On the Loom: a Modern Weaver's Guide by Maryanne Moodie, photographs by Alexandra Grablewski, pub. Abrams, 2016.
A gentle introduction to weaving, this book contains clear tutorials for 5 different stitches (and a tassel) on rectangular, circular, and non-traditional looms. With essential information about tools, fiber choice, and color design, it's a comprehensive guide for novices, but even experienced weavers will likely discover pleasant surprises.
The projects range from standard woven fare (rugs, wall hangings, placemats, baskets) to wearables (scarf, necklace, even a hair tapestry!) to the unusual (lampshade, teepee, party backdrop).
Many of the projects include instructions for making your own loom. Materials can be as simple as a piece of cardboard or as sturdy as wooden stretcher bars with nail pegs. Sometimes the loom is an existing object like a bicycle basket or lampshade. In these cases, and in the holiday ornaments, the loom remains a part of the finished product.
The party backdrop can be woven between two trees (a beautiful idea for an outdoor wedding). The tote bag (below right) is made from an existing rag rug (homemade or purchased).
The photography is well done. The tableaux at chapter openings convey an accurate idea of the contents to follow. The project photos contribute to the book's air of gentle fun. The colors used are pastels with punches of vividness which is harmonious without being monotonous.
This book would make a great gift for someone who likes crafts. Many of the projects are of manageable size and require nothing more than cardboard, yarn, and a tiny bit of time. Maryanne's instructions and photo tutorials are excellent, striking just the right tone. She covers many techniques of weaving besides the different stitches. I recommend this book for anyone interested in weaving or learning new skills.
Disclosure: The publisher sent Kangath a review copy of this book. Kangath was not otherwise compensated for the preceding review. All opinions expressed in Kangath's reviews are her own.
Here's a lighter macaroni and cheese recipe inspired by my experience at my brother's restaurant:
Macaroni and Squeesh
1 head garlic
4 - 6 medium yellow squash and/or zucchini (to make about 3 cups shredded)
2 Tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
16 oz uncooked macaroni
4 cups buttermilk or milk
1 1/2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
Salt, pepper, paprika, mustard, cayenne, etc., to taste
Cut 1/4 inch off the root end of the garlic. Roast in a 400F oven 20 minutes or until soft.
Meanwhile, finely shred the squash with a grater or food processor.
Melt butter in large casserole dish. Add uncooked macaroni and stir to coat. Blend garlic with cottage cheese until smooth (I used a food processor; by hand is fine but will be a little lumpier). Add to macaroni and toss. Add squash. Season to taste with salt, pepper, spices, and dry or dijon mustard. Pour over macaroni and stir. Add cheese and stir well.
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour.
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