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Susan Kesler-Simpson is passionate about fiber arts and breaking down complex weaving techniques so that even beginners can learn the basic concepts. She is the author of the successful Overshot Simply, Shadow Weave Simply, and Creative Treadling with Overshot, and she has a BS and MA in clothing, näytä lisää textiles, and design from the University of Nebraska. She enjoys teaching weaving and working in other crafts such as knitting, spinning, and crocheting. She resides in Danville, Pennsylvania. näytä vähemmän

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Crackle Weave Simply: Understanding the Weave Structure is the latest in Susan Kesler-Simpson’s collection of books introducing the beginning weaver to classic weave structures.

In Chapter One, Susan Kesler-Simpson explains what she believes is special about the crackle structure including how it got its name, the use of color and how it fits into modern life. She provides her goals for the book and sequence of exploration.

In Chapter Two, “Understanding Crackle Weave: Four Shaft Loom,” she introduces the reader to crackle weave as a block weave in which each block is a 4-thread point twill. After presenting the threading for each of the four blocks, she explains how to combine the blocks with the use of an incidental thread to transition from one block to the next. As classic crackle treadling follows the same block composition as the threading, this information is re-stated in the treadling section. She demonstrates how a different arrangement of your tie-up will change the look of the cloth with a series of drawdowns. She continues to explain how to read a profile version of a crackle draft, substitute the threading blocks and add the incidentals to obtain the full draft. This information is well laid-out and should be understandable to anyone reading this book.

Chapter Three, “Understanding Crackle Weave: Eight Shaft Loom,” expands upon the information given in the previous chapter following the same format. With eight shafts, you move from four possible crackle weave blocks to eight. The threading and treadling for each of these additional blocks is provided. More blocks allow for many more possible block sequences. The transition from non-sequential blocks, from A to E, for example, is a bit more involved than the transition from block A to block B. Susan Kesler-Simpson explains that there may be more than one path and how to find one that will work for you.

Chapter Four, “Alternative Treadlings for Crackle Weave,” is the weak spot in the book. In this chapter, Susan Kesler-Brown demonstrates that a warp threaded as crackle can be woven following the treadling order for other weave structures. Treadling options shown are Italian manner, lace, on opposites, overshot, summer and winter, and twill. However, the author assumes that the reader, an advanced beginner, is familiar enough with these weave structures to recognize the pattern. The treadling is provided along with a small black and white photo for each alternative treadling. The reader would gain more insight with a full drawdown for each treadling. For a better understanding of the use of various treadlings with crackle, follow the author’s advice and pick up Susan Wilson’s Weave Classic Crackle and More.

Chapter Five, “Color and Texture,” is where things start to get fun. Options are presented for adding color and texture to your weaving adventures. Color can be added in multiple ways to make each crackle project your own.

Chapter Six, “Four Shaft Patterns,” and Chapter Seven, “Eight Shaft Patterns,” is where Susan Kesler-Simpson shines. There are 20 four shaft projects and 7 eight shaft projects which cover the spectrum of the alternatives discussed previously in the book. Her use of color brings the projects alive. They are not the black and white crackle that you may have seen in Marguerite Davison’s Handweaver’s Pattern Book. Anyone wishing to try their first crackle weave project should find something compelling. Be aware, however, that you will need to read at least chapter two to understand her notations.

In all, this book provides a good overview of the crackle weave structure for a weaver of all levels. After reading this book you should be able to pick up any profile draft and derive your threading. However, if you are looking for a more in-depth understanding of crackle weave, reach for Susan Wilson’s Weave Classic Crackle and More.
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Portland_Handweavers | Mar 4, 2023 |
Overshot is one of the first weave structures that new weavers try. One of the reasons for this is that it gives you a lot of “bang for your buck”. You can weave some amazing designs on just four shafts and there is an incredible number of ways to create great cloth with this versatile structure.

This is a relatively new book about overshot and it offers a lot for beginning and advanced weavers. It starts at the beginning by giving you a taste of some of the terminology and then examples of placement of tabby treadles (important when you are using a tabby every other pick). The book goes on to show you how to create an overshot pattern from a twill pattern which immediately gets you into the realm of adapting new overshot patterns from other sources. There are also important instructions on balancing a pattern and creating borders, changing the treadling to create a new pattern and instructions on weaving an overshot gamp.

Once you have gotten through the theory, Susan shows you how to set up your loom along with tips about how to keep track of the threading.and treadling sequences for your particular design.

At that point, the book moves into projects – and there are 38 of them in this wonderful book. They range from table runners, shawls and scarves, baby blankets to some clothing including a dog jacket. Some of the patterns look quite traditional, while others have a very contemporary look. I only find one draft that uses eight shafts. All the rest can be woven on a four shaft loom.

The book is lovely. Filled with color illustrations, great quality paper and a pleasant feel to the cover. Check it out – take a look. I think you will find something that interests you.
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fiberguildreno | Dec 15, 2022 |
Shadow Weave Simply: Understanding the Weave Structure 25 Projects to Practice Your Skills by [Kesler-Simpson, Susan]I enjoyed reading this book. It is filled with weaving ideas along with tips, techniques and complete instructions for each of the projects. I was first attracted to this book by the colors and designs on the cover. The pictures inside are just as colorful for all 25 projects. I have not been a weaver, however, after looking at this book it may be my latest craft. For anyone that is interested in trying to weave or those that are all ready weavers, I highly recommend this book.

I was given this book by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Any opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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ksnapier | Mar 2, 2020 |


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