You know the saying, “When the teacher is ready the students appear”? (Or is it the other way around? I think it is. As a freelance teacher I always tend to wonder if students will show up…) I’ve been having a recurring idea and I guess I’ve been in need of a nudge.
So, students, show up, please.
A blog friend sent a message today asking me to reconsider my decision against publishing, so I’ve decided to publish my response to her query. I’d like to receive your feedback as well—in comments or via email. (I’m currently taking a break from the Facebook Pin Loom Weaving Support Group, so I won’t see any messages if you write them there.)
Thank you for contacting me. Lately I’ve been thinking again about self-publishing a book. In general, I prefer to move forward and basically forget about what I’ve already done–there’s always more to design, learn, and explore. However, sometimes I need to refer back to information in my blog (or notebooks) and I dislike the restriction of having to turn the computer on or having to read through pages of my own verbiage or chicken scratch.
One difficulty is that I keep discovering new things all the time. In the past three weeks I’ve made up about fifty new pattern designs and investigated two or three different weaving techniques. This is an unusual amount of activity for me, but if I start working on a book more will come out!
If it isn’t too much trouble, could you tell me a little more specifically which types of information you would most like to see published? And would you prefer a bound book or a loose-leaf set up where you could add pages if necessary?
Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to reply. And thank you to everyone who has taken an interest in my work and has shown me so much support.
Hello Sue. I am very much a beginner at pin loom weaving (and weaving generally come to that!). At 68 years old I feel I have limited time left in which to learn and experiment with this craft, but really want to do as much as I can.
So all the beginner basics material would be great for me in your book, but also patterns (obviously) and ideas for how to use all the delightful squares produced, joining techniques especially. I found my efforts were rather fragile at the edges.
But all the topics I found on your site were things I would want to be able to refer to.
The loose-leaf format is something I had not thought of, but it would seem to be a great idea. But are we talking here about a book that we would download, or an actual hard- copy book that we can order and receive in the post?
Looking forward to hearing. Have I said what you needed to know?
Best wishes, Margaret.
I’m really glad I posted this query. I haven’t received a lot of feedback, but most of it seems to be asking me to write a book I can’t produce. For instance, I don’t do bias weaving and I don’t make projects. There are already books that cover those topics, and groups (Facebook and Ravelry) where people can find information on projects. What I’m hearing is, “We don’t want a book YOU [I] would write.” That actually makes me feel better about my past decision to not write one. Many people don’t realize that writing books is an unutterably incredible amount of work (writing informative blog posts is too, but to a lesser degree). I’m still feeling it’s not worth the effort. I too am getting up in years and I’d rather spend my time doing what I’m good at and what I enjoy—and trying to be of service at the same time.
For information on joining techniques, Margaret Stump has written books and blog posts. She’s really the expert.
Many of my blog posts are answers to other peoples’ questions or suggestions; most are just a record of my experiences.
Any of my blog posts can be printed and kept in a notebook. I’m not interested in creating an ebook. I’ll let my blog readers know if I ever get around to publishing the book I have in mind, but so far feedback has been less-encouraging than I had anticipated.
Hi Sue! I’m so glad you’re exploring this. You are so prolific and creative, I think that pin loom weaving as a craft has a lot of room for your ideas and tutelage!
I have been pin loom weaving for about five years, and own all of Meg Stump’s wonderful books, as well as the “100 Pin Loom Squares” book. I appreciate them all, but still feel I have room in my pin-loom library.
What I would be interested in are certainly new designs such as you post on your blog, as well as information on new techniques. A well-refined discussion on joining techniques would always be welcome, since it’s always been my frustration point in projects.
I also think there is a lot of room for some fresh ideas that expand the limits of the craft. The state of pin loom craft these days reminds me of that of crochet about twenty years ago… crochet hadn’t yet been pushed into the next iteration, hadn’t been freshened up or made current and new again. Pin loom weaving seems similar… it needs some reimagining to move it past its historical looks and uses, and really bring it into this day and age.
