It’s an understatement to say I’m excited about the new Spring 2024 issue of Easy Weaving with Little Looms. While you might think an issue with the theme of “hip to be square” would result in similar projects, the reality was weavers took this prompt and ran. I got some of the expected patterns—gamps, plaids, and checks—but mostly weavers took this theme as an opportunity to think about squares in a new way, to think outside the box, if you will. I’d love to talk about everything in the issue, but instead, I’m going to highlight just three things that make me happy about the Spring 2024 issue.
When I first saw Sara C. Bixler’s Modular Block Runner, shown above, I assumed the squares within squares design were done with inlay or embroidery. As it turns out, she created the design using internal hemstitching. That’s right, it’s the same basic hemstitch used at the ends of the cloth to protect weft, but this time it’s done within the cloth itself and in multiple directions! The result is equally beautiful on both sides of the cloth, and I would love to see more internal hemstitching used in future Little Looms submissions.
This geometric tapestry by Elena Kawachi and Claudia Chase is the perfect introduction to learning the meet-and-separate technique. Photo courtesy of Mirrix Looms
In our Winter 2023 issue, Elena Kawachi and Claudia Chase kicked off their new tapestry series with an introductory article about tapestry weaving and what absolute beginners need to know before they start weaving. For the Spring 2024 issue, they have their first lesson, this time on meet-and-separate, and that lesson includes a small geometric tapestry designed for those new to the art form. The project is beautiful and approachable, all while helping reinforce a basic tapestry technique.
Shilpa Nagarkar's Sunshine on Your Shoulders project showcases the elegance of a classic check pattern. Photo by Matt Graves
Checks and Plaids
I absolutely love checks and plaids. Even though these designs are so simple, they also contain endless possibilities. (Anyone who has been to Scotland and seen the plethora of tartan designs knows exactly what I’m talking about.) In this issue, not only do we have some gorgeous check and plaid projects, but we also have two articles on the subject. K. Rose James gives a fascinating history of tartans and their importance to the people of Scotland, while Gabi van Tassell explores the different ways to weave plaids and checks on different styles of pin looms.
I could keep going—I didn’t even get a chance to mention Joan Sheridan’s showstopping chessboard—but I promised I’d stop at just three items. Leafing through this issue brings me joy and gets me excited about weaving. I hope it makes you equally happy!