For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved fairy tales and folk tales. As a child, I’d read translations of the Brothers Grimm's fairy tales cover to cover and devoured Celtic folk tales full of fairy courts and brave heroes. As an adult, I love exploring the worlds of Terry Pratchett, Nnedi Okorafor, and other contemporary speculative-fiction authors. Naturally, I couldn’t resist the temptation to turn my love into an issue of Easy Weaving with Little Looms, and I’m happy to say that the Winter 2023 issue, devoted to folk and fairy tales, exceeded my hopes and expectations.
The Arabian Nights Placemats by Christine Jablonski
One Thousand and One Nights, also known as The Arabian Nights, is a classic story full of stories, including most notably that of Aladdin and Ali Baba. In her set of placemats, Christine Jablonski pays tribute to the storyteller of these 1,001 tales, Scheherazade. Each placemat features a different color-and-weave pattern inspired by the night sky.
Of course, you can’t have an issue about fairy tales and folks tales without some mischevious animals, and Deb Bagley’s adorable Bunny Buddies (see photo at top) fit the bill. These adorable pin-loom rabbits might look ready to sneak into Farmer McGregor’s vegetable patch, but they make even better snuggle buddies (bunnies?) for a very special little one in your life.
The Star-Crossed Lovers Scarf by Sun Kim
The issue also includes projects inspired by new-to-me tales, including that of the cow herdsman and the weaver, a Korean folk tale. To represent the literally star-crossed lovers of the title, designer Sun Kim clasped contrasting shades of cotton slub in the warp. The result is a beautiful scarf, perfect for dressing up an outfit for keeping warm on cool evenings.
I could go on and on about all the amazing projects and the stories that inspired them, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t take some time to mention the articles. One common “fairy tale” among rigid-heddle weavers is that you can’t use linen as a warp yarn. Christine Jablonski proves this tale a myth in her article on doing just that and in her previously mentioned 100 percent linen placemats. Switching to another fiber, wool, in the String Theory for the issue, Anita Osterhaug gives the scientific details behind fulling as well as a step-by-step guide to fulling by hand or washing machine.
There’s so much more I’d like to share, but instead I’ll just ask you to please take a look. I hope you enjoy reading and weaving from this issue as much as I enjoyed putting it together.