I have been dreaming about this issue for a while now. Even before I started working in any capacity for Handwoven, I talked with longtime Handwoven designer Sarah Jackson about weaving we saw online and at guild meetings that was based on past projects in Handwoven. The two of us would muse about how great it would be to have a Handwoven-inspired issue.
It was even the concept I came up with when I was asked to design my dream issue as part of my hiring process to become editor. At the time I had no idea that Handwoven’s Ruby Anniversary was coming and that my dream would mesh so perfectly with it.
In early 2018, the Northwest Arkansas Handweavers Guild originally gave me the idea of honoring each of the past five editors when guild members sent in thirteen projects they had woven in honor of Madelyn van der Hoogt, the editor of Handwoven from 1999 to 2012. Then two more projects were proposed that honored two other past editors, and the underlying theme was solidified for me. A few emails later, we had a full set of five projects, one for each editor. Then, for fun and fully sentimental reasons, we asked Sara Bixler to weave a project for her father, Tom Knisely, who has been part of Handwoven in many ways for many years.
Of all of the issues I’ve been involved with, this one had the most proposals and submissions. We picked as many as we could, and I was brokenhearted over every one we couldn’t keep. After all, I also learned to weave from Handwoven; I know how much heart and soul can go into a submission and, based on the emails I received, how much being in this particular issue meant to some contributors.
Let’s celebrate this fortieth anniversary of Handwoven with a nod to the past editors who shaped it and shepherded it, to the inspiration it has given many of us over the years, and with best wishes that it will continue on for many years to come. Cheers!