Falling in Love Again

Whenever you enjoy a project from Handwoven, I hope you will send a silent thanks (as I do) to the technical editing team whose dedicated efforts help make the project directions accurate and understandable. Handwoven couldn't happen without their passion and commitment. Here's Susan Horton, one of our tech editors, to tell you about the process and what her relationship with Handwoven brings to her weaving. ––Anita

Handwoven weft kasuri vest by Judilee Fitzhugh  

Weft kasuri vest by Judilee Fitzhugh from

Handwoven September/October 2012


Like other weavers I have had an ongoing relationship with Handwoven magazine for many years. I remember clearly the first issue I bought. It was the November/December 1999 issue, with the beautiful horoscope scarf by Bonnie Tarses on the cover. For one of my first projects, I used "Rep Rug" by Catharina Carlstedt, (Handwoven September/October 1988) as the blueprint for two rep table runners. A couple years later, when I wanted to weave a weft-faced rug for the entryway, I used the colors of the Grand Canyon that I had seen on our summer vacation and incorporated them into the Summer and Winter rug by Halcyon Schomp and Hector Jaeger, on the cover of Handwoven, September 1982. Until I discovered Handwoven, I had no idea that there were so many other weavers, and I marveled at their ability to weave beautiful and useful objects. Soon after discovering it, I subscribed, and over the years have fallen in love many times and used many articles in the magazine as the basis for my own projects.

My relationship with the magazine changed slightly when my Double Weave pillow was on its cover in 2006. Just as I had never realized that there were other weavers like me, it had never occurred to me that I could have one of my pieces in the magazine. Since then, I've had several more articles in the magazine, and each time my project is accepted, it is all I can do to keep from asking "Really, are you sure"? I'm still as I was in 1999, marveling over other people's projects in the magazine. About a year and a half ago, my relationship with Handwoven changed again, when I began working as one its technical editors. Being a technical editor means that for a couple of weeks, five times a year, I throw myself into a small frenzy that starts when the project pictures and author's instructions are made available to us. Two or three projects are assigned to me, and I start my review, checking drafts, yarns and yardage, and instructions, and creating illustrations . Some articles are straightforward while others feel a bit like a puzzle as I try to interpret how the author created his or her piece and write instructions into Handwoven's standard format that is familiar to readers.

Often as I work on an issue, I fall in love again. It happened when I started my review of Judilee Fitzhugh's "Kasuri Dragonflies Vest" (September/October 2012). I had heard of kasuri but having to describe it made me want to try it, and now kasuri is on my short list of projects for the future. This year for the March/April 2103 issue, I worked on Laura Demuth's Telemarkesteppe article. While I can't say that the long drafts with multiple color changes were easy to create, I fell in love with the designs she was able to attain with those color changes and the weave structure. And, finally, in the May/June 2013 issue, Rebecca Fox's "Color Study Towels" were instrumental in helping me with the project currently on my loom, in particular her grey-scale gamp.  

In fact, in each issue I've worked on there is a project that makes me want to get up from my computer and get back to my loom. The experience has been enriching and educational, albeit occasionally challenging and frantic. I can tell you that it is always fun to see your own project in the magazine. It is also fun to see my technical imprint on other articles. When I get Handwoven these days, I flip quickly to see the articles I worked on and how they look. Then I relax and start to read the rest, and sometimes I fall in love again. 

––Susan Horton


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