Friday, December 31, 2021

Out With the Old


To end this...unprecedented...year, are weather events breaking records around the world.

There is a cartoon showing a group of people with a very long stick, looking carefully around a corner at the door marked 2022, and very gently poking the door open.   The unstated being that obviously what awaits us on the other side might well be more of the same.

Unfortunately, I suspect that is exactly what awaits us.  More extremes.  Of every kind.  As human beings we are going to have to stop thinking that things will get better on their own and begin working towards solutions to what is happening in and on our world.  Our one world.  Because there is no Planet B.

I saw someone comment on Twitter this morning that he could only do what he could do, and so he was going to keep on doing what he could.

It is a philosophy that I have lived with all my life.  I can't change the big things, but I can change the small things.  Maybe.  I won't know until and unless I try.

And so I set out on a new journey.  Well, I started last summer, but these Big Projects take time to come to fruition.  But now I am looking forward to the launch of my on line class The Intentional Weaver with SOS.  

One of the reasons I agreed to work with Felicia and her crew was the ability to interact with the people viewing the classes.  It's not in person, but it's as close as extreme climate and covid will allow right now.  

On line classes are not the same as in person.  We rely on the camera capturing the precise view that the student needs.  And sometimes it doesn't.  But I will be there to answer questions and perhaps explain, through words and static photos so that the student will gain understanding.

If you already have a copy of the book, it can be used as the 'textbook' because there is far more material in the book than the on line class.  We focused on specific skills for the class.  But, and here is why I'm kind of excited about SOS, they have asked me to do more classes.  And so I can look at other aspects of weaving and share them, too.

I am very grateful to the SOS team for the hard word they are doing to make the classes meet the needs of their students and the weaving community.  I am looking forward to continuing to teach via their platform and have begun crunching data and formats trying to work out the best way to do this on line.

If the student cannot come to the teacher, the teacher can come to the student - via the internet.

No, it's not perfect.  But it's something.  And if it helps one person learn more, then I'm happy to have been part of it.

The class will soft launch on Jan. 12.  If anyone is interested they can sign up for a three or 12 months membership using the link.

Thursday, December 30, 2021



When I was a kid, I wanted to be a writer.  I tried prose.  Poetry.  I was pretty bad at both.

But!  It seemed I did have a way with words, just not the way I expected.

Decades later, readers have read my words here, and elsewhere, to the point where I'm feeling encouraged I should maybe keep writing?  

Number 4 AND 5 on Handwoven's top 10 list of articles read in 2021.  Seems like encouragement to me.

Well, I hope you understood that the above was written tongue-in-cheek (sort of) because writing is something I do for myself as well as for others.  I very much doubt I'll stop writing any time soon.  I have zero plans to produce another book (in spite of that moth eaten manuscript I call a 'memoir' - do I really want to reveal that much about myself?  Maybe not.)

However, I expect this blog to continue until I run out of things to say, even if my message is pretty much consistent.  Sometimes you have to say the same thing in a different way before someone else begins to understand what you are conveying.

And sometimes I peel another layer off the onion of understanding.  Sometimes a problem crops up and I work out a way to fix it - or at least work my way under, over or around it.

But it was a nice ego stroke this morning after a not-so-great night and too little sleep.

However, the sun is currently shining.  The snow has stopped.  The temps have warmed up (some) and the loom is ready and waiting for me.

I just wanted to say thank you to those who have followed me here since 2008, bought my books, contacted me to say what I do helps, incorporated some of the techniques I use and have shown in DVDs and soon-to-come online class(es).

It's a lovely way to wrap up a year that hasn't been great while heading into a new year that looks to be equally challenging, if not more so.

Stay safe.  Stay well.  Stay weaving and learning.

Wednesday, December 29, 2021


preparing to thread - Harrisville hook held with the hook facing downwards


The current warp is twice as wide in the reed as the scarves were so I'm back to dealing with 768 ends.  The biggest effort is getting the loom set up - from beaming the warp (winding it if using a warp chain) to threading, sleying and tying on is a massive investment in getting woven cloth achieved.

As such I have spent much of my life tweaking what I do, grabbing on to new techniques/tools as I learn about them.  Then I give myself 7 warps to see if they fit well with me, my equipment and space.

The Megado is a different loom than the AVL and I'm still working out a few issues with it.  But It's coming along.  Since the Megado is to be my 'retirement' loom, I have to figure it out and resolve a few issues with it.

I spent much of this morning trying to work out the best way to resolve one issue and I keep coming back to the one thing I don't actually want to do, but may have to, in the end.  

It's minor, though, and I still have another approach I can try, and will once this warp is off the loom.

Part of the challenge with the Megado is the lack of space to work in the 'guts' of the machine.  It's extremely well engineered and the parameters are tight.  This makes the loom 'small', as in small footprint, which is great if you don't have a lot of room.  But it also makes it challenging to get into the shafts and work with them, such as adding more heddles should they be required.  Which is part of my problem right now - I really ought to increase the number of heddles on several of the shafts.  Instead I've been adjusting my threading drafts so that shafts that need more heddles wind up on the shafts that have more heddles!  Or I tie in 'repair' heddles.  Not an ideal situation, but easier than fighting to add more TexSolv heddles.

So I've been waiting until I feel up to roping in some help and spending the time needed to do the job.  However, it won't solve the last minor irritant and until I resolve that, I'm leaving the heddle situation for now.

