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 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.
Early in my 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.
In 2008 (revised 2015), I wrote Weaving Made Easy, a foundational book for new rigid heddle weavers. This 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.
After the publication of the book, I worked with Interweave to create four video workshops, 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
Then publishing started changing, and right along with it so did how crafty information gets delivered. Blogs, social media, and videos viewed on all sorts of devises and platforms 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 early start-up. In 2013, I launched this website, Yarnworker, as a place for me to have a home in the yarn universe and produce my own content.
Along the way, I wrote 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 and wrote the column through 2017.
Doing my part for the community of people who are in the business of fiber is important to me, I have long been a supporter of Weave A Real Peace (WARP), a non-profit networking organization for folks who support the cultural preservation of textiles. I served as a foundational member of the Spinning and Weaving Association that merged with The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA) in 2010. After the merger, served on TNNA’s Spinning and Weaving Group (SWG) leadership team from 2011-2013 to help launch Spinzilla, a totally crazy event for spinners.
In 2016, 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. I also self-published A Weaver’s Guide to Swatching, to outline how I swatch. In 2017, I published my second book with Interweave, Handwoven Home, that celebrates my love of making stuff to live.
Teaching others makes my weaving life better—who is the student and who is the teacher can shift, and that’s what keeps me going. Students challenge me to be a better weaver. In 2017, I launched the Yarnworker School of Weaving, an online school for developing your rigid heddle know-how. This latest venture is funded by the generous support of the Yarnworker Patron Community, who make this stage of my weaving career the most joyful.
It’s a happy life folks, not always easy, but yarn makes it better. I hope our paths cross soon.