‘keep me warm one night’

In my previous post I mentioned that I purchased loom in order to get a book that came with it, the book was ‘Keep Me Warm One Night’ Early handweaving in eastern Canada by Harold B. Burnham and Dorothy K. Burnham. The book jacket describes this as a comprehensive study of traditional handweaving as it was practiced in Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic Provinces up to the 1900.

Long before I started weaving, I was enamored by early pioneer life, or at least as it is depicted at one of my favourite places Upper Canada Village (another one I have yet to visit but hope to is Black Creek Pioneer Village with its weaver’s shop). I love the log houses, their wood stoves for cooking and heating, the simple and uncomplicated surroundings, and beds dressed in beautiful overshot coverlets.

When I first started weaving, I went to my local library to look for weaving books. There wasn’t a large selection, but there was this book:

Filled with history and drafts like the coverlets I had seen, I was in love. I continued to borrow the book from the library (and borrow, and borrow). There was one major hurdle keeping me from turning these drafts into the beautiful bed coverings I had seen, I had no idea on how to interpret these drafts, I had yet to weave overshot.

Fast forward a few years, and I am now fairly comfortable with overshot and have woven many table runners. In fact, it is my favourite weave structure. But now I had a different problem, I no longer lived near the library with the book. I’d regularly search for a copy of it for sale. This book generally comes with a pretty high price tag when it does become available, which isn’t often. However, when a loom came up for sale recently, a copy of this book was pictured in the listing, and it was only an hour away from where we live. I quickly messaged the seller, the book (and loom) were mine. While it may seem crazy to by a loom for a book, we were able to resell the loom and anything else that wasn’t required, I had my book.

In my search for the book though, I did come across other books on coverlets, that managed to make their way into my library:

and this mammoth two volume set:

So now the only thing stopping me from weaving a coverlet is, well me. I hope to change that soon.

Happy weaving,