There are many facets to the issue of efficiency/ergonomics.  Putting more heddles onto the shafts is not ergonomic as you have to kind of bend yourself into a pretzel to do the job.  And the tight quarters means it takes time to do the job with no real way to make it easier/faster.

However, I am almost finished threading this warp, and should be able to sley and tie on, then generate my treadling, perhaps even wind some bobbins, before I finish for the day.  But that means getting down to the loom.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Circles, Spirals


Yesterday I finished the last scarf on what will be, for the time being, the last scarf warp.  As I set up the spool rack I thought about how life doesn't just circle back on itself, it spirals.

This warp is 100% natural white 2/16 cotton.  Back in the day I would beam 40 yard long warps with 2/8 natural white cotton and then weave that off using various colours to make place mats, table runners, even napkins.

Since those days my weaving shifted into using much more colour, until I finally felt comfortable enough working with colour to combine some hues I would never have dreamed of using back in the 1980s and 90s.

And now?  I circle back to my former favourite colour - white.  

This warp is an effort to use up the last of my 2/16 dyed yarns.  When working with such fine yarn it is easy to forget just how much yarn fits on the spools.  A half pound spool of 2/16 cotton holds about 3360 yards of yarn.  Almost 2 miles.

You get a lot of play value from fine yarns.  Just saying.

There should be enough yarn for 6 warps but I expect to have finished the dyed 2/16 long before I get to warp #6.  However, I have other yarns that can also be used on the same set up - some cottolin (almost gone), some cotton/hemp, some linen.

But my next goal is that dyed 2/16 cotton.  I have numerous half or close to empty spools and if I can get them emptied I could potentially clear at least two more shelves of yarn.

And then I'll potentially look at the 2/20 mercerized cotton.  It's been stored in an ordinary cardboard box for far too long and needs to be used up.  We'll see what I come up with.

Currently reading Fabric by Victoria Finlay - a travelogue focusing on textiles.  Enjoying it so far.

Monday, December 27, 2021



  1. 1.
    relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
  2. 2.
    occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

Weavers think a lot about selvedges.  Some of us actually obsess about them.  Are they perfect enough?  Are they straight enough?  Does every selvedge require a floating end in order to create that 'perfect straight' edge?

Other definitions are about ambiguity.  There doesn't seem to be much ambiguity about a selvedge.  It's very definite about being the end of the cloth, surely?

But if you consider that the term also relates to being at the edge of a boundary, is there anything more liminal that a selvedge?

At each edge the shuttle returns to the other side with each pass.  So the shuttle makes that transition from going one direction, then abruptly going the other in a process that takes the entirety of the warp to complete.

The more I think about ambiguity in weaving, the more I see it and coming across the term tonight as I began reading Victoria Finlay's new book Fabric, a few things began come together for me.  

Selvedges are not the only measure of the worthiness of a cloth.  It is what happens between the selvedges that is the important part of any cloth.  The selvedges just define the space of cloth/not cloth.

And yes, they must be crafted in such a way as to protect the cloth, to assist it in doing the job it is meant to do.  

What I have found is that if I pay attention to what I am doing to make the cloth as a whole, the selvedges tend to take care of themselves.  If my cloth has a 5 end float in the centre of it, without compromising the cloth's ability to do it's job, that five end float at the selvedge is not all that important.  It is not the number of ends in the float but the actual length.

In other words a five end float in a cloth that is 45 ends/picks per inch, the actual length of that float is much less than if there are 8 ends/picks per inch.  So I don't fret about how many ends are floating at the selvedge.  I don't force my selvedges to have a plain weave interlacement.  Plain weave will take up differently than other weave structures and can actually not improve the situation.  A floating selvedge is not necessary if you are weaving plain weave.  Unless you want one.

If you do, use them.  But sometimes I think weavers put way too much emphasis on things that are liminal - transitional - ambiguous.  

When I teach, I hope that I can convey to people all the different ways we can approach weaving.  How when you change one thing, everything can change.  How valuable it is to have multiple tools in your toolbox.  

And yes, pay attention to the details, but not at the expense of the whole cloth.

Give yourself the grace of being imperfect, but still worthy.  Still valuable.  Still functional.  Keep learning.  Keep trying.  Keep weaving, even when things aren't 'ideal' or 'perfect'.

Leonard Cohen said it 'best':  Forget your perfect offering.  There is a crack in everything.  That's how the light gets in.

Sunday, December 26, 2021



The days roll on and this year draws to a close.  Time to think about what's next.

For the past six months I have been working on and thinking about my next Big Project, which is presenting classes through the School of Sweet Georgia.

I have been encouraged to share my excitement with anyone who is interested by offering a discount coupon for membership in the School.

The coupon can be used any time, but runs from the day you join, so maybe wait until just before the class launches on Jan. 12, 2022.  The coupon is good for 15% off a 3 or 12 month membership.

The next class, Magic in the Water, will be edited and launched next, sometime in February.

If you have my book(s) they can be used as reference works for the class.  The books cover the same territory but go beyond what we could put into a video.  Both books can be purchased from or in either PDF or print versions.  Magic is in a 'magazine' format - I'm assuming a paper cover, while The Intentional Weaver is a hardback.

And of course, the School has other classes that you might find interesting as well.  

I am looking forward to being able to answer questions and interact with the students.  Being able to provide on-going assistance means a great deal to me because weaving is complex, full of ambiguity, and everything depends.  Learning how and in way those issues of ambiguity can be resolved is part of mastering the craft.  Weaving with intention, with mindfulness, is my goal.  I'm looking forward to sharing what I know with others who find weaving just as fascinating as I do.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Season's Greetings


Sending best wishes for the holidays to everyone.  Merry and bright, all things light, to you and yours.

