One Thread at a Time
Long before I learned to weave, I used to describe writing as being like weaving. Where that notion came from, I have no idea, but when I did learn to weave, I found it was accurate. When I write, I have an almost physical sense of holding the theme as a warp in my mind as I weave threads of thought in and out. There is the same sense of focus and calm as when I weave. Usually I have a definite pattern in mind, but sometimes I design writing "at the loom," letting the ideas flow and seeing what appears. That kind of weaving and writing is an act of faith.
Rebecca Fox's Atwater-Bronson lace napkins
came first, the chicken or the egg?"
In the past few months, I've learned that publishing a magazine like Handwoven is also an act of faith. We put out an editorial calendar to the community, we search out and contact weavers, and we hope that you will share the fruits of your hard work and creativity with us and other readers. We ask and we receive the bounty of your looms with joy and wonder as boxes of gorgeous handwoven cloth arrive at our offices. Then "Team Handwoven" swings into action, racing against press deadlines: Joe Coca and Ann Swanson spend days photographing to capture the essence of each piece, our technical team spends hours discussing how to make each weaver's process clear to countless others, checking every draft and figure, and our design and production team hustle to bring it all together in a pleasing way. Then we send our little magazine out into the big world, hoping that it will inspire, educate, and bring a smile.
Tom Knisely simply has to smile as he shows
off his Irish linen rag rug.
The March/April issue of Handwoven is all about weaving with plant fibers, and it is full of the threads that run through our weaving community. There is the thread of history in Tom Knisely's Gift to Be Simple Irish linen rag rug, inspired by the Shaker hymn, and in Rebecca Fox's embroidered lace breakfast napkins that take me back to Sunday breakfasts at my grandmother's house. There is the thread of inspiration from nature in Sandra Doak's Colorado River Möbius shawl, Coreen Hartig's Pacific Wave scarves, and Judilee Fitzhugh's article on contact prints from leaves. Robin Lynde's clever V-shawl and Sarah Jackson's huck-lace bamboo tunic invite us to try new ways of weaving, and Robyn Spady's hemp towels and Michele Belson and Katzy Luhring's thoughtful Endnotes essay carry on the thread of sustainability, challenging us to help change the world for the better "one thread at a time."
Every magazine is a time capsule, a snapshot of the conversation in the community it serves, and the threads of conversation are weaving on from this latest Handwoven issue. Reader letters have added to our understanding of everything from production of man-made "natural" fibers to the the history of "paper spot" weaves and the proper way to fold diapers. This issue marks the beginning of what I hope will be a long and fruitful conversation. It's your magazine. I hope that you will write often and tell me what you like, what you want more of, what makes you smile, and how you want the fabric of Handwoven to unfold in the future, one thread at a time.