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Handwoven January/February 2023

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Wool sits at the top of many weavers’ lists of favorite fibers, and not just because it is forgiving on the loom and dyes beautifully. Besides being warm, wool can also be considered a sustainable fiber, one that is less harmful to the environment than others. In this issue of Handwoven we celebrate wool in 11 projects that show off its best characteristics, whether it’s a cozy doublewidth blanket or a textured and stylish monk’s belt scarf. An article about Abundant Earth Fiber, a small batch mill that gets its fiber from local shepherds, and another piece about how teams of spinners, weavers, and sewists were able to produce two garments using (almost) only locally sourced materials both highlight the benefits of locally-sourced wool. Have stash worries? The Endnotes may inspire you to weave it now rather than waiting for the perfect moment.

If you are looking for design help, Tom Knisely investigates a well-known adage about designing cloth, Deb Essen describes why and how she samples, and an article about the Indian mango motif more commonly known as paisley will enlighten you about that motif’s longevity. Finally, in the second installment of the Healthy Weavers series, the authors offer strategies to make your weaving time bring you calm, both at the loom and in other parts of your life.


  • Stepping Up: From Sheep to Shoulders by Stacy Swenck
  • Abundant Earth Fiber: A Local and Sustainable Yarn and Fiber Mill by Yvonne Ellsworth
  • Notes from the Fell: Can You Have It All? By Tom Knisely
  • The Whys and Hows of Sampling by Deb Essen
  • Mango Tales by Chitra Balasubramaniam
  • Healthy Weavers: Strategies for The Mind and Spirit by Cynthia Evetts and Tina Fletcher
  • Endnotes: Don’t Wait to Use Your Wool by Marsha Lodge


  • Blanket of Dreams by Malynda Allen (4-shaft)
  • Fantasy Twill (scarf) by Nancy Peck (rigid heddle)
  • Strawberry Tea Scarves by Melissa Schubert (4-shaft)
  • Sashiko-Ori Throw by Beth Ross Johnson (6-shaft)
  • Windowpane Wrap by Christine Jablonski (rigid heddle or 2-shaft)
  • Touch of Twill (shawl) by Jane Sheetz (8 shaft)
  • Blueberry Fields Forever (vest) by Linda Williams (8-shaft)
  • Interplay Scarf by Lynn Novotnak (8-shaft)
  • Peaceful Winter Cowl by Sarah Rambousek (4-shaft)
  • Monk’s Belt for Texture (scarf) by Marcia Kooistra (4-shaft)
  • Heather and Rosepath (scarf) by Yvonne Ellsworth (4-shaft)