Friday, December 24, 2021

A New Day


The picture was taken at about 8:55 am this morning.  The sun hadn't quite made it over the hill, but the dawn light was welcome.

We will be having a period of cold temps beginning right about now and the estimate is that it is going to last for a while.

When I checked the forecast, the highs were going to be in the mid-to-low 20s.  Minus 20s C, that is.  Which, all things considered, isn't terrible.  Especially if that cold comes with lovely blue skies.

The cold will curb people's enthusiasm for being outside, but with covid raging, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

It will take a few days before we begin to notice that the daylight hours are increasing, but we are beyond the solstice now and the sun will begin returning.  I am grateful.  

Yesterday I had one last errand run - chiropractor to crunch my neck back into place, then the post office where I picked up a book I have been waiting to arrive (more on that later - I have to finish my current library book - which is already overdue!) and my box of 2/16 cotton.  

I am about to finish the second third of the 'last' (for now) scarf warp, and will begin working on the draft for the tea towel warp that I will beam as soon as the scarf warp comes off the loom.

We have no family here and have no plans to visit anyone.  Doug will get his exercise moving snow as the gyms are mandated closed.  At least for a few weeks.  

I've got the loom and my stash plus the SOS class will launch mid-January.  I've been told I can offer a discount coupon and will do that next week.  No, my class isn't listed yet, and won't be until January.  But using my coupon you can get 15% discount for a 3 or 12 month membership and while you are waiting for my class there may be others of interest.  Or just wait until Jan. 12 to join.  Membership begins the day you sign up, not the beginning of the month.

Otherwise, we will have a very quiet xmas.  And that is just fine by us.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021



In many cultures the  coming of the winter solstice is also a celebration of light.  When the sun goes away, it needs to be enticed back and many people take comfort from lighting candles or decorating with lots and lots of light.

I don't remember where I first heard the above comment, but I remember it made a huge impression on me.  The fact that lighting someone else's candle from my own does not diminish me in any way?  Just made so much sense.

Plus, if I light another candle, not only does mine continue to burn, now there are two candles providing twice as much light.  And if we ALL lit even one more candle, then the light would grow exponentially.  Like a virus.

We are in some very dark times right now.  Two years of a pandemic that has killed literally millions of people, left others with long term health issues and now we enter the fifth wave.  And we need to stop the pandemic.

We are entering a new 'year'.  Another circle round the sun.  For us northerners, the sun will begin returning, while it leaves the southern hemisphere in darkness again.

But that's the thing.  It *will* come back.

And we can get through this pandemic if we just understand how a virus works.  That it is airborne.  That we all need to wear a mask to prevent the spread.  Get vaccinated to prevent serious illness and potentially death.

But that doesn't mean life stops entirely.  We still need to sleep, get up, try to do something positive, something loving, for ourselves and our planet.

I choose to weave.  To do it, to teach it.  

To that end, I was informed yesterday that my class The Intentional Weaver will launch on Wednesday, January 12, 2022.  Right now you can get a 15% discount on a 3 or 12 month membership at the School of Sweet Georgia - until Dec. 31, 2021.

Join me at SOS and we will take a deep dive into the science of creating woven cloth, and - in February - the Magic in the Water when that collection of woven threads becomes 'real' cloth.

Sending love and light to all on the returning of the sun once again.

Sunday, December 19, 2021



I live in a place where there are seasons.  Sometimes too many seasons if you take into consideration climate change.  Now we have wildfire season, which can encompass elements of spring, summer AND autumn.

But never mind.

Winter is a time to hibernate for many of the animals that live here.  Bears, most famously, but other critters also go into a dormant phase.  Plants go 'quiet' as well, conserving their energy for the first faint hint of spring.

So it is with other aspects of life.  

As someone who has worked in a field of being creative most of my life, I have become accustomed to the so-called fallow periods of life.  

The thing is, fallow doesn't mean nothing is happening.  Mostly it just means that deadlines are far enough in the distance that I can kind of ignore them, or I can do the kind of research or preparations I need to learn enough to deal with whatever 'big' project I am about to tackle next.

And sometimes?  There can be a very long list of things that need to happen, during which time it may look like I'm not accomplishing very much at all.

So last summer I agreed to teach some classes for the School of Sweet Georgia (SOS).  It took the better part of 6 weeks to work out the shape and format of the classes.  Figure out what I needed to show as examples/processes to make my point(s).  Order in yarn samples.  Weave samples.  Design a project for the one class.  Schedule the steps to be involved.  Work out how to film segments out of sequence in order to capture the maximum amount of information in the shortest period of time.  During this time, nothing much appeared to be happening - no new projects, no pretty pictures to post.  Not much happening in terms of inventory created, new designs to implement and offer, no stash busting - because I was sampling new-to-me yarns.  I was learning.  Adding to my foundation of knowledge.  Increasing my information database.

One class took all of one day to record.  The other took over 2.5 days which left us enough time to tear down and pack up and still leave by close of day so that Doug and I could hop in the van early the next morning and make it home in one day.

And then it was time for the post-production.  The SOS team swung into action and late last night I got a link to Vimeo so that I could review the first class that will be launched - mid-January.  (Date to be confirmed based on how the last bit of post-production goes.)

