Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Weaving a Life"

This book has been in our Guild library for some time.  How interesting can a weaver's life be, right?  Enough to write 200+ pages about AND an index?  So, I had to read it.

Well, I'm glad I read it.  A rather easy read, and totally not what I anticipated.  Did you know that Mary didn't begin weaving until she was nearly 40 years old?

Her childhood life was quite affluent by my standards.  Being a child in the early 1900s she and her siblings were tutored at home.  Maids, cooks and nannies were a part of her upbringing.  

The majority of this book is written from Mary's notes, with her voice.  It follows her life before weaving, journeying through jungles, mountains and deserts following her engineer husband.  

She was quite good at mathematics.  This skill she finally used when weaving was introduced to her.  Later, she went through the Philadelphia, PA museums documenting weaving patterns and writing her book " The Shuttle-craft Book of American Hand-Weaving" ISBN 0-916658-43-0 .  Mary went on to write a mystery book (I haven't yet read), and a few other weaving books.  

I have a special love for old coverlets.  Mary's little red book, my edition is 1951, is thoroughly read.  Right now I'm working in the overshot section, the double-orange peel is one of my favorite designs, for the K-D Structure Study Group.  I thinking about using  this design for my samples.  

I highly recommend reading this book.  Mary Atwater is a good example of what many women have done through the centuries - reinventing themselves.

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