Handwoven September/October 2018 Lookbook

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A set of towels by weavers from the Syracuse Weavers Guild.

Weaving guilds and guild challenges are dear to my heart. Although it took some time for me to attend my first guild meeting, once I got there, I knew I was in the right place. Where else can you freely discuss sett and drape and work on fiber projects in public without fear of sideways looks?

I recently wrote that if there had been a guild challenge to weave purple placemats out of old kitchen towels, I would have happily joined in. And it’s true. As much as I love “big” guild meetings, I love guild groups, challenges, and exchanges even more. It’s in guild study groups that I’ve made some of my closest weaving friends, pushed myself to decipher enigmatic weave structures, and even challenged myself to learn about aspects of weaving I wouldn’t have considered without a bit of peer pressure from a group.

To celebrate guilds and guild groups, we asked for projects that were woven to satisfy the parameters of group exchanges, challenges, and studies. Five guilds are represented in this issue of Handwoven with 13 projects that are now ours to enjoy:

• Three towels woven by the Syracuse Weavers Guild, which challenged its members to use all of the colors from a Tintes Naturales kit to weave towels (with the added benefit of aiding the Mayan Hands Natural Dye Project).

• Five coordinating napkins woven by members of the Silver City Weavers’ Tea study group based on a photograph from a Sierra Club calendar.

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A set of napkins from the Silver City Weavers’ Tea study group.

• A scarf by Kathi Keller and Linda Gettmann from the Central Oregon Spinners and Weavers Guild that is the result of a study of supplementary warp monk’s belt.

• Towels by Elizabeth Evans of the Etobicoke Handweavers and Spinners study group, woven in response to the group’s participation in an exhibit at the Royal Museum of Canada about the iconic book Keep Me Warm One Night.

• Three shadow-weave projects from the South Coast Weavers and Spinners Guild of Southern California, whose weave structures study group chose the topic of shadow weave as its 2016 topic.

Seeing the projects and hearing the stories of guilds and guild groups makes me proud to be part of a weaving tradition that includes working together toward a common goal of increasing our collective weaving knowledge. If you aren’t already a guild member, I encourage you to become one. Until then, enjoy the projects these five challenges, exchanges, and studies have produced.

Weave well,
Susan