I had a bad night.  I've been dealing with chronic nerve pain and covid is making things even more difficult because I need to see a specialist in Vancouver and between climate change damage (roads wiped out in multiple places) and covid, travel is not really something I want to be doing.  Plus winter - when you never know if there will be good driving conditions or if the entire route will be 'safe'.  Because the better part of 800 km through mountains/high elevations can present a challenge even when the weather is good, never mind bad.

However, I have made a start.  So far I've reviewed 3 segments.  There are 14 segments.  Some of them are fairly short, some of them a lot longer, but I'm taking them in order to make sure that we got everything.  Because filming out of sequence, something might not have been put in the 'proper' place.  The editor says I need to let her know asap if there is anything amiss because we are also heading into the holidays and some people expect to take a few days off from working!

So my goal is to get all of the segments reviewed as quickly as I can so that the editor can finish up their job and the final steps of adding whatever else needs to be included can be readied for posting to the SOS website.  

And then...launch.

For now I have sat at this computer for far too long and I'd really like to spend some time at the loom.  And then I'll do another segment.  

One bite (or perhaps byte) at a time.  One step.  Then another step.  It's how we make progress.  Even when it seems to take a very long time.  Winter will eventually end.  Spring will come.  And not every day will be sunny, but not every day will be dreary.  

In the paraphrased words of Winston Churchill - when you are going through hell...keep going.

Friday, December 17, 2021

Winter Arrives


It turned cold overnight.  Not that we hadn't been warned.  And it IS December 17, after all.  It should not have come as a surprise to people that the thermometer dropped.  

It is supposed to stay cold for a while and when it warms up, snow some more.

Since the snowpack in the mountains is far too little, I really can't work up the energy to complain.  Doug is healthy enough he can still do the snow removal and what with covid and all, I'm not exactly going very far anyway.  In fact this week I haven't even poked my nose out the door.

It is now less than one week to the solstice and the long winter nights and short days will soon pivot and begin going the other way.

In the meantime, progress continues on the things I am working on.  The written documentation of the class project is in final edits.  I just read through the galley proofs (if you even call them that these days) and sent in my edits.

Last night I poked around in Fiberworks and came up with the threading for the next scarf warp, which got beamed yesterday.  Today I hope to get it threaded.  360 ends isn't all that much and should only take a little over an hour.  

But I am also going out to meet a friend and see her new home.  We'll be wearing masks, of course.  Just in case.

I've also made some progress on the Sunday Seminars and Birthe has begun updating the guild website.  And today volunteers are setting up the guild pop up sale at the art centre.  It will be our final push to try and sell some of our guild members work.  Yes, including mine.  Because I keep making more in an effort to weave down my yarn stash.

The classes with SOS (School of Sweet Georgia) continue in their post production journey.  And the holiday coupon HOLIDAY21 is in effect on their website for 15% off a 3 month or 12 month membership if used by Dec. 31.  Not only will I have two classes launch in the new year, we are working on further content, so if you want to learn from me, you can save some money.  :)

It's beginning to look a lot like the solstice.  I am looking forward to the returning of the sun.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021



You Tube channel

The photo is from the Sweet Georgia Yarns website for the podcast/interview I did with Felicia in 2018.  Me in my happy place.  As I recall the photo was taken for the DVD I did with Handwoven, but I liked the photo because I was truly in my happy place in that moment.  In spite of a whole lot of not-so-great things going on in my life at that particular moment, at that particular time.

Today I've been thinking a lot about what happens next, given the rise of Omicron and the dire warnings coming out of the UK about just how bad things are potentially going to get.  About how so many so-called 'leaders' are essentially throwing up their hands and saying 'oh well, we'll just have to live with it' when what that really means is that a whole lot of people are going to be sick.  And a percentage of them are going to die.  And how that means I am on the front line of being one of them because of my compromised immune system.

And how that will impact me when it comes to teaching.  

I have agreed to teach at Olds next June, but that was before I knew about Omicron.  I was, however, aware that covid would continue to mutate and that come June we might still be in a pandemic.  So I added the caveat 'covid willing'.

During the past two years, we have had to be flexible about our plans.  I'm in my 70s and I well remember life before easy communication around the world.  We had a telephone when we moved into our house in 1953.  I had a photo of myself with the phone on the wall behind me.  Yes, it was mounted to the wall.  And we were on a party line with 9 other households.  If you picked up the receiver, you listened to make sure you got a dial tone before you started dialing.

Mail to Europe would take 6 weeks or more unless you paid for one of those blue tissue flimsies and sent your message air mail.  Which would take maybe 10 days.  In those days, surface meant mail went by boat across the oceans and you just put your package or letter into the mail and hoped to hear back at some point in the future.

If it was *really* important, you sent a telegram.  But that was usually for a death or something else 'important', not just to pick up your phone and make a phone call or text to say hi.

Even when I got my job at the telephone company, phoning overseas meant booking an appointment with the overseas operator in Montreal, not just dialing the number.  And it was woefully expensive.

Flying anywhere was impossibly expensive and a 'holiday' might mean our family would load up the station wagon and the tent, gas stove and cooler.  Or staying with a family/friend in another town for a couple of days.  One delightful summer a group of families rented cabins at a lake and I was invited to stay, in no small part to help supervise the younger kids.

There was no You Tube.  No Zoom.  There were books.  Or you paid big bucks to find a class somewhere and traveled in person, paying for hotel/food etc.

