Sharing the Love

  Tien Chiu's silk bags
  Tien Chiu's sweet little sachets use
a small amount of fine silk and
sewing thread to create tiny little
luxuries that won't break the bank 
  Horton Shawl
  Susan Horton's gorgeous
ombre shawl was woven on a
rigid-heddle loom

A friend of mine who is a bit of a Biblical scholar once told me the first sentence of Genesis, usually translated as “In the beginning was the Word,” can also be translated as “In the beginning was the conversation.” I’ve probably mentioned this before because I love the idea that humanity begins with conversation. (Those of us who are of Norwegian heritage call this “to visit,” pronounced “VI-ssit,” which means conversation plus coffee and butter cookies.) I have found that when we share our passions, conversation leads to understanding, to discovering new ideas, and to a healthy community

Within any community there is a state of conversation, whether we see one another every day or meet somewhere on the Internet. Within the weaving community, we share our love of the craft at studios and guilds, on Ravelry and WeaveTech and on our website, Weaving Today, at regional conferences and at national and international conferences such as Convergence in the U.S. or the Vav conference in Sweden. It also takes place in the pages of Handwoven magazine, where we share our knowledge and our ideas and our projects with one another.

As editor, my aim is for Handwoven to reflect and contribute to the conversation that happens every day within our community. Within the last two years, we have shared weavers’ thoughts on sustainable materials, from plant fibers to wool; we have celebrated weaving traditions from around the world, we have presented ideas about textured fabrics; learned about weaving among the American pioneers; and explored every fiber artist’s favorite topic, color. Many new weavers are joining the community conversation today, often starting with small looms and perhaps a stash of “knitting yarns,” while advanced weavers are exploring complex structures and finer threads and are also starting to explore the design possibilities of simpler looms. To meet these needs, we present projects for weavers at every level and for looms large and small, from card weaving, pin looms, and inkle looms to rigid-heddle looms to 4-, 8-, and even 12-shaft floor looms.

I’m excited about where the conversation will lead in the year ahead. The January/February issue, soon to be in your mailboxes and on the newsstand, explores the glorious possibilities of weaving with silk (with projects for every loom, skill level, and budget). In the March/April issue, we will enjoy cloth inspired by cloth, from historical textiles to the movies, and we’ll look at how to design cloth from cloth. Summer is a time for exploration, so May/June will be all about designing at the loom: the creative possibilities that come AFTER you warp. In September/October, we celebrate 35 years of Handwoven with our anniversary issue and a handweaving for the home” reader challenge, and in November/December, we will explore “plain weave with a plus”: making plain weave fancy with texture, color, supplementary warps and wefts, and more.

In 2014, I hope that you will become part of the conversation, whether you choose to contribute to Handwoven, to write us a letter and about your weaving and what you think is important, or to share your knowledge and experience or your questions on Weaving Today. Whether you’re a beginning weaver or a weaving diva with decades of experience, it’s your community and your magazine, and you have something to say. So share the love and speak out!


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