eBook version of Inventive Weaving

The ebook version of my rigid-heddle book, Inventive Weaving, is on sale during the whole month of November for $2.99. Which is something like 90% off. Please help spread the word because I don’t want anyone who’d like to take advantage of this offer to miss out.

What’s happening is that Storey’s added my book to their Fresh Picks selection this month, along with books on cooking, solar panels, and electric fences. All of these are available in 5 different ebook formats.

If you’re new to ebooks, you don’t have to have a Kindle or iPad to read them. You can download a free app (Windows or Mac) that makes it possible to read the ebook on your computer or on other devices. For example, I buy Kindle-format books from Amazon, but usually read them on my phone or iPad.

And finally, Here’s the link to the Kindle version of Inventive Weaving.



Emmy’s New Home

This past Thanksgiving I had an adventure. I spent the day with my family, then bright and early on Friday, hopped in my car and drove from Seattle, WA to Mountain View, CA. A thirteen-hour, one-way road trip, by myself, in Black Friday traffic.

What would induce me to do such a crazy thing? Why a new loom of course! I was driving down to purchase Tien Chiu’s 40-shaft AVL Production Dobby Loom. She’d stopped using it since getting a Jacquard loom, so I was happy to get it out of storage and give it a new home.

Driving down was amazing. The parking lot of every mall I passed was entirely full. The only highway traffic I ran into was three lanes slowed down so much that I thought I had reached the inspection point to cross into California. Nope! All that traffic was from people trying to get into and park in an outlet mall. Yikes!

This is why I don’t shop in Black Friday sales. Though the irony that I was spending all day in the car the day after Thanksgiving to go buy something was not lost on me.

Ruth Temple and her wife Lise, generously offered me crash space for the night. I was supposed to get in around 8pm, but with one thing and another (I drive slow and sometimes get lost) I ended up there around midnight. Ruth was very kind and offered me a bed and a cup of herbal tea. I mumbled something like “You are a goddess of generosity” and passed out.

The next day, Ruth offered to help me pack and move the loom, which is a substantial gift of time and labor considering the many parts of an AVL loom. I generally have a hard time accepting help, but this time I gratefully accepted.

We dropped by Tien’s house to pick up keys to the storage facility. Right after Thanksgiving is when Tien does her massive chocolatiering for charity, which was fun to see in progress. Many hands packaging tasty things. If you ever have a chance to buy a loom from someone the same weekend that they’re finishing up creating 80 pounds worth of gourmet chocolates, do so. Tien generously gave us some samples of the goodies and they tasted as wonderful as they look on her blog.

The last question I asked about the loom was whether it had a name. Tien said that she’d named it Emmy, after Emmy Noether, a mathematician known for her landmark contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics. I usually like to come up with my own names for looms, but I like this one. It may stick.

Packing the car was…interesting. The question was, can you pack a 40-shaft, full-frame loom into a mid-sized SUV? The answer was, yes, barely.

Ruth excited that it all fit in the car

As you can see, Ruth and I were both happy that it all fit in the car. There may even have been happy dancing involved.

Then another 13+ hour car trip home! This time I stopped and spent the night in Grant’s Pass, OR, because the road was getting icy and slushy. Had a good night’s sleep and then the guys unloaded the pieces and parts into my studio.

Next step?  Assembly…


That’s only part of the loom. The compu-dobby and other e-lift aren’t pictured. Good thing I like puzzles!

Why you don’t let your cat help you warp

Maru got excited while I was warping the last of the blanket warp. Given half a chance, he’d run into my studio and full-on attack the warp. Grabbing paw-fulls, and raking it with his back claws.image

Needless to say, he got booted. Not only for the sake of the warp, but for his own. The barbs on a cat’s tongue mean that they can’t spit out yarn. Once they get it in their mouth, they have to keep eating it. Which can lead to wads of yarn in their stomach and other intestinal woes.

So if you have kitties, keeping them away from yarn is a very good thing. Since we got Maru, my studio has been almost pathelogically clean (yarn-wise, anyway.)

I’m currently working on the mending of the blanket. It’s taking longer than I’d like, but that’s how things usually go.

Today’s weaving tip: If a warp thread breaks, fix it immediately. Don’t tell yourself that you’re close to the end and can just weave it in after the cloth is off the loom; you’re not that close to the end.

Cutting off the Birthday Blanket warp

This is what 9 yards looks like, wound onto the cloth beam.image

This is the third warp. I’ve woven 27 yards for this project. The next step is mending, in which I fix any errors and skips in the fabric.

There are a non-trivial number of errors, but not as many as I feared there would be. When I started this project, an experienced weaver told me that it’d be impossible to weave — that all of the different threads, with their varying sizes, fibers, and amount of stretch would create bad tension.

There were only a few threads that needed special handling, those were easily dealt with using some additional weights.


The weights I’m using there are brass weights with hooks on the top. I got them from American Science & Surplus several years ago and find all kinds of uses for them in the fiber arts.