Interesting observation about crochet. My first thought is that weaving on a pin loom is a lot more confined than manipulating yarn with a hook. However, that’s what exploration is all about–pushing confinement. I wonder if the square loom can ever be used to produce anything other than a square (or a tortuous triangle). Most of the exploration will probably be done by others after the square is off the loom. My enjoyment comes from playing with the square on the loom.
I enjoy all your posts and patterns, especially textural ones, and have learned so much.
I would really like to see these patterns put together to make something- like tunic blouses, ponchos, cardigans, handbags, etc.
I hit send before I was finished writing.
I prefer a loose leaf format.
Projects are not my specialty. However, there are gazoodles of sources available and lots of creative and crafty people who are willing to share their expertise on the Facebook Pin Loom Weaving Support Group. Seriously, it would be ludicrous for me to tackle the subject with so many experts. Some people have used my patterns in their projects.
I would love more bias weaving. Could you incorporate that into all the pin looms?
Bias weaving is one of the things I don’t do, so I think it would be a mistake for me to attempt to cover that subject. Sorry about that. The Facebook Pin Loom Weaving Support Group is your best bet for information on that topic.
All of your exploration is what I enjoy about your blog. Seeing new designs gives me ideas although I’m not the creative type that you are, but I get to try new things. What I’d like is for you to just publish pages, whether it’s a new technique (or an old one because they would probably be new to me), or a new design, or new joins, etc. If you “published” these as copyrighted PDF pages on your blog, then we could print out the ones we want & insert them into our loose leaf ‘book’. Maybe you could augment it with setting up the tabs for the book. Just a thought because we don’t want to stifle your exploring with writing.
This suggestion sounds like a possibility. I’m not super computer savvy, but my husband is. He’s swamped with workworkwork at the moment, but I’ll run this idea by him.
All of your patterns are the most important for me. A loose leaf book with just all your existing blog patterns, tabbed with with different sizes—2, 4 inch etc.—would be ideal with future additions to the book just printed ourselves from your blog. I do a lot of traveling and access to a computer is limited at times so a reference book with patterns would be great.
See reply to comment below.
A loose leaf pattern book of your existing patterns from your blog tabbed for sizes would be great with the possibility of adding to it ourselves from your blog. It looks like one pattern per page would work. I travel frequently and computer access can be limited so a reference book would be ideal. Having to print out all of your patterns myself would be daunting. (Previous comment did not post)
Making the blog posts more printable is the idea I’m leaning toward, though I have a couple of other plans. It’s so good to hear different peoples’ situations and how they would plan to use the info. Thanks!
(Your previous comment didn’t post because it had to be approved; first time comments have to be admin approved.)
I am brand spanking new at pin loom weaving. I am also brand new at floor loom weaving with a 4 shaft loom. So here’s the thing. I don’t really use books other for reference when I am stuck. I much prefer the method that Jane Stafford uses which is an online guild format. She tapes and then also produces online reference materials. I pay to be in the guild each year. I will invest again next year. Yes she also does projects. I feel like pin loom weaving is still stuck in the past because I don’t see that many worthwhile projects to aim for, to entice me. I enjoy making squares but then what? Seems pointless. The book situation for pin loom weaving isn’t that great. I have yet to find a project book with projects that don’t look like the old plastic canvas needlepoint feel to them. Stuck in the past. Pattern books are nice but if you don’t have an endgame plan well then you are talking a reference book that one picks up and puts down. There is a ton of education I need of what is on the loom and how to but it is just part of the bigger picture. Look to the future and do You Tube or an online guild.
I much appreciate this feedback. I hope this comes across well–yours is a very different outlook from my own; it’s the sort of thing I need to hear because I wouldn’t have thought of it myself.
The online guild idea is fascinating. If I were entrepreneurially inclined that might be the route I’d take (though I suppose pin loom weaving has such a limited scope and appeal it wouldn’t be especially lucrative).
I guess I consider myself a person more rooted in the past than reaching for the future. 🙂 The projects for pin loom weaving have never interested me much. The square’s the thing for me.
I’ve made a few YouTube videos, but videos are a lot of work for me. I have a list of them “to do.”
