This from the Handweavers Guild of America publication, Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot, Fall 2008, a review of my book:
by Carol James.
Self-published, 140, 4u3 Notre Dame, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2H 0C1, Canada.
2008. Soft cover. 64 pages. $19.95
Described as “an illustrated beginner’s guide including detailed patterns and common mistakes,” this book is the perfect introduction to the ancient art of fingerweaving. Also known as ceinture fléchée or free end braiding, fingerweving has been used by American Indians, First Nations Peoples, and French-Canadians to make sashes, straps and belts.
In fingerweaving, the warp and weft are continuous: one becomes the other to produce a warp-faced fabric. This many-stranded braiding technique takes us beyond the summer camp lanyard experience. James guides the reader from a beginner’s friendship bracelet through more complex patterns, and finally to the traditional designs of diamond, flame, arrowhead, Acadian, and Assomption.
The book includes clear drawings with numbered step-by-step instructions. James includes a line drawing of her plan for a comfortable fingerweaving set-up, and she explains issues to help the weaver produce an evenly tensioned band. Just-in-time terminology accompanies clear photographs of the process and the product. Hints for troubleshooting and solutions to potential problems prevent the weaver from going astray, and finishing instructions are included.
A collection of patterns includes step-by-step instruction and photographs, along with pattern descriptions, rules to follow, and pitfalls to avoid. The book ends with a selection of pattern graphs and a glossary.
This book will appeal to anyone interested in historical textiles and braiding, along with fiber enthusiasts interested in simple, meditative techniques. Weavers interested in “back to basics” will find this book delightful.
Reviewed by Elaine Bradley
Shuttle Spondle & Dyepot: Fall 2008