And now, here I find myself in the 21st century, where I can present seminars via Zoom, do digital recordings and have them uploaded to a web site.  Communicate across time zones, either in person or via platforms like this blog, all while the world seems to be collapsing around our ears, given a pandemic and climate change disasters.  Those last are very real for me right now, even though I am personally safe and secure for the moment.

But.  And here's the thing.  Even when there is bad stuff going on, we can still take comfort and delight at the little things.  The things that we don't even have to pay for.  Sunlight on fresh snow.  A flower in bloom.  If you have pets, having one of them want to snuggle with you.  Or being able to get to the loom and make something.

Right now I am awaiting the delivery of the files for the first class with Sweet Georgia.  I am looking forward to helping other weavers figure out what works best for them.  Helping them understand the foundations of the craft.  Encouraging them to be brave and bold and go ahead and make mistakes.  Because in weaving mistakes are not life and death, just some time and materials.  And we can always learn something new.  

If I can't teach in person, I *can* teach virtually, to the best of my ability.

So even as we face another pandemic holiday, I am not going to put too much weight on that.  Instead I will continue to work towards making what I do on line 'better' - with the help of a younger and very enthusiastic team.  I know I'm not perfect.  I know I could always do better.  But with the SOS (School of Sweet Georgia) I will have an opportunity to keep trying, keep explaining, keep answering questions.  And keep helping, as much as I can for as long as I can.

So yeah.  Happy place.  May you all find yours.

Monday, December 13, 2021



The next few scarves will be woven with a dark chocolate brown weft.  The photo doesn't do the depth of colour justice - take my word for it - it's a lot darker than this.

I worked with indie dyers to get colours specific to my needs.  Generally I asked them to make 'semi-solids', not level.  If I was paying for custom colours, I wanted something not available commercially.  Although, truth to be told, I was asking them for colours I couldn't get commercially.

The lighter value in this brown is not as light as it looks so the overall effect is what dyers tend to refer to as 'abrash'.

The warp is quite dark value to begin with - a rust red, a kind of forest green and some black.  To add a dark chocolate brown was a 'safe' choice.  It was also the 'best' choice I had available, unless I wanted a lot of rust red Tencel weft scarves.  Which would have been fine, but...I had these skeins of dark chocolate rayon.

This yarn is quite a bit finer than the 2/8 Tencel and the resulting cloth is quite a lovely lightweight fabric which should work well for summer.  It's got a nice hand or drape.  The weave structure is a combination of twill and plain weave.  The density of the warp was chosen for the slightly thicker yarns I'm also trying to use up and to make the fabric be 'balanced' I added plain weave to the tie up.  

I was going to change the tie-up and treadling for each of the four scarves, but you can't really see the weave structure anyway so I'm just going to make all four the same.  

The 'abrash' of the weft is going to make them look slightly different so all in all, I'm not motivated to spend the time conjuring up 3 more options for weaving.

The guild room sale is over and this week everything will get moved next door to the Studio Shop.  Since the Studio Shop is a lot better known, AND it's on the ground floor, not up a long staircase, we are hoping for a nice ending of our sale.  

The year is nearly over and suddenly those distant deadlines are looming (pun alert) and I find I'm needing to scramble a bit to get everything done that needs doing.

I'm also beginning to fill my calendar with guild programs via Zoom so if anyone is interested, they should contact me soon-ish.  With my on line classes launching in January, I will become a bit busy in in the new year.

We are still a week away from the solstice and the weather report for the coming two weeks is cold, cold, cold, with a serving of Omicron.  I'm grateful for the chance to keep teaching - safely - even if on line isn't ideal!

My yarn order should be here, maybe before Christmas.  In the meantime I'll keep working on scarves.  I should finish this warp this week, then put on another one in hopes of emptying more cones.  Or at least making them smaller!  And then I'll go back to tea towels.  But I may do a 2/20 mercerized warp first in an effort to use up that really fine linen I was given a couple of years ago.  Stash reduction.  It's progressing.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

December Dawn


Dawn this morning.  

The sun has nearly finished its slow stately march across the sky and will soon swing back.  A regular reminder of the passing days, weeks, months.  And seasons.

Today is my last shift at the guild room for our annual guild room sale.  In spite of road construction out front of the building we have had people come in and look, some even finding things they want to take home or give.  A number of our guild members make a lot of textiles.  We each do so for our own reasons.  For me it is about using up my stash - as much as I can.  But it is also soothing, to take string and turn it into something.  Something useful.  Something that will function well.  Something that - I  hope - will add pleasure to everyday tasks.  Or just brighten a day.

Weaving has always been an exercise in problem solving.  A puzzle.  A mystery.  To be unravelled.  Teased apart.  Then perhaps woven or knitted together again, with a better understanding of how it all works.

The guild sale is a celebration of creativity.  Each person comes with things that they have thought about, puzzled over, then made, each with their own personality.  

Some of us make utilitarian things, others more whimsical.  Some do everything!  

We have had a wide range of textile crafts represented, covering pretty much the spectrum of what can be done, sometimes with just a ball of yarn and a couple of sticks (knitting), or even just one (crochet).  One member made knitted gnomes (tomten), another cute hats for children.  Fingerless gloves to keep hands warm in the winter, scarves for necks, shawls to wrap around shoulders.  Towels to dry dishes or hands.  Table runners to brighten the room and protect the table from hot pots.  There have been stuffed toys, cushions and pet coats and beds.

We tend to forget that without textiles, our world would be a much colder and harder place.