Again, I thank you for your valuable input. A reference book is exactly the thing I have in mind even if it doesn’t appeal to everyone. I refer back to several of my blog posts from time to time and would really like to have some of the details I frequently consult at my paper-loving fingertips! 😀
I prefer a printed, bound book for craft projects. Loose-leaf pages tend to disappear, and binders don’t play well with other books on the shelf because of how they’re shaped.
A book of weaving patterns would be fine without any projects.
Love hearing this! It seems to be the general consensus that a printed book would be put to good use by many of us. I’m thinking of investing in a coil binding machine because I agree about loose leaf binders–they don’t fold open. Thanks for speaking up!
I would absolutely love to have some e-pamphlets of your patterns, which are really marvellous. You have so many ideas teeming through your creative mind and since you sometimes do updates or have second thoughts on some of your patterns, keeping them in an on-line format would allow for easy transfer to purchasers and also allow you to change them around at will. Much as I (and so many others) enjoy your patterns, I see no reason why you should not get some compensation for your efforts. It would also be lovely to have your work grouped together and accessible for immediate reference, not to mention preserved for posterity! Your ideas seem boundless and are much appreciated.
I often say I’m not interested in compensation, but I am human and wouldn’t mind a bit of pin money (actually FIBER money 🙂 ). It’s true I make occasional changes to past posts and am never sure how to get the word out. (Funny, I thought that was only a problem with printed matter.)
“Ideas teeming” — oh, so very true! I’m on a designing roll (frenzy?) right now and can hardly keep up with myself. I’ve just now succeeded in documenting a pattern I first made up in Jan 2016. Cool technique, but it had some bugs. Finally worked them out.
Thank you for the feedback and the kind encouraging words. It means a great deal to me.
I love the posts I get via email, and it keeps me up to date on what you are doing….keep up the good work!
In my opinion, publishing would put a halt in your creativity and that is not good.
You can’t spend time on publishing and still be totally free to create stuff…for those who want it all in one piece…print out the posts of interest and make their own Sue Burton book.
I was just saying the same thing to myself this morning–if I spread myself too thin I won’t do anything very well. At present I’m harvesting a bumper crop of patterns that have been enjoying a long growing season.
I’m still thinking I could handle making a handy reference of some of the techniques I refer back to most often though. But definitely, I’m not going to go overboard. (Definitely, I think!)
I think any book you do would be amazing, as I enjoy all your blog posts. Are those Mac Minis on your desk, appliqued green? You make me want to get a new one! Or maybe they are just blocks of wood so your monitors are at eye level. Clever!!!!
They are yoga blocks, yes, to get the monitors at eye level. I wondered if anyone would notice. 😀
Thanks for the feedback.
Thank you for seeking feedback for your ‘should I shouldn’t I’ book dilemma. Actually I think you have answered the question with your comment in an earlier response to Margaret Whewell…….
”I’d rather spend my time doing what I’m good at and what I enjoy”.
What you do at the moment is brilliant. You are creative and share so much with the posts on your Blog.
As you mention, there are other sources for information for those wanting to take the craft further, where additional techniques and projects can be found.
But not the same variety of patterns and weaving ideas that you share – and do so well.
So, for myself, I would say don’t get bogged down with additional stuff. If the feedback includes some suggestions that you feel comfortable about progressing, that will always be a bonus and I thank you in advance.
Stay happy……..life is too short to aim for anything but……..
This comment is so well-put. It’s like when you’re having a face to face conversation with someone who is summarizing what you’re saying and feeling. I believe that’s known as validating (though I kind of don’t like such labels). Helps me feel more resolve to go on with my plans and activities.
There are so many things I want to do and am capable of doing but, oh, the time they require! I’ve stumbled into something I feel I’m really good at and I love doing it. So I shall!
Well, I would say I get more use out of downloading pages that I want to try, rather than a book I may only use one or two patterns of. I have bought many craft books over the years. I can count on one hand how many items I have made from those books. I love going to your website or Facebook page and searching for what I am looking for (and finding things I didn’t realize I needed). Because of this I have finally gotten the hang of pin weaving and really enjoy it!
So I say don’t change a thing. I love it!
