like a fiber-ly kind of event, huh?) . . . I’m getting ready for Thanksgiving. (By the way, Pins and Needles Day really does fall on November 27th and its purpose is to commemorate the opening of the pro-Labor play Pins and Needles on Broadway in 1937.)
Anyway, this year I want to share with my weaving friends a weaving book I’m thankful for . . . G.H. Oelsner’s book A Handbook of Weaves. This book was originally published by the Macmillan Company in 1915. Best of all, its content has held up beautifully over the years. It’s a book I turn to frequently as a reference when I’m weaving and writing.
This is a book for weavers serious about learning about weaving. It contains over 2,200 patterns; however, there are no projects and only a handful of drafts that can be readily embraced. Never fear . . . later in this post I’ll tell you what you can do to help clarify the multitude of patterns inside its pages.
Why do I like this book? Well, it explains a lot about weave structures and the terminology. For example, below are a few examples:
At first glance inside this book, you may not think there’s much to intrigue a weaver to keep reading. There are some drafts in the book that are fairly straight forward. Here are a couple of examples:
But, what about the other patterns that need more time and effort to understand how to weave them? Well, you can head over to www.handweaving.net. (Another great resource for weavers with nearly 60,000 drafts on-line.) Anyway, if you want to look at the Oelsner drafts in a more familiar format, you can search for them. You can even specify a minimum and/or a maximum number of shafts and treadles. The image below shows you what the search screen by book, category, or keyword looks like.
I remember slogging through Oelsner as a young weaver. With access to complete drafts, I could have accelerated my learning by compare-and-contrast. So what looks like this in Oelsner . . .
Can be easily viewed at handweaving.net
Here are a couple more examples . . .
Draft 1090 from Oelsner as it appears on handweaving.net
Draft 1715 from Oelsner
Draft 1715 from Oelsner as it appears on handweaving.net
Hopefully, I’ve intrigued you enough to download this favorite resource of mine and start working through it. The entire book is 414 page long, so I hope you have a good internet connection. If not, there’s also the choice to download it in sections. Below is the download link.
If you don’t have a great internet connection, this book (along with others) may be purchased on CD from handweaving.net.
Enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!