Weaving Together for 35 Years

  Lillimor and her students

Lillemor (at far right) and some of her
students, including Lars Malmberg (far left)

of Glimakra, featured in the article
"A Tribute to Lars Malmberg" 
(Handwoven, May/June 2014).
Photo Courtesy of Lars Malmberg. 

Last Friday I had one of the greatest thrills of my editorial career: Lillemor Johannson wrote to congratulate us on Handwoven's 35th anniversary issue. Many of you will recognize Lillemor's name: she is the founder of Vävmagasinet, the Scandinavian weaving magazine, the author of Damask and Opphämpta (one of the first weaving books I ever owned), and founder of the Swedish Weaving Museum in Glimåkra, Sweden. She is a legend as an editor, weaver, and teacher, and she is one of my weaving heros.

In her letter, Lillemor reminisced about the parallels of the last 35 years. How she founded Vävmagasinet just a few years after Linda Ligon started Handwoven. How she was inspired by HGA's Convergence and started a Swedish national weaving group to organize the bi-annual Väv conference (to be held this year in Umeå on September 18-20). How she came to teach hundreds of classes and many hundreds of students over the last 30-plus years.


The first issue Handwoven Spacer 5x5 pixels
The first issue of Handwoven, 
published 35 years ago. 

As I read Lillemor's letter, I thought of Linda Ligon, Jane Patrick, Jean Scorgie, and Madelyn van der Hoogt, all the Handwoven editors who came before Christina and me; of Tina Ignell, who is carrying on Lillemor's work with Vävmagasinet; of Lynn Smetko and the previous editors of the Complex Weavers Journal, of Lars Malmberg of Unicorn Books and Crafts, and of Sandra Bowles, editor of Shuttle, Spindle, and Dyepot, and all the other editors and publishers who have served the weaving community over the last 35 years.

In these days of flashing screens, beeping electronics, and "sound bytes," we are so fortunate that we still have the opportunity to learn about weaving in depth through magazines and books (physical or digital), and to be exposed to new ideas, to inspiring weavers, and to weaving traditions from around the world. The written word helps keep our craft healthy and our community connected and vibrant. Each of these publications meets the needs of our worldwide community in a different way, and each exists through the generosity and good will of its readers and contributors.

So happy anniversary and thank you to each and every one of you who have helped keep the flame alive. And here's to the next 35 years!


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