First, I need to say that I really wish I had my loom back.

I think you’re going to want one, too.

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Tom Knisely’s new book, Weaving Rag Rugs is one of those books that makes you think, “Oh… yeah… THAT’S the thing that I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do!”

The book, if you’ve never woven before, gives you pretty much everything you need (except money for the loom and people to help you set it all up), all the way from first principles (loom types, fabric choice and prep) through the actual weaving process  (warping and weaving) and then to finishing (great section on finishing).

And that’s just the first 50 pages.

The next 77 pages are projects!

And preeeeeety pictures.

Coffee Lover's Rug

Coffee Lover’s Rug

Gradation Stripes 2

Gradation Stripes 2

Pendleton Wool Blanket Strips 2

Pendleton Wool Blanket Strips 2

And a glossary.

If you grew up in a time where rag rugs were there but not noticed, then you’ll probably find this book fascinating. Knisely goes into the history of rag rugs a bit in the introduction and has an easy-going style that informs all the way through, but the book is largely a practical one. He’s quite well-known in the weaving word and with good reason—the book is readable and easy-going and he knows what he’s talking about. That said, the patterns themselves rely on you knowing how to read a weaving-pattern chart (he gives you pretty much everything else), so having a true beginners book (or the Internet) on hand wouldn’t be a bad idea if this is your first warp-ish rodeo.

Most of the projects are for a four-harness loom (though you could do a couple on a two-harness in a pinch) but I think you’d have a tough time using a rigid heddle. They don’t usually have much real estate and the fabric strips, as opposed to fiber/yarn, is bulky.

But don’t let me stop you from getting one. Rigid heddles are gateway looms, and I am a pusher enabler, after all.

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A copy of this book will be on the June 2014 Raffle Page over at CraftLit, so after Midnight June 1st, you can go sign up to win your own copy!

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