Yarn is a big part of who I am—growing it, spinning it, and then making it do tricks, particularly the over/under kind (i.e. weaving). Passing this love on to newcomers and seasoned folks alike is what makes my heart happy. I spend my days weaving, writing about weaving, teaching others to weave, and enjoying this thing called life.
The Long Story
With an educational background in wool science, fiber arts, and community development, yarncraft has occupied much of my life. It feels like only yesterday that I found a home within the weaving and spinning community, but looking back, it has been decades.
Writing Weaving Made Easy, a foundational book for new rigid heddle weavers, was one of the happiest and most challenging parts of my fiber life. Anything is easy if you know how to do it, but giving folks the foundation to help them find the easy, is thrilling.
Early in my “official” career, I worked for some stalwart companies in the weaving world, including Interweave and Schacht Spindle. (Before that, I worked as a pastry chef, then on sheep and Alpaca farms, for nonprofits, and traipsed around many fiber-y destinations in the states and abroad.) In the early aughts, I made numerous appearances on PBS, DIY, and HGTV networks, introducing the crafts of weaving and spinning to a television audience.
Then screens started changing, and right along with it so did how crafty information gets to the people. Blogs, social media, and YouTube viewed on all sorts of devises make it possible for more voices in the yarn universe to be heard. In 2011, I struck out as a solopreneur seeing what kinds of things I could do on my own. In the beginning, I focused on video work for other small businesses supplementing with some contract work as a producer for Craftsy during its start-up. Then in 2013, I launched Yarnworker, a source for rigid heddle patterns and know-how, as a place for me to have a home in the yarn universe and produce my own content.
Along the way, I’ve written articles for many popular fiber-related magazines including Craft, Creative Knitting, Handwoven, Ply, Spin-Off, and Yarn Market News. In 2015 became a columnist for Knitty, launching Get Warped, a weaving-for-knitters feature.
Doing my part for the community of people who are in the business of fiber, I served on The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) Spinning and Weaving Group (SWG) leadership team from 2011-2013 and helped launch Spinzilla, a totally crazy event for spinners, working hands on with the Spinzilla committee until 2015.
Teaching others makes my weaving life better. I seek new and wonderful places to teach, as nothing replaces the hands-on experience of student and teacher—who is the student and who is the teacher can shift. I’ve taught at major conferences, every kind of yarn shop, folk schools, sheep shows, craft centers, farms, and universities. I know there are new and exciting places emerging everyday where crafty folks gather and I’m eager to go!
For those who can’t travel or don’t have a local shop, I have four video workshops published by Interweave, Slots and Holes: 3 Ways to Warp Your Rigid Heddle Loom, Life After Warping: Weaving Well on the Rigid Heddle Loom, Twice as Nice: Weaving with Two Heddles on a Rigid Heddle Loom, and Double Your Fun: Doubleweave on a Rigid Heddle Loom
Most recently, I teamed up with Purl & Loop to create the Swatch Maker Looms, a simple tool that helps weavers sketch out their ideas before they head to the loom.
It’s a happy life folks, not always easy, but yarn makes it better. I hope our paths cross soon.