I’m actually looking forward to the mending. It’s symbolic of forgiving and fixing my own errors and flaws.


I was recently interviewed about my work and Inventive Weaving on episode 176 of the Craftsanity podcast.

If you want to know more about the story behind the book, give it a listen. It’s a great way to pass the time while threading a loom, which is what I was doing when I played it.

It was tremendous fun chatting with Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood on the phone, and it reminded me how much I loved talking to other artists when I was producing Weavecast.

So much so that I’ve revamped the Weavecast website, separating it out from the now-archival WeaveZine site.

I also plan to produce new episodes, not at the monthly cadence I did before. But quarterly.

In other publication news, I recently heard from my editor at Storey that Inventive Weaving is going into a second printing! That means people are finding and enjoying the book. A big thank you to everyone who’s reading the book and recommending it to friends.

After spending years weaving and writing for a book, it’s great to have that book find its audience.

Happy Weaving!

Book release day: Inventive Weaving

For previous book releases, I’ve made a pilgrimage to the local bookseller to take a celebratory picture standing next to the book on the shelves.

With my time almost completely taken up with working at Google and spending time with my family, I’m not sure when I’ll have time to get to a local yarn or book store. So if you see a copy out in the wild, give it a pat for me, will you?

Cover for Inventive Weaving

This book is the culmination of four years of work, research, weaving that went well, weaving that didn’t, fear, day jobs, procrastination, more work, and heroic efforts on the part of my editor.

I hope you like it.

P.S. Got my 30 minutes of novel writing in yesterday and today. By the skin of my teeth today, but done!

Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival

My new book, Inventive Weaving, is scheduled to be published tomorrow, though I know that some folks who attended Rhinebeck or pre-ordered the book on Amazon have already gotten their hands on copies.

This upcoming weekend I’ll be promoting the book at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival, in The Dalles, Oregon. It’s one I’ve never been to and I’m interested to explore it. There are some great teachers there. Friday afternoon, I’m taking the Knit Smart class taught by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Friday, from 4pm-7pm, I’ll be participating in a book signing with all the luminaries teaching at the festival.

Saturday, I’ll demo weaving overshot on a rigid heddle loom from 11:00-11:45, near the registration desk.

Linda Gettman, one of my former students, is teaching rigid-heddle classes at the festival . I’m so proud of her! If I teach someone to weave, and they go on to teach others, does that make me a weaving grandma?

And yes, today’s 30 minutes of novel writing are done!

Reviewing Page Proofs for Inventive Weaving

This summer, I spent time in Seattle coffee houses and libraries going through the page proofs of my forthcoming book: Inventive Weaving.

Editing page proofs

This is the step in the publishing process where all of the photos and text are laid out as they will be in the finished book, and the author gets to go through and catch any little errors that have crept into the manuscript.

It’s an exciting time, the first time you see your book in print. I held by breath as I first opened the big envelope from the publisher. The team at Storey did a wonderful job with the layout, coming out with some innovations I’d never seen before, like running swatches of the fabrics along the outside edges of the pages to make the book easier to scan.

Page proofs for Inventive Weaving

The photos of the projects and stacks of fabrics were gorgeous. Seeing the page proofs is the first time you think to yourself: “This book is really going to happen.”

It’s also a lot of work. As the author, you have to go through the book word-by-word and image-by-image, scanning for errors, no matter how small. This is the last chance you’ll have to fix them.

After many long hours of review, I mailed a PDF of my changes to Gwen, my editor. After Storey incorporated my fixes, I took another look. I’ve published books before, I know that no matter how careful you are, no matter how many times you review the copy, some errors will slip through.

But right now, I don’t see them.

What’s up with the WeaveZine website?

WeaveZine LogoIt’s not dead, just pining for the fjords…. WeaveZine was down for about a week recently and I’ve been asked questions about that.

I was moving WeaveZine to a new host, and making some improvements to the site at the same time. There was a snafu with the DNS switch-over and the site was offline for 6-ish days, instead of the planned 48 hours.

Sorry about that. The good news is that the site is back up and stable. It’s easier than ever to navigate, and is more protected from spammers.

I think I even managed all the changes without breaking any links. If that’s not true, tell me which link is broken and I’ll set up a redirect to fix it.

This move makes WeaveZine cheaper to keep online and easy to maintain as an archive site. I made the change so I could keep this content online for the foreseeable future.

I’m proud of what WeaveZine was and of all the work the authors put into the content. Re-reading the articles as part of this update got me inspired to weave all over again.

Happy to keep the archives online for both you and me.

And I’m glad to learn that people are still finding the content useful. That’s really cool to hear four years after the magazine ended publication.

Happy Weaving!


First Birthday Blanket Warp Done!

End of the WarpIt’s a banner day, the first of two warps for the Birthday Blanket Project are done!  Eric and Kai were away for most of the week, and I took the opportunity to weave on my big noisy AVL (the flyshuttle is loud) while they were away.  At first it felt as though the 13-yard warp would go on forever, but at long last it is done!  Huzzah!  Lessons learned include: Continue reading