A New and Growing Art

"It is not a dead art we are reviving but a new and growing art." – Mary Meigs Atwater


Striped Spring Tablecloth

By Ronnine Bohannan

I’m writing this post from my hotel room at Convergence in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We’ve loved our time here, renewing friendships with weavers from around the world, greeting our Roving Reporters, seeing new yarns and tools, and most of all, discovering the exciting work weavers are doing today. The pieces in Small Expressions, the fashion show, and other exhibits are simply dazzling. They show how deeply we are increasing our knowledge of weave structure, fiber, color, and design.

This experience has made me think about how lucky we are. In the Endnotes for the May/June 2010 issue of Handwoven, Jen Bervin describes sample notebooks from weavers in the 1950s and earlier. Weaving information was shared by typing notes, adding drafts in pen, making carbon copies, attaching woven samples, and sending them out in the mail. If you had an idea you wanted to share, it took a long time to get it to a distant weaving friend. Today, all we have to do is create a draft in a weaving program, save it as a wif file, and, if we have a woven sample, take a photo and send it all via email.

There is another aspect of our current technology that we sometimes underappreciate. The weavers who saved those sample notebooks (and gave careful instructions to their heirs to see that they went to other weavers) did so because they wanted their work and the work of others not to be lost.  Today, we can save everything we do in digital form and make printouts if we want hard copy. As books go out of print, we can save them digitally (many are already available at www.handweaving.net). While some of us complain that we would rather have a book or magazine in our hands, we can only be grateful that digital formats make it possible for us to have far more resources literally at our fingertips than we could ever house physically.


Turned Bronson Lace Placemats

By Kathryn Wertenberger


This is one of the motivations behind creating the Best of Handwoven eBooks. The newest one, Atwater-Bronson Lace, is another book in our technique series. In this series, we present articles that explain a technique so you can create original work in addition to projects that help you try it out, carrying on Mary Meig Atwater vision of weaving as "a new and growing art." Mary Atwater was a great traveller and adventurer, and her travels deepened her weaving knowledge. So as you return refreshed and inspired from Convergence or other summer travels, perhaps an exploration of Atwater-Bronson lace will be your next weaving adventure.

Happy Travels,



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