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Handwoven March - April 2018

Each issue offers a stunning collection of enticing weaving projects. But the magazine is more than that: it's a pattern book, and weave structure textbook, it's a place to discover original designs, and find solutions to weaving challenges. For over 20 years Handwoven has been an indispensable resource for weavers.

United States
Long Thread Media LLC
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5 Issues

In this issue

3 min.
from the editor

I subscribe to Cooper Hewitt Museum’s Object of the Day emails. Cooper Hewitt is the New York City design wing of the Smithsonian Museum. Every day I get an email with a picture of something interesting and/or beautiful from the museum’s huge collection. Accompanying the photo is a short description of the object and what makes it important in the world of design. It’s a little burst of wonderfulness that I look forward to each day. September 2017 was textile month in New York, meaning many of the objects that month were especially interesting to me. I am happy to report a healthy number of handwoven items made the list. The object of the day on September 18 was a beautiful wall hanging designed and woven by weaver Cynthia Schira in…

3 min.

ELSE REGENSTEINER INSPIRES AN ENIGMA I’ve been a big fan of Else Regensteiner’s books and read with great interest the letter from Mary McVicker in the November/ December 2017 issue regarding Else and Mary’s mother-in-law, Julia McVicker. I enjoy rummaging through the pages of Else’s The Art of Weaving looking for my next inspiration for an art weave project (I keep promising my wife that someday I will weave something more practical such as kitchen towels). One day, I was going through her Weaver’s Study Course and saw a triple-weave hanging I couldn’t resist trying since I’m a big fan of doubleweave (1975 edition, page 105; 1983 edition, page 129; yes, I have more than one edition of some of her books). The piece I wove I call Enigma, and since its…

1 min.

Wonderful Wools Weave up soft and luxurious scarves, shawls, and other accessories and garments with yarns from The Fibre Company. The blends artfully combine soft wools such as Merino, baby alpaca, and even camel with shimmering and bamboo rayons to create yarns that are wonderful to wear and weave. Available in a variety of put-ups and weights, these yarns are perfect for just about everyone. www.kelbournewoolens.com Multipurpose Magic Stick It’s not quite a magic wand, but it’s close; Schacht’s new 3-in-1 Magic Stick works as a pick-up stick, a small fork beater, and a sewing stick with a hole large enough for roving. The Magic Stick is an (almost) all-in-one tool for rigid-heddle, frame, and tapestry looms as well as for any free-form weaving. Made in America, the Magic Stick measures 1" x…

4 min.
media picks

TEXTILES OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND CENTRAL ASIA: THE FABRIC OF LIFE Fahmida Suleman In her introduction, author Fahmida Suleman begins with the short but profound statement, “Textiles convey stories.” Sometimes, as she points out, these stories are easy to “read,” as in the case of an elaborate doublewoven cloth from the sixteenth century featuring images from famous love stories and verses from romantic poetry. In other pieces of cloth, one must know the “code” of the cloth to read the colors, shapes, and various embellishments. Each of the over two hundred textiles in Textiles of the Middle East and Central Asia tells a story of the maker, the wearer, and the time and place in which the piece was created. Stories of individual pieces and various other textile traditions throughout the region…

5 min.
how to teach weaving to kids (and maintain your sanity)

For the past fifteen years, I have taught various classes for the Summer Sampler summer camp held by the Genesee Country Village and Museum in Mumford, New York. I started by teaching classes in hearth cookery to teenage boys. Although the work was exhausting and hot, it was fulfilling, joyful, quirky (ever cook raccoon or opossum?), and fun. Two years ago, the camp director asked me if I would teach the always-popular weaving classes. What follows are my experiences and advice to you, gentle reader, if you are ever called upon to teach kids’ weaving classes. Most likely, you will not have to deal with nineteenth-century museum particulars: hiding plastic water bottles, wearing your bonnet when outside, etc. Still, what I offer here is applicable to any weaving class situation.…

3 min.
the draft   coping with harness envy

I bought my first loom based on the only word about it that I understood— “cherry.” I didn’t know what a harness was, how a friction brake worked, or what “weaving width” really meant. My “cherry” Norwood just happened to have four shafts. After a short while, I began to believe that more shafts meant better weaving. As I added looms to my collection (one with as many as 32 shafts), I soon learned that more shafts do not mean better weaving. Craft smanship, successful designs, appealing color interaction, suitable fabric textures— none of these is dependent on the number of shafts on a loom. More shafts do bring some design advantages, especially when moving from four to eight, but the advantages decrease proportionately as the number of shafts increase. The…