Now those of you that have been around here for a while and know me may recall my horrible allergy to wool and be wondering if I’m smoking crack right now, reviewing a book about something that basically revolves around yarn! I’m not, honest, but sit a while and I’ll tell you how it all went down, and then tell you all about this really cool book.
It all started when the Village Haberdashery posted the cute wee weaving set above on IG just before Christmas as a last minute stocking filler suggestion (bear for scale, that’ll be important later) So I was like, I’m sure I can find something to weave that won’t kill me that will fit in that wee thing, and it’s only £2.50, plus it was the first day of my holiday after I’d finished work for the year and finished cleaning the flat top to bottom so I might have been a little giddy with possibility about what the new year might bring.
And then between the Village Haberdashery and Wool Warehouse I went a leeetle overboard (bear still for scale, and yes, that chartreuse fuzzy stuff and the turquoise loopy stuff is HUGE) I discovered there was LOADS of yarn that wasn’t actually wool (plus a bunch that advertised itself as being something else, but was actually quite a lot wool, and that was annoying, although I didn’t inadvertently buy any). In my mind I’d seen these funky woven hangings on a few people’s IG posts and in magazines and I wanted a go, and they had mixtures of different thicknesses (weights?) of wool so I bought what I guessed was thick and what wasn’t so much and what might have funky textures. The chartreuse and turquoise balls I might have underestimated a smidge… Anywho, I ended up with a bunch of cotton (the wee balls in the middle, plus the purple twist) , and then there’s some t-shirt yarn (the stacked balls at the back) and the rest is a range of acrylic, polyester and blends of them and other stuff, none of which was wool.
Then I promptly forgot I’d ordered it all because the postie has trouble finding my front door at the best of times, and I get everything sent to work, so it wasn’t until I was back in the office on Wednesday nearly 2 weeks later that I collected the 2 big squishy packages from reception, and it wasn’t until that night that I could open it all. Which was the point at which I realised that I was in WAY over my head and then hit up Amazon pronto to find some literature on the subject since I had an Amazon voucher burning a hole in my pocket (I might have gone past the amount on it, but let’s ignore that for now)
I chose 4 books which I’ll review over the next few weeks (turns out one of them isn’t actually published until next month though) and last night I settled down in the bath with the first one, Weave This by Francesca Kletz and Brooke Dennis. There was no particular logic to choosing one book over the next, this just happened to be the smallest and therefore on top of the pile (because I’m OCD and can’t be doing with uneven wobbly piles)
Pretty much every craft book, no matter what the subject, starts with a tools and techniques section, it’s in the rules, and how that section goes down will more or less dictate how I read the rest of the book. For the most part these sections are seriously dry reading, and you can tell that the author just wants to get them out of the way and get onto the fun stuff, ie the projects that they’ve designed and poured their heart and souls into. Not so with this book! The writing was so good and so humorous that I actually read the entire 2 sections end to end (I don’t think I’ve ever done that with a craft book before!)
Now if I ever get to write a craft book, I hope I get to be as whimsical as the author of this one (it’s written by Francesca, but both make the projects). The book was fun reading from cover to cover (and the neighbours might have wondered why I occasionally burst out laughing in the bathroom) It contained many of the types of projects that I was hoping to try and make, gave me an idea of where to start and what to build up to, and pretty much all the projects can be adapted however you wish.
The project pages are quite brief, mainly because they refer back to the extensive techniques section kind of like a recipe, but there wasn’t a point where I read one and thought that I didn’t understand what was required to complete the project. I kind of regretted leaving reading this until Sunday night because I would have leapt right into making all the things, but then I had other things I really needed to finish first and there’s always next weekend…
I should apologise to the authors, now though, although I’d love to make it all from wool, and my wool leftovers from other projects, please see the aforementioned severe allergy to wool, specifically the lanolin in it (which manufacturers also like to sneak onto other animal fibres that don’t naturally produce it because it makes things soft and shiny and waterproof).
*Note that there is an affiliate link to the book on Amazon which will give me a penny or two towards blog hosting, otherwise I have received no compensation for this post.