Not as racist as you might think — well, besides using the term "barbarous Nations". The "Obs[ervations]" are pretty neat little, relatively respectfuNot as racist as you might think — well, besides using the term "barbarous Nations". The "Obs[ervations]" are pretty neat little, relatively respectful, anthro notes into the practices and culture of the Narragansett people. Of course you read everything with a heap of salt, including the transcription and translations. ...more
The beautiful edition and unique premise hold so much promise. But after 150 sailings spent on the ferry across a year...
It's the same 5 points said The beautiful edition and unique premise hold so much promise. But after 150 sailings spent on the ferry across a year...
It's the same 5 points said over and over. The story of Talequah's calf is told at least 5 times. Greta's great, we get it. Climate change is bad and the sea is dying. ...So what do we do about it? There's a few bullet point essays prescribing actions like avoid Chinook salmon and whale watching. Sure. these are good actionable points. But they're just preached to you. I'm not especially moved by these essays to take any action and these aren't unique insights garnered from spending a year on a boat. The only interesting behind-the-scenes lesson I got was that they conduct fire drills on the ferries sometimes.
There's no sense of progression or changed views over her tenure. Each essay could just as likely been written 5 years after the experience. I still have no sense of what she actually DID for an entire year on the boats. There wasn't a narrative of getting to know the crew, or meeting regular passengers. Humans of New York but Humans of the Ferry would've knocked this out of the park. Give me some meditations to chew on. Anything about the cyclical nature of the ferries, the weather patterns, the blurring of ocean and land, ferries-as-highways, the dependence of islanders on the ferries, the impact of delays and cancellations on plans, harbor traffic, patterns of disembarking: give me SOMETHING to think about!
The resources at the end were nice. A list of writing, podcasts, and organizations that might be of interest. It's lightly annotated with the vital details, but again, a missed opportunity where the writer could've shared their personal experience with these media....more
Amazing. Many field guides are just dry entry after entry, but this one is tremendously entertaining to read through. It's funny! Most entires have liAmazing. Many field guides are just dry entry after entry, but this one is tremendously entertaining to read through. It's funny! Most entires have lively narratives and applications informed by real experience. The opening material on foraging is valuable material for both beginner and experienced mushroom hunters. The final section on recipes is the most surprising and useful; after all part of the joy of hunting is enjoying the harvest! Lots of good vegetarian recipes and ideas....more
I'm a lifelong city dweller who hasn't ever owned a thumbnail of yard space, and honestly I've never even had as much as a cat on my own. But I love vI'm a lifelong city dweller who hasn't ever owned a thumbnail of yard space, and honestly I've never even had as much as a cat on my own. But I love visiting alpaca and llama farms and I wanted to learn what goes into raising these funny animals. It turns out: so much!! All the social aspects, clipping nails, having the right fencing, transportation, and so many other questions I never even imagined I would ask about raising llamas. It all seems to be here in this book. My favorite sections were the "business" sections. It was fascinating to learn that, besides showing them, you could also rent them out to hikers for packing trips, sell the fleece and fertilizer, and even hire them as livestock guardians. Super useful animals! The handbook is dry and factual, but not boring, since the subject matter is so interesting. Lots of direct practical advice, down to administering medicines and assisting in births! Maybe one day, I'll fulfill my dream of raising a few. But until then, I'll just enjoy visiting them at the state fair, and enjoy reading about them in this easy-to-follow handbook....more
This is such a fun book! You're gonna want to go out and get a lucet, a kumihimo braider, an inkle loom... so much fun stuff! This book gives good tutThis is such a fun book! You're gonna want to go out and get a lucet, a kumihimo braider, an inkle loom... so much fun stuff! This book gives good tutorials and inspirations for all sorts of decorative and functional objects, using lots of different equipment (and no equipment at all, with the loom-less weaving projects), and lots of different materials like wire and ribbon. Very cool....more
The designs are gorgeous. The pattern directory and advanced weaving techniques sections are useful. It's cool to learn that pillows are possible too.The designs are gorgeous. The pattern directory and advanced weaving techniques sections are useful. It's cool to learn that pillows are possible too.
