Here in Southern California, we are in the depths of June gloom or, perhaps more accurately given the date, May gray. The marine layer comes in every evening and hangs around until late afternoon the next day. It’s like having one foot in summer and the other in winter. You know the blue sky is up there somewhere, but you can’t see it. We spend the mornings in sweaters and the afternoons in short-sleeved shirts. The flowers are blooming, and the birds and butterflies are active. They seem to thrive in the fog.
When we worked on the May/June 2021 issue of Handwoven, it was also a bit like living in two seasons. We had our photo shoot in January, inside, in a basement. With the theme of plaids and checks, we could have gone whole hog into fall or winter mode, but lots of the projects had a summery feel, so we decided to fully embrace the idea of picnics. It took some planning and a bit of borrowing of props to get the overall look we were going for, and there were a few mishaps, such as when the “fence” fell down, but otherwise things went smoothly.
The issue is full of colorful plaids and checks, 12 projects in all. As often happens to me, I found the projects so beautiful that I wanted to realign my own weaving-project list. Did I really need colorful linen napkins, a cotton tartan baby blanket, and a houndstooth shawl woven out of a silk/wool blend? Suddenly, I did. Aside from twills and plain weave, a canvas weave runner, warp and weft rep mats, and an inkle band by Mariellen Boss with a watermelon motif are now all calling my name.
We rounded out the issue with some fun and interesting articles about plaids and checks and, of course, tartans. One article, and I’m not telling you which one, brought tears to my eyes every time I read it, and I can assure you that was at least five times, if not more.
Check out this latest issue of Handwoven. It may not yet be picnic weather where you live, but we can all dream and weave in anticipation of summer.