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Book Description

28 Sep 2011
Crackle is a surprisingly versatile weave structure with exciting design potential. This book offers a comprehensive explanation of drafting the crackle weave structure and weaving classic crackle. Tools and tips for independent designing add extra depth to your study of crackle. Explore crackle's flexibility with a myriad of treadling variations, including an in-depth discussion of polychrome techniques. Learn about the expanded possibilities and unique challenges presented by crackle on more than four shafts. Over 200 images illustrate the methods described. Meticulously presented by a noted weaving teacher, this is the first book for American hand-weavers devoted exclusively to crackle in 50 years. Weavers will find this comprehensive guide to crackle weave a valuable addition to their libraries and a source of great inspiration.

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book about a fascinating weave structure 17 Mar 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a wonderful book about a weave structure that you could spend a lifetime exploring. It gives a clear presentation of the basics of crackle and its many variations. The book is very well organized and is written with the intent to encourage experimentation. It is filled with color photographs of both woven samples and beautiful finished projects that will both instruct and inspire you.

It is not however a "project" book. None of the finished projects shown are accompanied by detailed weaving instructions. Each project is accompanied by two photos, one showing the entire piece, and another showing close-up details. There is also a short description of how each project was woven. This information, along with the descriptions of the weave variations in the text, is enough for you to create the project drafts if you want to. Creating those drafts is a very good exercise if you care to do it, but hopefully you'll also want to experiment and create your own unique items.

Most of the book describes crackle on 4 shafts. The possibilities on 4 shafts appear endless. Many of the 4 shaft variations require weaving with 3 shuttles at a time and some require frequent weft color changes. There is no discussion on shuttle handling, which may have been helpful. I suspect though that there really isn't a good general method for handling the shuttles that would apply to most of the variations.

There is also a very good chapter on how to weave crackle on more than 4 shafts. The chapter concentrates on using 8 shafts, but it's clear that the threading and treadling instructions could be extended to any even number of shafts. The 8 shaft weaves are complex enough that 3 shuttles aren't always necessary. There are several beautiful projects that use only a single shuttle.

Instructions for weaving several different samplers are included in the text. I think it would have helped if there was a separate summary of how to set up the samplers and what variations they might contain. But this summary may have been omitted to encourage experimentation.

One word of caution. Before you tackle this book, you need to have a good understanding of how to use profile drafts with block weaves. Familiarity with overshot and summer & winter would also be helpful.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Neat!!! 7 May 2012
By ANC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am so excited by the challenge that this book offers! I feel like this is a great book to grow into. I really want to sit down and use it like a personal tutor in a solo crackle weaving home-study course! It would definitely be wise to sit down in a cool dark place where there is no extra noise or distractions so you can read it chapter by chapter and ponder everything. I haven't quite been righteous enough to do that yet, but I feel like the challenge of this book is right up my alley! I have enjoyed reading the first 2 chapters and also thumbing through all the color photos throughout the book. I will have to post again when I finally finish it.

EDITED 1/16/2013: I finally have really studied this book and here is my edit!

Like all texts, there are pros and cons to the book "Weave Classic Crackle & More" by Susan Wilson. My overall impression is very high and I am very impressed with the knowledge gathering that Ms. Wilson has done. She is obviously very qualified to write the book because she has been weaving crackle since 1969 AND she has achieved quite the honor by receiving the Master level Certificate in Handweaving back in 1990. I mention this because Susan's book and the other crackle book I used in my personal crackle adventures[...] this last month (called "A Crackle Weave Companion" by Lucy M. Brusic)* have conflicting information in them for what certain crackle weaves are called. As a crackle-newbie, it was confusing until I threw the official names out the window and just concentrated on the weave structures. However, taking into consideration Susan's numerous publications along with what I feel is a respectable amount of professional weaving certification, I trust that her nomenclatures are the correct ones.

Crackle weave is already a very complex structure and is not for the faint of heart! It has some characteristics that are like no other weave, yet you can weave it "in the manner of" other weaves! A weaver who is new to crackle would definitely benefit from a source such as this. However, the book "Weave Classic Crackle and More" is not for the weaver looking for patterns to weave. It does not tell you exactly how to set up your loom or how much material to use. The book does, however, cover from the very basics of crackle and builds to the very complex weaving structures, all the way from 4-shaft to 8-shafts.

Chapter 1 starts with some history and chapter 2 covers the characteristics of crackle, for example it explains how crackle is made up of block weaves and describes each block, including the incidental thread for each one. The crackle pattern that was written out in a structural draft on page 19 was particularly useful since I was just beginning to learn about it. This draft gave me a chance to really study what the threads were doing. The crackle draft is very unique, and can be pretty confusing at times without the right references. Chapter 2 also has some profile draft explanations and design ideas. Page 25 was my inspiration for my latest colorful crackle project. I found her description intriguing enough to try it with six colors and loved it! [...]