The concept of "weaving big on a little loom" is a little oversold. "Big" in this sense just means a project where the warp is longer than the dimensions of a regular frame loom. So, like scarves and table runners. But the patterns don't really take advantage of that extra length in any special sense, so in general, the patterns just end up being "here's the basic pattern, then repeat it 500 times".
The other thing is, you can't do this on just any little loom, which is a disappointment. You need one with a top- and bottom-bar that can be loosened and rotate. I have 3 frame looms already, all which have rigid tops and bottoms so I can't do any of these long projects. I was hoping the author would offer some kind of special technique to weave long pieces on these looms, but it seems like I'll have to get a rotating loom anyways. You can learn the procedure by just looking up Funem Studio's clamp video....more
This takes me back to a time, no time in particular, sitting on the floor of a friend's apartment, listening to records and pretending we were really This takes me back to a time, no time in particular, sitting on the floor of a friend's apartment, listening to records and pretending we were really into IPAs, and—there's really no other word for it—bullshitting about Murakami and Eggers and DFW. There was a time when there really was no other pressing issue other than some classwork and papers. There was time to discuss the ins and outs of short stories and novels, likes and dislikes, trading recommendations and commenting on the music. Where did that time go? Where did those "dorm room" conversations go? I want to share with a friend the hilarious turns of phrases here ("there's been a whole wagner opera of alarm and distress") and the potentially pseudoprofound ideas ("you are of course aware that social silences have different textures and these textures communicate a great deal").
Instead, I'm living a life where "Adult World 1" and "The Depressed Person" (don't worry I'm not depressed (to my knowledge)) are too real and uncomfortable to read. The same squirrelly disfunction, fear of offending someone, or the fear of the fear of offending someone. Wallace makes the characters abstract by calling them "The Wife" and "The Depressed Person" because they could be anyone, they're probably you....more
Innovative is the word. Who knew you could weave pouches, bags, dolls, even a whole wearable vest just using a small simple frame loom? I think the auInnovative is the word. Who knew you could weave pouches, bags, dolls, even a whole wearable vest just using a small simple frame loom? I think the author meets her goal of stimulating the weaver's imagination, and just reading through this I'm inspired to try out so many of these projects that go far beyond the usual frame loom suspects of mug rugs, wall hangings, or tapestries.
From the very first sentence the author writes she's skipping the basics, so this is not meant to be an introduction or beginner's book, you should already know how to warp and tabby at the very least. She then walks you through about 80 pages of advanced techniques, and then 120+ more pages of step-by-step project walkthroughs. Most tutorials have pictures for each step. It's a lot of content! (and a LOT of work for the author, I imagine!)
The projects are not a style that I'm used to when it comes to weaving, and that's good! I feel from other books and weaving guilds and shops I've seen, there's a little bit too much emphasis on the prim and proper, neutrals and beige everything, clean lines and muted austere colors. These are bold, colorful, patchwork, multicolored designs with a bit of mystical or mythical flair—there's flowers of course, but also dragons and sashiko and variegation everywhere! And I like it a lot. You should have fun when you're weaving. I've always wanted to use those wild colorful yarns but don't know how, and this book just gave me permission to try. The mascots of this book have really grown on me while reading through it. Can't wait to start on weaving an alpaca!...more
DNF after about 50 pages, just couldn't get into it. I completely devoured her triplog through Moloka'i Paddling My Own Canoe, so I'm not sure what weDNF after about 50 pages, just couldn't get into it. I completely devoured her triplog through Moloka'i Paddling My Own Canoe, so I'm not sure what went wrong here. For Moloka'i there seemed to be more of a story, of fighting this intense coastline again and again, and continually improving her setup. There was more human context of what was going on with her life and job and family, and more reflection.
This one, so far, had been just a straight play-by-play of paddling through Alaska, stopping at this or that cabin, unpacking and eating, and then setting off to paddle some more. Dry and there was no story. Strangely, I didn't feel any of the "danger" that I'll admit I like to experience in these stories. I'm sure these were exceptionally fraught and cold waters, but I just didn't feel any of that through the writing. Put it down after the third or fourth uneventful cabin stop. And to be clear, you don't necessarily want "events" to happen on these stories (I want my paddling to be as uneventful as possible), but you do want a story....more
The ceiling for weaving is sky-high, good lord. These people are genius. One of the artists is a scientist who weaves "with bacteria". Making everythiThe ceiling for weaving is sky-high, good lord. These people are genius. One of the artists is a scientist who weaves "with bacteria". Making everything from tapestries to art to statement pieces to blankets to workable fabrics which are then turned into clothes. I love seeing their creative spaces, their looms, and portraits of them working in the zone. The artists represented are diverse in every sense, working with machine or hand, working in giant multiple-shaft looms to small simple frame looms. Portraits of the artists are interspersed with essays on hot issues, like "Weaving and Gender" and indigenous weaving traditions, and so on.