As I sat in my chair greeting the dawn, I thought about the dire climate events that happened overnight.  The big snow storms in the southern part of the province - again - but also the chain of tornadoes that ripped through the US mid-west, causing chaos and loss of life.  I am grateful for my current safety, but know that we really do need to do something about climate change.  

While it may be true that these weather events are not caused by climate change, they are most certainly made worse by it.

In the meantime, I will give thanks for another lovely dawn, and the chance to keep weaving, keep helping others learn the craft.

Friday, December 10, 2021

Zoom Zoom!


Last night I did a Zoom presentation for the Portland (OR) guild about stash management.  I've been to Portland a few times and there were a few familiar faces in the crowd, and it was quite lovely.

No, it's not the same as being there in person, but it is still a way to connect with others and renew acquaintance with several.

So, what did I talk about?  The elephant in the room - our stashes.

Having dispersed several yarn stashes - one way or another - I am determined to weave down as much of mine as possible.  But I know I won't get to everything, so I'm also trying to make provisions for the time when I need to downsize, or a friend (or friends) will have to do it on my behalf.

I talked about knowing how to identify what a yarn is made from by doing burn tests to separate protein and cellulose, and then how to begin to identify fibres within each category.  I gave them the names of books with solid information that will help them.  Because labels fall off, or are incorrect.  Especially the labels inside a cone.  So many cones get reused, that you can't always trust what the label says.

Good storage - protect the yarns from damp and critters.  I use clear plastic bins as much as possible and put a post it note with what is in the bins on the *inside* of the bin facing outwards so that the label doesn't dry out and fall off.

I talked about how overwhelming it can be to go through one's stash and it helps to have friends over to aid in the job of sorting and labeling.  And that if you bequest your yarn to someone for after you die, make sure that they want to or are able to, accept that bequest.  

Several of us joked about having to buy more yarn in order to use up our stash - me just getting confirmation from Brassard that my order of 16 pounds of 2/16 natural cotton was being shipped.

My only consolation is that I ONLY ordered 16 pounds of the one yarn I actually needed - I didn't top up anything else!

I've been weaving scarves for the past few weeks - each warp producing 9 scarves.  I'm on the 4th warp now with at least one more planned.  And yet?  I've barely scratched the surface of my fine rayon stash.  But I have emptied a few spools and cones, and woven textiles take up less space on the shelf than cones and tubes, so, there's that.

Many people make resolutions for the new year.  I don't.  I have intentions and for the past few years it has been my intention to weave as much of my stash as I possibly can.  Looking back from today to December 2019 when I shut down my business, I can say with some satisfaction that I have emptied some shelves of yarn and that I have less stash than I did.  And I intend to keep working at weaving down my stash.

And yes, I am available to do guild presentations via Zoom.  Who knows, maybe I'll meet more of my 'virtual' friends in sort-of real life.  It was great putting faces to a couple of people I know from the internet!

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Holiday Gift Giving

 Give the Gift of Fibre Arts Learning

We're in the holiday spirit, looking forward to enjoying the final month of 2021 with relaxing moments of making and heartwarming gatherings with family and friends near and afar. If you're in search of a special gift idea (or perhaps for gifting to yourself), don't miss our holiday special at the School!

Available until the end of December, use the code: HOLIDAY2021 to save 15% off annual and quarterly SOS memberships! Learning the fibre arts is more fun with friends, and it's an excellent time to join the fabulous community of SOS makers!
Learn more about gifting an SOS membership here »

Got this information today from the School of Sweet Georgia and thought I would give folk a heads up that they can join the school and get a 15% discount off membership.

Just in case, you know, you are interested in my two classes, launching in January and February...

If you sign up for the class(es) you might like to buy my books as your 'textbook'?  Link at the bottom of the page.  (Scroll down.  Waaaaay down.)

You won't get the full meal deal of Magic, but you can get a PDF or 'magazine' version with photos of the samples.  And yes, you can get to this book through the link to blurb as well.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021



This weekend is the last weekend for the guild sale in the guild room.  Next week, everything will be packed up and hand carried next door for the final sales opportunity at the Studio Complex shop on the 18th.

After that, whatever is left will get sent home with their makers.  I, for one, still have waaaaay too much inventory.  I'm still cogitating on what to do - try and sell things on my ko-fi site?  Probably.  

As for weaving, I cut the first three scarves off the loom today, lashed on and chose a different tie-up and treadling for the next three.  I was going to try and weave, but after spending nearly two hours at the guild room helping someone get their sale inventory sorted, what little focus I had was gone.  Instead I'll spend some time fringe twisting.  Because I had two scarves to do, then added three more.  I'm busy tomorrow afternoon, then all day Saturday, but I might get 3 scarves done by Monday (ha!) but surely by Tuesday?  And then there will be three more to twist.  And three left to weave.  And twist.  And then get them all wet finished.

On the bright side, I have actually emptied a few cones and tubes (not a big deal, they were close to empty!) and decided on weft yarns for the rest of this warp.  The next warp is sorted so as soon as the loom is empty I can slam the next warp onto the beam and away we go again...wheeeeeee!

But I'm really struggling with focus right now.  I'm not sure if it is the unremitting pandemic concerns, my current state of health, the very short hours of daylight, or the culmination of all three.  I'm waiting to hear about a referral to a specialist and the prospect of traveling for a (minor-ish) medical procedure is also worrisome, given pandemic and travel to the southern half of the province.  I'm not anxious to spend any time on an airplane, but we have N95s and I can double mask while we are on the plane.