Chapter 3 covers many different treadling variations that you can use in crackle, like you can weave crackle as other weave structures: overshot, summer and winter, Bronson lace, honeycomb, and other structures that I've never even heard of before, but they are very pretty. (To be honest, I have personally made it to the summer and winter point so far, but I hope to continue with more studying soon!)

Chapter 4 has some good descriptions on how to design crackle weave. But first it starts with polychrome, and also goes into weaving crackle in Italian manner, and oddly classic crackle actually fits into this chapter, although the other weave structures in chapter 3 were fun to do, as un-classic as they are! This chapter also includes information on boundweave and other weft-faced samples. Later there is a section to help you through designing traditional polychrome crackle, and the reason why it's more difficult to work with is because of all the independent color combinations going on here. Even though it is more difficult to work with than classic crackle, it offers more versatility and exquisite design options! Susan does a really good job explaining the difficulties of this weave. In this chapter, she also goes into a thorough explanation of hue and value of colors in crackle weave and the design process as a whole, which is extremely useful considering the non-independence of each block in crackle. Susan includes wonderful pictures to graphically explain this little quirk that makes crackle so much fun!

The last few chapter in the book discuss crackle on 8-shafts, turning the crackle draft, and color-and-weave effects. It even has a section how to make 8 blocks on only 4-shafts! And I can't emphasize enough how wonderful the pictures throughout the book are. In fact, they are some of the best I have seen in a while, and they are so numerous! They didn't skimp in this department!

There is definitely a lot of info in this book and it can keep a weaver busy for a good long time. One of my complaints though is coming from the point of view of a brand-new crackle weaver: I wanted more structure in my studies because I didn't have a clue what to do and having something so open was rather scary. I was afraid I was doing the weave wrong, and I had to study really hard to make sure I wasn't. I feel that this book would benefit from a section for the new crackle weaver that said something to the effect of thread your loom like this, now try this, this, and this crackle weave structure and walk the new weaver through step-by-step. I mean, I didn't even know what sett to use because it's a twill based structure but is it sett at twill? (The answer is no, it has a tabby sett!) It would have been nice to have that a little bit clearer description and starting point. However, once I decided to not be afraid and just throw an experimental warp onto my loom, it was so much fun! I just used the threading from page 19 and went through the weave structures like traditional crackle, crackle woven as overshot and woven as summer and winter. Like I said before, I have only made it to page 39 in my personal studies, but I have enjoyed the experience! I hope to be able to continue my studies using this text very shortly!

*A side note: In comparing this book to the other one mentioned (called "A Crackle Weave Companion" by Lucy M. Brusic), I like it so much better because the other book seems like a collection of a lot of obscure references that are hard to get a hold of these days. Also, it is written like an essay and the pictures aren't quite as good. The way the examples are written out are hard to follow and understand. In my personal crackle experimentation, I didn't reference it nearly as much as Susan's book.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable resource for intermediate to advanced weavers 31 Dec 2011
By J. Hicken - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Crackle is not a well-known weave system but it deserves to be. Crackle is beautiful and this book will enable you to teach yourself how to use crackle effectively. This book will encourage and inspire you to design your own unique patterns in crackle but it does not provide cookie-cutter projects for you to follow. Highly recommended.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive modern crackle book 18 Jan 2012
By T. Tuenge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I took a workshop from the author and was intrigued by the crackle weave structure. I have been a weaver since the 70's, by the way. I was very glad to find a few years later that Susan had written a whole book on the topic. Her explanations are very clear and easy to follow. And the photos of her samples are wonderful. It is a great addition to my weaving reference library. It will certainly replace my notes from her class in a complete way. I have older books on the topic of crackle weave, but as other up-to-date books of weaving instructions, the graphic abilities of publishers currently and the clarity of the writing makes the new book on an old topic of use.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Crackle Review 23 Feb 2012
By Dani - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. I was on a quest to learn all about crackle weave, and although I haven't completely made my way through the book yet, what I have read has been most helpful.
Described is the history, and detailed information about designing a crackle weave pattern. While there are drafts used as samples, I wouldn't say that it is a pattern book. I personally wasn't looking for a pattern book though, as I have other great books with crackle weave drafts in them. Instead I was looking to learn about and understand how crackle works, and this book does just that.
I would highly recommend this book if you too are interested in learning about Crackle Weave.
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