This kind of work is both inspirational—you will instantly be inspired to sit down and weave after paging through this, but also intimidating—these people are true masters of this craft, some have hand-built their massive looms, spend days just setting up the warp for a single piece, harvest the fibers from their own homeland, and so on. I'm just in awe....more
Truly unbelievable. As in, I almost don't believe it. This lady swam 20+ miles of open ocean bordered by massive cliffs with precious few flat rocky lTruly unbelievable. As in, I almost don't believe it. This lady swam 20+ miles of open ocean bordered by massive cliffs with precious few flat rocky landings to rest, towing stuff in a floating foam cooler. And she did it multiple times. And she did it in jeans....more
We need more of this stuff. Compilations of extremely localized folk art and a narrative to help understand the the story of the place. It was interesWe need more of this stuff. Compilations of extremely localized folk art and a narrative to help understand the the story of the place. It was interesting to learn about the characteristic Portsmouth style of samplers ("birds in trees" was big), and I'd love to learn more "tells" like that. I wish there were more color plates, but maybe there are only 27 extant samplers.
(PS I picked this up at the John Paul Jones House in Portsmouth NH where the exhibit was originally shown; Portsmouth in general is extremely good but you should also go visit these historical houses like the JPJ House and the Langdon Mansion)...more
Never thought that I'd devour a whole book with full entire chapters on diarrhea and Crohn's disease but here we are. More Irby please.Never thought that I'd devour a whole book with full entire chapters on diarrhea and Crohn's disease but here we are. More Irby please....more
This is a truly gorgeous book and comprehensive manual. This is the kind of book you point to when people don't understand the "price tag" of arts andThis is a truly gorgeous book and comprehensive manual. This is the kind of book you point to when people don't understand the "price tag" of arts and crafts, to explain to them how weaving something that is just a few inches in dimensions can, indeed, require about 250 pages of knowledge. I will note two things, both which have to do with the title.
(1) this strictly concerns "tapestry" in a fairly formal sense. You're making the objects on the cover: flat woven 2D structures, mostly decorative/artistic in nature, probably meant to be hung on a wall. This is not about so-called contemporary boho-chic weaving that incorporates twigs and roving and other interesting materials (that stuff is great, but it's just not addressed here). This also won't really help you weaving a scarf or a dishcloth or functional textile—and it doesn't pretend to, it's right in the title!
(2) because it is so encyclopedic and comprehensive, it's slightly hard to use as a "manual". Beginners will likely be overwhelmed. For example, say you have a heirloom simple untensioned frame loom and some cotton warp and some random yarn, and you're eager to get started. You won't start warping until page ~70, and then the first body weft hits the warp at page ~130. You also have to sort through lots of (to you, irrelevant) info about beamed warps and shed mechanisms that you don't have. To be absolutely clear I don't mean to critique the book or organization at all — rather this is a caution for the reader to understand what they're getting into. This is not a quick pick-up-and-go thing, this is truly about understanding the "art" of tapestry, to understand the story of each tapestry you encounter, to learn to appreciate clean selvage and lice-less weft, to learn to become a more mindful and slow weaver in pursuit of excellence in weaving....more
This is an amazing piece of original research documenting the history of bike routes and trails around the Wenatchee region, covering bike lanes withiThis is an amazing piece of original research documenting the history of bike routes and trails around the Wenatchee region, covering bike lanes within the city and some local trails, including the amazing Apple Capital Loop trail around-up-and-down the river. Every single page of this almost-300 page work has multiple photos and pictures on it, with historical maps, key old internet excerpts and paper newspaper clippings -- a valuable archive of stuff that is probably long gone. Many historical maps are helpfully annotated, which surely must've been a ton of work. It covers the history of these routes in incredible detail, down to the width of each trail segment, the current condition of sharrow paint, and who was at which meeting. The author discusses key players in the debates, funding issues, and designs.
