Introducing Little Looms Summer 2024

Easy Weaving with Little Looms Summer 2024 issue is a blast from the past with projects inspired by the Middle Ages.

Christina Garton Mar 21, 2024 - 4 min read

Introducing Little Looms Summer 2024 Primary Image

The Gothic Glass Table Runner by Jennifer Kwong gets its show-stopping bands of color from a simple pick-up techqnique. Photos by Matt Graves

When I was in fourth grade, I bought a copy of the book Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman at the Scholastic Book Fair. I was intrigued by the cover and delighted to find that the book was hilarious. Written in diary form, it told a story from the point of view of a young girl in the Middle Ages whose father was trying to marry her off. Along with recounting Birdy’s many antics, it also gave me a glimpse into everyday life for the daughter of a medieval lord. I wanted to research everything Birdy talked about. I remember finding the medieval Christmas traditions presented in the book especially fascinating.

*Gabi van Tassell's Bayeux Tapestry Bag features a color palette inspired by the natural dyes used in the Middle Ages.

It should come as no surprise that not only did I major in history, but one of the first upper-level college history classes I took was medieval history. These days, I still love medieval history and reading about how the period looked in different areas of the world. While Americans often view this period from a European perspective, imagining knights and castles, people all across the globe were creating incredible art of all kinds. While the Middle Ages are often viewed in contrast to the subsequent Renaissance period, it’s only because of the discoveries of the medieval period that the Renaissance could happen.

*Julie Beers tablet-woven Here Be Dragons! boot bands.

My love of medieval history inspired the theme of this issue, and I’m happy to say the designers took this theme and ran with it. The projects in the issue are inspired by the medieval period, yes, but they’re not items for reenactors; instead, they’re items that take medieval aesthetics and interpret them for the modern weaver. In this issue, you’ll find a pin-loom pillow inspired by an Incan tunic, a rigid-heddle runner with weft floats meant to evoke images of stained-glass windows, a set of towels fit for a king, and a beautiful inkle head adornment based on a Persian artifact. Of course, I couldn’t have a medieval issue without dragons, so in these pages, you’ll find both a sweet pin-loom dragon and a tablet-woven boot bracelet with dragon motifs.

As excited as I am about the projects, I can’t neglect how good the articles are as well. Find out from Catarina Ferreira about the mysterious history of the lucet, and then follow her tutorial on how to use one to create braids. Learn two different methods for setting up your rigid-heddle loom for weaving krokbragd from Kelly Casanova. For those wanting a history lesson, Michele Marshall writes about the long history of reusing and repurposing cloth in medieval Europe, while Sun Kim explains how the history of Korea inspired her scarf design for this issue.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as I enjoyed editing it.

Happy Weaving! Christina