Right now weaving is my lifeline.  It keeps me grounded.  It reminds me to stay in the moment.  That doesn't mean I can entirely forget upcoming things, just that it reminds me to stay present, not fuss about the future.  

And the solstice is coming on Dec. 21.  I will welcome the returning of the light.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Rust Red


I finished the rust/red scarf this morning.  Again, the tie up is not 'balanced' - iow, I lift fewer shafts than I leave down to make it easier to treadle.  One side looks very rust because the textured weft dominates.  The other side shows more of the warp and the weave structure shows up more.

This is the last of the rust.  While there is some yarn left on the cone there isn't enough to weave another scarf, so that cone has now been transferred to the knitting stash.  Which has been growing as I have been weaving down more of my rayon weaving stash yarns.

We had a bit of a dump of snow today and everything is looking very winter-y and pretty.  It's cold enough that the snow is 'dry', so light and fluffy.  Better yet, the roads are in not bad driving condition.  I'm just getting ready for an appointment in less than an hour and am grateful that the roads are not slippery.

Before I stopped for lunch, I finished this scarf and was able to just get started on the next one.  This time the weft is a dark navy blue.  The more weft faced side is *very* navy, but the other side should be pretty with flecks of the rust red and green peeping through.  At least, that's the plan.  I didn't get enough woven to see the other side properly.

I'm hoping to get to the halfway point on the navy when I get home from my appointment and if I have any spoons left, maybe do some more fringe twisting.  But I didn't sleep well last night and a nap may be required.

We are one day closer to the solstice when the sun begins to return and the daylight hours grow longer.  I don't need an advent calendar, I need a solstice calendar...  

Time marches on, as they say.

Sunday, December 5, 2021



I got as far as the threading on Friday but was busy all day Saturday so today the plan is to begin sleying the next warp.

The colour combination is not to my personal taste, and I had some trepidation when I went with it, but it looks good on the beam.  Now the challenge will be which weft to use.  I'll use up some of the header testing different colours, then make up my mind.

It was a bit disconcerting when I worked out just how much of just ONE yarn I had left to use up and how many scarves that one yarn would weave, and frankly, at 9 scarves per warp, I'm going to build up a large inventory of scarves fairly quickly.  So I'm already planning out one or two more warps, and by the time I finish the second one, the yarn from Brassard ought to have arrived (if we don't have more highways washout or get buried under landslides) so I'm already beginning to think about switching to more tea towels.

With things so uncertain post-wise, I've decided to delay any kind of sale until the new year - maybe start the new year off with a new sense of hope and optimism?  Covid willing and the crick don't rise.

Yesterday it snowed lightly for much of the day and it's a winter wonderland outside.  There is more snow in the forecast so we may have a white Xmas after all.

I continue to hunker down, only go out if I must, and aim for two sessions in the studio a day.  I may be getting the hang of this 'retirement' gig.

Currently reading Nightblind by Ragnar Jonasson after finishing Rupture on Thursday.  Next in the queue is Chris Hadfield's thriller which Doug is currently reading and quite enjoying.  He is being kind and not sharing any 'spoilers'.  

Friday, December 3, 2021

Pushing at Boundaries


In the continuing effort to use up my stash, I am having to really push my creative boundaries.

Rust, brown, orange - not my personal favourite colours!  But I own some because I used to weave for sale and needed to have textiles for every taste, not just my own.

So this warp.

30 ends per section (will be sleyed 32 ends per inch), 14 rust red, 10 dark green, 6 black.

It's interesting to me that the rust is predominating.  I had thought it would be more...I dunno...less rust and more mixed up, I guess.  But overall I'm quite happy with how the warp looks on the beam.

We'll see how happy I am when I start weaving.  Because again, I have colours that are not to my taste to use on this warp.  A pale kind of ashes of roses - not quite pink, but sort of.  The tag end of a rust slub rayon, which will look fine - I have no qualms on that one.  A pale sort of beige variegated which might look terrible.  Time will tell.  A very dark navy, which should look just fine.  I've done that combo before with these yarns and was pretty happy with the results.  Oh yeah, and a very dark chocolate brown which will weave up nicely as well.

The warp should yield 9 scarves, so not a lot, but enough that I'm hoping for more empty cones/tubes and ultimately more room on the shelves.  But I still have a lot of this rust red on the tubes so I will have to be creative about what I do with it.  

When I thought I would explore more after retirement, I hadn't considered just how much yarn I wanted - needed - to use up before I felt the weight of the stash leave my creative thought processes.  As it happens, I'm finding plenty to challenge me, just diving into my stash and trying to weave it up in ways that please me.  

Ultimately, I may do a very similar warp to this given I still have the rust red and forest green.  And lots of options for weft, too.  What I have right now is a whole lot of fine yarns.  And fine yarns give a LOT of play time for their purchase price.

Tomorrow will be spent at the guild room as we roll into weekend #4.  Attendance is beginning to drop off but the day is quite nice today as the forecast for snow appears to have changed for the weekend.  Perhaps people will be out and about and find their way to the guild room.

Thursday, December 2, 2021



I had plans for today.  Big plans.  Progressive plans (as in I was going to make some progress).

Well, I made *some* progress.  

6 scarves were put through the washer and dryer.  The next warp got set up and beamed.  And then I headed to my hair dresser to get shorn.  I'm doing a Zoom next week and really wanted to be less shaggy for that.  