You learn from this history that there is lots of opposition (no surprise), primarily from orchardists in the area, and various compromises have been drawn like an easement on a Fred Meyer's property. I was also strangely captivated by the pages he spends discussing the mile markers on the Loop trail. It is kind of weird you would put the Zero Mile marker in the middle of a bridge, but I guess it makes sense that it should be a "neutral" position, not favoring one side or the other.
I think this is of interest not just to local bicyclists, but also to transit advocates in other cities who would like to learn how to build such a great bicycle network. Wenatchee gets great ratings on "Bike Friendliness" and so on, so they're a good model.
I grabbed this on a lark from the Wenatchee Museum (which is also great, and apparently the only place you can even get this book), without knowing what it was about, then happened to ride the loop trail up to Lincoln Rock and down to Hydro Park. So it was especially rewarding to read this book and discover I was familiar with all the sights and features the author was discussing, and my experience was greatly enriched by reading this. It's amazing and humbling to learn that parts of the trail were still in planning stages when I was born, and it took until just recently for the whole thing, plus extensions to be completed. This history makes it clear that the trail I took free advantage of probably took 20–25 years of debate and sweat to get going. Because of this history, I'm more grateful than ever for the amazing bike trails we get to take advantage of today, and I'll keep fighting for good future bike trails for more people to enjoy....more
I just don't know, this book is not for me, and the frustrating part is: I don't know who it is for. It sounds like it's supposed to be for the beginnI just don't know, this book is not for me, and the frustrating part is: I don't know who it is for. It sounds like it's supposed to be for the beginning adventurer—it starts off with really elementary stuff like the 10 essentials and first aid, but then there's intros to winter camping and backpacking? That stuff is not for beginners. Many chapters include a brief paragraph suggesting mushroom foraging, which I think is downright irresponsible. Many chapters have sections on ski resorts, which is weird. Any skier will already know all the ski hills in the region, and non skiers aren't likely to spontaneously ski just seeing it in this book.
The main content is disappointing. It's a travel guide, à la Falcon Guides, Lonely Planet, Mountaineers etc. So you might expect to page through for inspiration, or ideas on what to do this coming weekend. But the entries are useless. They are not useable on their own.
The main chapters are divided into regions like "Olympic Peninsula" and "Central Cascades". You get a beautiful hand-drawn map with markers of the adventures that will be in the chapter, and important peaks and landmarks. I think the author assumes you'll use online maps anyways, because there's no precise directions or travel advice. One of the problem with these adventure guides is that this information usually goes out of date or indeed is made redundant by the internet, but if you give into that too much (as the author does here), then.. what are you even offering over the internet?
Then... the entries. In each chapter you get a few dozen suggestions for camping and hikes, with distance and gain, a little descriptive blurb about it, and that's it. No trail map. I've never, ever, ever gone on a hike without a trail map and you shouldn't either. No pictures! Who wants to go on a hike without knowing what view awaits you? There are centerfold pictures of random stuff throughout the chapter, but most of the chapters is dry text. You have to look up every entry online to get this crucial information. Any Falcon Guide, be it Weekend Walks in X or Bike Riding in Y or Day Hikes in Z has all this information at minimum, and some will have elevation profiles, and cue sheets for biking, and much more practical stuff. And it's not organized. It's not organized by difficulty or distance or anything, so if you're searching for a specific kind of activity you'll have to just flip through it all.
There's a few field guide-y type pages on flora and fauna, but... they're drawings! To be clear, the hand-drawn maps and animals are very cute, but they're useless for identification. The section on poison plants doesn't even mention the crucial features of the plants, not even "leaves of three". There's a "drawing" of the olympic range to identify peaks, which again is cute, but it's just comical: when you draw mountains, they usually end up being just featureless triangles...
