A few years ago, when I was working primarily on Handwoven, we had an issue themed around circles and curves. The idea was to challenge weavers—circles and curves aren’t all that easy to put into a woven design; they often require hand-manipulation, deflection, and, usually, a good amount of sampling. The issue was beautiful, and I loved the unique ways each designer chose to showcase the theme, but for the Spring 2024 issue of Easy Weaving with Little Looms, I wanted to do the opposite. And so, the “Hip to Be Square” issue was born.
I wanted an issue that celebrated the straight line and reveled in the right angle. Yes, it’s significantly easier to design projects around straight lines, but there’s also unlimited potential within those straight lines that I had a feeling designers would delight in exploring. I am happy to say my intuition was correct because the projects we received for the issue were incredible. Take Sara C. Bixler’s Modular Block Runner. For this project, she not only created blocks in her weaving through the normal warp-and-weft combinations, but she also added squares within those squares using, of all things, hemstitching. Seeing how Sara used internal hemstitching will open a whole new world of surface-embellishment possibilities.
The squares-within-squares of Sara C. Bixler’s Modular Block Runner were created using internal hemstitching.
As might be expected, the pin-loom weavers had great fun with the theme, not just with square and rectangle looms, but with hexagons as well. How, you might ask? Through clever use of color! In her A Quilter’s Scarf, Gabi van Tassell gives the illusion of stacked squares through the use of two-color hexagons and small squares on the side. It’s such a fun design, reminiscent of traditional quilting patterns, but in a thoroughly modern color palette.
The stacked squares on Gabi van Tassell’s A Quilter’s Scarf are actually made up of hexagons and squares.
I also received three different game boards for this issue, including one woven using inkle bands. For her Royal Chessboard, Joan Sheridan wove three inkle bands: One red, one black, and one gold. She then wove together the red and black bands to create a classic chessboard and trimmed it with her gold band to make a board fit for a queen. It is the definition of a showstopper piece.
Joan Sheridan’s Royal Chessboard is made from three inkle bands woven using two different techniques to create a one-of-a-kind piece.
As usual, I could go on and on about all the other projects in the issue, but I’d rather you take a look at it yourself. I hope you agree that sometimes it pays to think inside the box.