Welcome to what I hope will be the first in a series of Saturday Giveaway posts!
ENTRIES NOW CLOSED – Please come back next Saturday for round 2!
In a recent round of redecoration, I realised that I have more books than I can store. Also, I have some books that I am no longer going to use, or (in one or two cases) are duplicates. I'm planning to do a quick, honest review of each in turn, and pass them on to new homes. [Note: These are not paid reviews. No-one has asked me to do this, or sent me free copies for review. I just thought it would be a fun way to redistribute some of my excess acquisitions!]
To enter, leave a comment on THIS post. (If you're not interested in winning the book but still wish to comment, feel free to say so!) I will select a winner by means of a super-sekrit process, and announce the result by Tuesday night at the latest. This draw is open to readers from all over the world, so please, join in!
What is today's giveaway?
Today, I'm giving away a single copy of The Ashford Book of Weaving for Knitters:
My copy of this book was bought several years ago, but it is in as-new, unmarked condition, and would be perfect as a gift.
What is it?
This softback book contains 25 scarf projects, suitable for a beginning weaver using a rigid heddle loom, such as the Ashford Knitter's Loom. It was written as a companion to the knitter's loom, and is designed to inspire knitters to use the yarns they already know (and possibly own!) in weaving.
The book is squarely aimed at knitters who want to have a go with a loom: the projects use knitting yarns, and are presented in a 'recipe' style format that will be familiar to people who are used to following a knitting pattern. All the patterns use plain (tabby) weave, which is exactly what a rigid heddle produces (unless you use two heddles, of course!).
The patterns range from the slightly crazy to the rather elegant. Because the weave structure is the same for all the scarves, the yarns themselves are the focus of each design.
What do I like best?
This book does a great job of showing how some very different knitting yarns can be used in weaving, and would definitely be inspiring to a new weaver! From full-on colour to texture-only (I think the white-on-white scarf, demonstrating a subtle use of eyelash yarn in the warp is my favourite in the book), there is probably a style to suit everyone here.
Various different ways to design around a yarn are introduced, including warp stripes, weft stripes, some colour-and-weave effects and using self-patterning sock yarn to create it's own 'faux ikat' effect.
Finishing and fringing techniques are also covered in the beginning of the book, as well as useful information on topics like warping with two colours, how to fix a broken warp thread, and weaving with a sticky warp. I'm particularly delighted these last two are included, as these are both things that could have a new weaver with no teacher or mentor crying tears of frustration and cutting a perfectly good project off the loom.
What do I like least?
I always feel slightly awkward when a book promotes a brand heavily, and that's definitely the case here. The book doesn't make it clear enough, in my mind, that any rigid heddle loom could be used to weave these designs, and it also promotes Ashford's own Tekapo yarn (which I've never seen in a shop outside New Zealand) very strongly.
It's also a shame that no warping instructions are given with this book. However, the loom does come with its own how-to instructions, and other looms are subtly different, so maybe that's not a big flaw.
It would have been nice to have one or two scarves which used a technique other than plain weave throughout. Pickup would have been an ideal choice to include, with its potential for placing a pattern or a name on the end of a scarf.
Finally, a lot of the designs in the book have a 'young and funky' feel. That's a great audience to be aiming at for new knitters, but a bit more elegance and restraint would be welcome too, I feel.
Why am I giving this book away?
I am confident enough in my weaving design skills not to need this book any more. It teaches more about combining yarns than about weaving itself, and I love the thought of it going to a new home where it can make a novice knitter's eyes light up at all that lovely potential.