You can almost always find guides (both books and online) if you search for "hikes in X region" or "bike rides in Y area", so I think it's a reasonable question to ask about any newcomer: what unique thing do they bring to the table? And unfortunately I just can't answer that question for this book after going through it. Cute hand-drawn maps and animals, but... Dry entries with no trail maps or pictures. Weak field guides. Scattered content, from beginner first aid to multi-day backpacking! Blakey's love for the outdoors does shine through in this book, but as a field guide or travel guide it just falls short. It needs to decide whether it's a useful travel guide or cute nature inspo, but it cannot do both. Just get something from the Mountaineers or a Falcon Guide. ...more
Apparently Madame Bovary is the one book to read, according to Knausgaard and now Lydia Davis and apparently Proust himself. Lots of great discussion Apparently Madame Bovary is the one book to read, according to Knausgaard and now Lydia Davis and apparently Proust himself. Lots of great discussion on the minutiae of translation and effective storytelling. In writing, I think there is a careful line to draw between "trusting your audience is clever enough" and simply "being too clever", and I think Davis reveals in this long book of essays that she really toes the line (possibly on purpose). A lot of her short stories are no longer than a page, some just a few lines or a paragraph, and they are meant to evoke some wry chuckle or emotion. But because they're so spare, they assume a level of cultural or literary background to "get the joke", and after going through a few explanations of how many layers there are to the clever joke, it begins to get tiring. I know that sometimes stories are most effective when you don't give away the goat entirely, or leave things unsaid, but sometimes, just sometimes, you have to SAY the thing, dang it!...more
I asked around for a guide on selling crafts at a farmers market, and someone came up with this gem, what do you know, a book on selling crafts at varI asked around for a guide on selling crafts at a farmers market, and someone came up with this gem, what do you know, a book on selling crafts at various markets. It covers pretty much everything, from practicalities like pricing and planning, managing social media and websites, finding inspiration and establishing a brand. It's more of a workbook, with tons of blank template pages to guide some brainstorming and keep your table layout, contacts, and supply checklists. ...more
Pretty hilarious. I was a fan of this idea way back when the first buzzvice listicle came out about one-star park reviews, I'm glad someone put it togPretty hilarious. I was a fan of this idea way back when the first buzzvice listicle came out about one-star park reviews, I'm glad someone put it together—but not in a weak cash-grab way.
Share is an artist and outdoors enthusiast herself, so she's a natural choice for putting this together. The "bad reviews" are unfortunately just one line of a review superimposed on a (pretty) artistic rendering of the park, so there's not much of the negativity (for better or worse). This is followed by a nice blurb by Share, rebutting the review and usually including some tidbits about the indigenous people and history of the park, and maybe a personal anecdote or two. There's even some nice Ranger Tips giving solid advice about visiting the park.
Pretty entertaining and good for a laugh on every page. Of course it's not a full guidebook but doesn't pretend to be (the ranger tips and anecdotes are nice!), but it does weirdly motivate me to want to see the park with "too many birds" (Channel Islands)....more
You would not believe just how many ways there are to stick a needle and thread through fabric. This volume strikes the perfect balance between criticYou would not believe just how many ways there are to stick a needle and thread through fabric. This volume strikes the perfect balance between critical discussion of the work as art as well as fine technical analysis. That means it appeals both to those who mainly appreciate the finished product versus those who mainly appreciate the process (and those who appreciate both, of course).
Rather than hide the magicians' secrets, Smith exposes them wide open, including interviews with the artists themselves about their process. There are fantastic illustrations of the actual stitches and processes showing exactly how to weave a soumak, or dovetail two or three colors in needlepoint, so you could even try to emulate the artwork presented here. There's an illustrated glossary at the end that includes a dozen or so stitches so you can see why a seed- is different than a runnning-stitch. Awesome!
The most important thing with a book like this is you come away from it every time with inspiration. It's so hard to read through because even after a 5-minute perusal I just want to get away and start stitching!
Don't tell me you won't remember what a Bushtit looks like after this book.
Reminds me of the Moonlight Chronicles in its rough, friendly "field sketcDon't tell me you won't remember what a Bushtit looks like after this book.
Reminds me of the Moonlight Chronicles in its rough, friendly "field sketch" style. Actually some good tips and discussion on bird watching (or is it birding?) and getting into it. I kind of like the advice "I would suggest bird watching alone if at all possible" to avoid getting caught up in bird drama or gamifying what should otherwise be a very quiet and pure activity....more