The Way We Were

Linda Ligon looks back at the early years of Handwoven.

Linda Ligon Jan 5, 2016 - 3 min read

The Way We Were Primary Image


One of the original Interweave newsletters.

Because 2014 is Handwoven's 35th birthday year—that would be 245 in dog years, and at least that many in magazine lifetime years—I’ve been spending more time than usual looking back. I’m not going to regale you with my all-time favorite projects or stories or photos, though. We did that in the May issue. What I’m remembering are the cringe moments.

In the early days, we sent out only one or maybe two renewal notices. These were post cards (a far cry from the abundant and frequent paper output that has become standard in the magazine business today). My first effort was a clip art depiction of a sheep, turned upside down with feet in the air, and the headline, “Don’t Expire On Us”. Clever, huh? Until someone wrote us asking that we please take her mother’s name off our list because she had died. Cringe.

Occasionally, in those early days, we sent out little newsletters in between issues. A far cry from the email newsletters from Weaving Today. I remember one so vividly—I can still see the cheery yellow paper it was printed on. Somewhere embedded in the text was the word “public”. Except I had left out a critical letter while typing it. (On my IBM Selectric typewriter.) Can you guess which letter was missing? What does “Linda” start with? Cringe.

There were more, many more. The project instructions that showed how one was to cut a circular neckline from one’s precious handwoven fabric 16 inches in circumference— but the diagram showed 16 inches in diameter. Do the math. That’s a 50-inch neck hole! Cringe.

Well, enough about that. The magazine business is fraught with pitfalls. But also filled with joy. All the beautiful stuff we get to work with, all the splendid people who contribute, all the kind and enthusiastic readers we get to touch. I guess we’ll do some more. Stay with us.