Funny you should mention Craft/Art Book Syndrome. I might own a larger library of art and craft books than my public library, mainly because I was enchanted by the cover and promising title. I haven’t done much with any of them either. In fact, for weeks I didn’t buy Meg Stump’s Pin Loom Weaving book simply because the cover really attracted me (I loved that little red horse, and I’m not even a horse person). Back then I thought, “I don’t want to learn to weave.” Boy, was I ever wrong! Good old Amazon just kept showing me the cover, wearing me down…
I’m so happy to hear that I’ve helped you get the hang of pin loom weaving. I find so much enjoyment in just making the squares that I don’t worry about the stacks of accumulation that will probably never turn into projects. I hope you enjoy your crafting too. Thanks for the encouragement and positive feedback.
I have been coming to your website A LOT in the past couple of years, it is currently my web browsers homepage, and a book is not you. Your creativity lies in other avenues. I do like the idea of printing off the different blogs as a 1-sheet document that I can then put into a binder as I find that what I would use to describe/tag them as is different terminology that what you use and printing them off would also mean that I would not have to have the computer on if I had a question.
I love all of your patterns and your blog a furthered my pin loom abilities more than anything else. I get thoughts in my head for future projects and usually find something on your blog that furthers the project along or makes the project come to fruition. Thank you sooo much for what you are doing.
Thank you for saying all this. It’s always delicious to me to know I’ve been of help to someone. I hope the new printing capacity is helpful to you.
As creative as you are, I think pages we can download ourselves would be the way to go. A bound book would end up becoming either too big or you would have to plan a series of books. To me, that’s frustrating because it would stifle your creativity and put unneeded stress on yourself. Having downloadable pages allows everyone to build their own binder with what they feel is important. Not only that, you can pull a page out of a binder to take with you. A book would be a pain in the butt if you travel and want to take a project with you.
This is one of my favorite sites. A lot of people are doing subscriptions to their pages. You have different levels that people can choose what they want to do, from free downloads to a premier level for so many dollars a month. Personally, I’d sign up right away!
So that’s my 2 cents worth. Whatever you decide, you have a lot of support; we appreciate all the hard work you put in to this!
Thanks for the feedback. I’ve considered a subscription before, but I fear it would be too much pressure for me to produce something worthwhile all the time. I often think, “I spent so much time on this, maybe I should charge for it.” But then I decide against it. I prefer to just share it right now while I’m thinking about it and then move on to the next thing.
So glad you’re enjoying the site. It’s nice and encouraging to hear that it’s being used!
I’ve been hoping you would think of doing this again!!!
Still cogitating the matter. I don’t know when I’d find the time. I need a secretary who is willing to work for the same pay I receive. 😉
I prefer the loose leaf pages, I keep them in page protectors, so I can remove them at home and carry them around the house. I also copy and paste them to my note book app on my iPad. It’s so much easier for me to enlarge the pattern on the screen so I can see. My eyes are going, so reading it’s difficult. Even when I buy a book, I wind up scanning and enlarging the pages or I just buy an electronic copy.
Enlarging is something I’ve thought about too. Getting stuff to print the right size and color is too arbitrary for my skills–if that makes sense. Thanks for your feedback.
First off thank you very much for your blog! I’m new to pin weaving and I found all the information that I needed to get me started and to keep me going from your blog and website.
I just save your posted patterns as PDF’s and have them available to print off or to just jot down on scrap paper. I’m more of a minimalist when it comes to books so I wouldn’t want a physical book.
One thing to keep in mind when deciding to convert your hobby/passion into a money making venture is the added stress to keep producing patterns on a schedule etc instead of when you have the urge to create. Also when people are buying a product they can then criticize and complain and the fun sometimes gets sucked out of the hobby 🙂 ….just my two cents
In fact I considered trying to go back to the book again and I discovered why I quit in the first place. I’m not super computer savvy, and I “grew up” on WordPerfect, so Word is like a hostile ally for me. I don’t know how it works and I don’t really trust it. I don’t know how to add pictures as I type and I find having pictures in the document while I write is indispensable. So the blog it is. I’m sorry I can’t help others by writing a book, but apparently I really can’t do it all! I’ve done my best to provide as much help as possible. Thanks for your kind words.