Giving Thanks

Of course I’m filled with gratitude for my steadfast husband, my interesting and lovable children and grandchildren, my terrific co-workers, free country, decent health, warm house, bounteous table. I’m grateful that I was born in this time and place with the opportunities I’ve had. It’s all so incredibly good.

 

pumpkin  

It's a time of bounty…

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Leaves  
and a time of beauty  

But at the moment, as I sit at my desk here at Interweave, I’m terribly grateful for the weavers amongst us and no longer with us who have created the books that surround me. It’s not just the knowledge and inspiration in the books, but the memories of working with these authors, publishing these books that make me feel so blessed. Take a little time trip with me.


It’s 1974, the year before I founded Interweave, and I had been weaving for only about three years. I came upon this stunning book—Card Weaving by Candace Crockett. It just knocked me over. I took up card weaving with a vengeance, and wondered if I could ever produce anything as magnificent as the long, dramatic cape that she was wearing on the cover. Fast-forward to 1991. The book was long out of print, but not out of mind. We contacted Candace, who very graciously worked with us to bring out a new, redesigned edition.  Twenty years later, it’s still in our catalog and still a fine source of inspiration and know-how. The structures you can weave with those little squares of cardboard are just incredible.


That same year, 1991, we finished up a truly herculean project and published A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns. We asked weavers all over the country to weave up samples using their own drafts or ones we assigned to them, and Carol Strickler tackled the job of organizing and editing it. Carol was such an important contributor to Interweave—author, librarian, tech editor, sounding board, friend—and she undertook this job with serious glee. Sadly, she died of cancer about the time the book came off press, but she was phoning in corrections from her hospital bed. It’s a wonderful legacy to Carol, and an invaluable resource for anyone with “more than four.”


Spacer 10x10 pixels Navajo Weaving Way
We can also be thankful for the
joy of
weaving and the traditions
that we share.
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Run the clock back to 1984, and our memorable book of that year was Deborah Chandler’s Learning to Weave. Deborah had been a contributing columnist to Handwoven from the very first issue, and her common-sense approach and delicious sense of humor had encouraged thousands. And since then, the book has inspired and taught more than 200,000 weavers and become a staple in studios and university programs all over the world. Deborah spends her life these days working with backstrap weavers in Guatemala, but still keeps a warp on her floor loom. She’s one of those special authors who becomes a friend for life.

 

Deb’s editor for Learning to Weave was Jane Patrick, who was then editor of Handwoven magazine, and worked on this book “in her spare time.” She had a special vision of what weavers wanted and needed, and she understood how this resource would be important to them. It was a dream team. And since her tenure at Handwoven, Jane has continued to intuit the needs of the weaving community – first with Time to Weave (2006) focusing on off-loom techniques, and more recently with The Weaver’s Idea Book (2010), aimed at rigid heddle weavers who know no boundaries.

 

I could go on and on. Sharon Alderman’s Mastering Weave Structures. Jennifer Moore’s Doubleweave. Noel Bennett’s Navajo Weaving Way, written with Tiana Bighorse. Liz Gipson’s Weaving Made Easy. Sara Lamb’s Woven Treasures. Oh, stop me! The memories are overwhelming, because every book is a story and a life experience with the big bonus of excellent pages between covers.  Look around your library this Thanksgiving holiday and try to imagine your weaving life without books such as these. They make us so rich.


 Linda Ligon

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