Handwoven for the Home

Mullarkey Towel

John Mullarkey's waffle-weave towel 
cleverly uses a tablet-woven trim instead

of a plain-weave trim so the towel remains
even in width throughout.  

As I’m writing this newsletter Monday morning, I’m finishing up all the last to-dos before I head to Convergence.  I’ve got most of my supplies for the classes I’m taking and an increasingly full schedule of where to be when and who I’m meeting where. My carry-on bags have been strategically packed so there’s enough room for some yarn and other goodies to take home, but not enough where I can go completely wild at the vendor hall.


Most importantly, I’ll finally get to meet a number of our contributors in person that I have only “talked” with via email. There are people I’ve talked to for years, but I’ve never actually talked to them. I’ve seen photos on websites and in the contributors page, but it will be nice to put a real face and voice to the words and weaving I’ve loved and admired for so long.


I’m also excited to encourage new people to submit projects for future issues of Handwoven.  One of my favorite parts of my job at Handwoven is when we publish somebody for the first time. No matter the level of weaving experience, it’s always great fun to walk them through their first issue. It doesn’t matter if you have years of weaving and teaching experience or if you’re a complete beginner, it’s always exciting to see your project in print for the first time, knowing that tens of thousands of people through the years will read your words and see your cloth—frankly it gives me goose bumps thinking about it!


For this reason, my favorite issue every year is our September/October competition issue. While some of the people who enter the contest have previously contributed, many are brand new to Handwoven. I don’t know what it is, but there’s just something about the contest that encourages weavers—who would otherwise not even dream of submitting a project to Handwoven—to cross their fingers and send out photos of their weaving.


Horton Towels
Susan Horton uses inlay to create wonderful block designs using her rigid-heddle loom.

Every year I am amazed at all the wonderful entries we receive—far more than we could hope to publish in a year’s worth of contest magazines. This year was no exception; there were beautiful towels, runners, and so much more entered in the Handwoven for the Home contest. There are projects for 2, 4, and 8 shafts, and projects trimmed with bands so you can break out your inkle loom as well.


There’s also plenty of inspiration in the issue to get you started modifying what’s in the issue or even designing your own. I know I’m thinking about weaving John Mullarkey’s waffle towel with tablet-woven trim in a completely different palette, and after seeing Susan Horton’s gorgeous rigid-heddle woven towels on the cover, I’m wondering what designs I could make using her inlay technique.  (I must admit that the idea of quickly warping and weaving a set of dish towels or napkins on my rigid-heddle loom sounds very appealing.)


As much as I love this issue, I have to admit, I can’t wait to see what we get next year. In the meantime, make sure you check out our editorial calendar online. You don’t have to wait for the next contest to show everyone what you can do. 

 

Christina Garton

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