Come Darkness, Come Light

The hallow'd and gracious time is upon us, and so the whole Handwoven staff sends you warm wishes for a peaceful and happy holiday season.

  A loom in Pitumarca, Peru    
  The new year is as full of promise
as a newly warped loom

I love New Year’s Day above almost every other holiday, because it’s a fresh beginning. There’s such optimism and hope in making resolutions – I make huge lists of them. Of course, many fall by the wayside, but just putting the intentions out there feels good. I always, always include spinning and weaving resolutions on my list. Sometimes it’s vowing to work at my crafts so many minutes a day or week, sometimes it’s creating particular pieces for family and friends over the course of the year. Sometimes I follow through. For 2012, my aspiration is less about my own work and more about my hope for our community of weavers and spinners – that we all keep spreading the joy and keeping our crafts living and vital. That’s not so hard, is it? (And, well, I will spin up my considerable stash of hand painted silk tops, and I will weave something with the resulting yarn. Just ask me about this time next year.)

Linda Ligon



Madelyn's Tree


Madelyn's tree full of handmade
textiles is a sign of spring to come.

I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. I live in the north of the Northwest. This means daylight begins at about eight in the morning and ends at about four in the afternoon, making a very long night for this lover of light. But I love certain aspects of the season of darkness. I love how it turns me to inside light. I put electric candles in all the windows and lights on my Christmas tree, which is an addition to my environment that I dearly love. Most of my ornaments are handmade textiles of some kind, and red becomes my favorite color. I love the way a loom looks in the soft light of winter and the knowledge that I can’t work outside so I might as well be weaving. I think about January 1st and look forward to turning over new leaves. At my loom, decorating my tree, sending and receiving gifts and cards and e-mails, I feel lucky to be in this world. I feel a special gratitude for being part of the world of weavers, and I send holiday greetings to you all! And then, I smile to think that the next season is spring.


Madelyn van der Hoogt

Stars woven in overshot   
May your shuttles fly smoothly and swiftly.  

As I look ahead to the holidays and the New Year, I think of the great gifts that weaving has brought to my life: a satisfying skill, endless opportunity for learning, and membership in a community of passionate, intelligent, thoughtful, generous people who impress me more each day. For myself in the coming year, I wish more time to weave and to learn from the weavers around me. For all of you, I wish that your shuttles will fly smoothly and swiftly, that you never skip a dent (unless you want to), and that your selvedges will always behave. For our weaving community, I hope that we can find ways to seek out and welcome new weavers, young and old, whether or not they have time for complex projects or budget for a loom. Weaving has the power to liberate, to heal, to enrich lives, and we have all been blessed with the important work of sharing its joy. May we be worthy of the task, worthy of the weavers who came before us, and may the riches of friendship be our reward.

Anita Osterhaug




Chile Peppers and a Penguin  
Each ornament is a memory  

I’ve never been one for designer Christmas trees. While they do look lovely with all the ornaments matching as they hang in perfect balance and harmony, I prefer my tree messy and eclectic. When I look at my tree, something I love to do, each ornament holds a memory: memories of family, friends, and Christmases past. Even the chile pepper light covers in red and green remind me of Christmas time in New Mexico and the smell of hot cider and red chile sauce. This is, of course, true for many things in life, not the least of which is weaving. The pieces I’ve woven hold memories not just of the time spent weaving, but the time spent living. From the runner that graces the table for special dinners to the scarf I wore on my first ski trip, each one is special. And so my wish for all of you in the coming year is for many happy memories made on the loom and throughout life. 


Christina Garton

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