PieceWork Spring 2023: The Education Issue

A celebration of learning can be found within the pages of our Spring issue.

Pat Olski Jan 9, 2023 - 3 min read

PieceWork Spring 2023: The Education Issue Primary Image

Try something new by working with your left hand on this crocheted scarf by Katrina King. Photo by Matt Graves

How did you first learn how to stitch? When I flipped through the pages in this issue, it made me realize that the way needlework is taught can be as significant as the finished product. Whether the method is hand-to-hand education as portrayed in Sarah Pedlow’s story about traditional Hungarian írásos embroidery or learning to knit from one’s mother as Meg Swansen learned from Elizabeth Zimmermann, we learn more than a skill—we also create a bond.

Sarah Pedlow shares embroidery techniques from Hungary. Photo by Sarah Pedlow

Knowledge is a gift. Prepare yourself to be moved by the contagious joy that leaps from the vivid images photographed by young weavers in Peru; I know it brought a smile to my face. Directed to capture local customs on film, these children grant us a precious glimpse into the culture that they are learning about from their elders, and we are equally rewarded as we witness their dawning realization that their fiber traditions hold significance on a world stage.

From the first checkout-aisle mini pattern booklet I bought in high school to the needlework compendium that I pored over for years, I taught myself many crafts by reading about them. As a little girl, I was never without my worn copy of Little Women, and I was inspired again and again by the pages that featured the March sisters stitching, sewing, and knitting—I adored their camaraderie and their talent. While editing Lisa-Anne Bauch’s delightful exploration of needlework themes woven throughout the text of Jack and Jill, I was elated to discover that Louisa May Alcott shared our love of needlework!

Carolyn Wyborny was inspired by the grand-master of lace knitting, Herbert Niebling. Photo by Matt Graves

Finding out about a new technique is so gratifying; there is nothing better than the challenge of something untried, and the pleasure of another community of makers to meet. Which pattern will inspire you to attempt something new: turning the Dutch heel on Victorian socks, crocheting elegant medallions, or knitting the exquisite shawl based on the charts of knitted lace master Herbert Niebling?

I am really looking forward to hearing about what you learn or what you hope to learn from this issue—please share with us here.

Pat Olski
PieceWork Editor

Our Spring issue is available now!