It gives me great pleasure when people ask me what I do to say I’m a weaver. This was even before I did it for a living because I found the question of what I “do” not relevant to how I earn my living.
I hear so many people say, “I’m not a real weaver, I only…..” If you weave, you are a weaver. There are many ways to be a “weaver”. You can be a production weaver, a hang-on-the-wall art weaver, an improvisational weaver, an armchair weaver, a wearables weaver, a rug weaver, a weave-for-my home weaver, a weave-for-gifts-weaver, a teacher, a therapeutic setting weaver, a community development weaver, a social activist weaver, a weaving-related business owner or manufacture, a textile designer, an editor of weaving materials, an author, a blogger, an historian, a clothing designer, the list goes on and my favorite is make-myself-happy weaver. All of these require that you have a working knowledge of how weaving works.
I came upon this life in a way that makes some sense looking back, but as I was going about it seemed haphazard. At some point in my journey, I read Joseph Campbell‘s writings with the seemingly singular thesis of following your bliss. (As I continued to read about folklore I came to understand that Campbell tended to find tales that fit his theories, rather than looking at the enormous breath of folklore and its many ways of being. Without Campbell we would not have Star Wars, and for that alone I’m grateful.)
I grabbed onto this idea of bliss seeking with intellectual, heart-felt enthusiasm of youth. While I found his thesis motivating, I wanted to know HOW to follow my bliss. Where was the practical information to get me from here to bliss? Following your bliss is not in the least bit practical. Society will not make it easy. It take a lot of impracticality to make that journey.
So, why Yarnworker? Because that’s what I do. I work with yarn, more specifically, I weave with it. But Weaveworker didn’t sound quite the same. If you want to be a weaver, roll up your sleeves, grab some yarn, and weave. Following your bliss creates boundless joy and finding the forward motion in failing. Good days don’t last, bad days don’t last. I’ve had to weave a lot of cloth, write a lot of not so great words about that cloth, and work a lot of long hours to get even close to being what I wanted to be—a working weaver. I’m still on that journey. As my friend Amy says, patience is only required for things you don’t want to do.
We do our best and we get better, whatever better means to you. Bliss is around the corner waiting for you, right after you weave back about few rows.