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Issue 90 : West
September/ October 2019
‘Go West, young man’ is a phrase often credited to the American author and newspaper editor Horace Greeley concerning America's expansion westward. No one has yet proven who first used this phrase in print, but it certainly captures the independent, free thinking, adventurous lives of Heidi Bjørnsdotter Thorvik from Norway, and Nicola Kilmartin in the Falkland Islands. They share a desire to create beauty from meagre, locally available natural resources, and their spirit is admirable.
In this issue we explore the needle as a narrative tool, telling the story of the Glasgow Girls, Ireland’s Ros tapestry, and the camaraderie of stitching in Tracey Chevalier’s new novel A Single Thread.
We celebrate examples of cultural heritage, those that are alive and well today, such as the handknit gloves from Sanquhar Dumfries and Galloway, or the Irish aran sweater, that have travelled the world and gained favour with Hollywood stars and the political elite. We also turn to societies with an ingrained respect for their material history such as Samurai warriors, and the Ainu people of Northern Japan with their beautiful graphic robes.