Then I had a few errands to run, one of which was to set up an appointment with my doctor next week so I could talk about a health issue.  And then I came home and kind of crashed.  I've been sitting since then, not doing anything productive at all.

Instead of going to the studio I was scrolling through Twitter and reading up on a few events that were happening today (political) and looking for word on the conditions to the south.  Because I may have to go down there sometime soon to see a specialist.  No news would appear to be 'good' news?  Hopefully they weathered the storm (quite literally) and can now focus on cleaning up afterwards.

But now it's after 3 pm and still I sit.  However, I do want to get those scarves pressed so I'm about to head down to the studio again and at least get that much done.

I can start threading tomorrow.

The next warp is a bit of a departure for me.  It's about 1/3 rust, and 2/3s green with a bit of black to make up 30 spools.  I've beamed 12 sections and will sley to 32 epi.  The threading is another fairly simple 16 shaft progression with lots of points in it and it should work quite nicely with a variety of tie ups and treadlings.  And again, using up stash is the goal.

But first, I need to get those scarves press so that I can deliver them to the guild sale on Saturday.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Book Birthday


Today is December 1.  Tomorrow would have been my brother's 65th birthday.  When I had to choose a launch date for The Intentional Weaver, I decided to choose Dec. 2 in honour of my brother for more reasons than I care to share in this space, today.

The book was conceived at the behest of a student - a place where I could put as much of my knowledge as possible, all in one place, so to speak.  I've written about much of this in bits and pieces for years - magazine articles, answers to on line questions, blog posts (lots and lots of blog posts).  It is the book I didn't want to write, but felt needed to be done.

So in November 2018 I flew south to meet with my editor who also took care of the uploading of the file to, we went through it one more time with an even finer toothed comb, and she spent the better part of the day getting the file into a shape that the website could deal with and we hit 'send'.  3 years ago today.

I can hardly believe it was only just three years ago.

Since then I have continued to write this blog and address some of the questions I see on line.  And I am now waiting for the two classes we filmed in October to go live in January and February.  

The January class is The Intentional Weaver and illustrate many of the processes I documented in the book.  But of course the book has way more in it than could possibly fit into a 240 minute on line class.  So the team has indicated that they want to continue working with me and we will be exploring other options in the new year.

Since the pandemic appears to be reluctant to go away, travel continues to be an issue, teaching on line seems like a really good idea for me, especially with my current health issues.  On line is not ideal, but has grown such that it can be beneficial, at least for some.  A student can take an on line class and if they feel a rapport with the teacher, can look for opportunities to learn in person.

Speaking of which I have just received the documents from Olds College where I am booked to teach level one June 19-23, 2022.  Covid willing and the crick don't rise.

Both of my books are available via in print or PDF.  I am not discounting the price, but neither am I raising it in the face of rising costs.  

Sunday, November 28, 2021

One Last Thing


As the final touch on most of my scarves, I like to trim the little fuzzy bits off the ends of the fringe.  During wet finishing, some yarns tend to 'melt' and get quite untidy looking.  I've tried various places in the studio to do this job and it's just one of those tiring and exasperating things that I find necessary but difficult.

However, today I tried something a little different.  With the new loom and more space in the studio to move around (usually) it occurred to me that I could place the scarves draped over the back beam of the Megado and sit on the small stool I use when I'm beaming warps onto the loom.  The added advantage was that my supplemental lighting was already in place for beaming so I could illuminate my work area and I could sit quite comfortably while I did the task.

My plastic bins fit nicely under the beam and caught all the fuzzy bits as they were clipped off and it didn't take long before all six scarves were done.  Now that I've worked this out, I think that last final touch will be a lot easier to do and I won't procrastinate so much about doing it.

At any rate, I'm quite pleased with how these scarves are turning out.  The different rayon yarns are giving a range of different weights and touch.  I've managed to clear several cones of enough yarn that there is too little to weave with, so those have been put into my knitting stash.

But I also have quite a large inventory of scarves, so I've been thinking about the dribs and drabs of 2/16 coloured cotton.  I've just now ordered 16 pounds of natural white and that should be more than enough to use up the fine linen I was gifted, plus the 2/16 coloured cottons.  I have a LOT of a mid-range turquoise and may grow tired of seeing that colour long before I use it up, but at least I can make a dent in it.

The goal is to continue to use up as much as I can and I'm very near clearing those shelves off.  It will feel like progress when I do!

I'm still thinking about the 2/20 mercerized cotton.  There isn't really enough to do a mix of colours so I may be playing with small stripes again.  But first I want to see some real progress on cleaning some of my shelves off.

Little by little.  Progress, even a tiny amount, is still progress.  Winding up with some nice scarves is kind of the cherry on the top.  My goal at this point is to bring some into the guild sale next Saturday.  So I'm going to try and finish the current warp (three more scarves to weave), get them all fringe twisted and wet finished.  I'll have to stay focused.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

November Blues


before hard press

after hard pressing

I really love the magical transformation that happens when my woven webs get wet finished.  This scarf came off the loom quite stiff and dull looking.  It was only as the hard pressing continued that it began to shine and develop drape.  From feeling a bit coarse, it now feels quite silky and lovely against the skin.

It never ceases to amaze me that the true nature of the cloth develops when it hits the water and in some cases gets compressed.

They were a little bit more damp than I prefer, so I may run them through the press again a couple of times tomorrow when they are fully dry.

The compression does several things - the obvious one is the development of the shine, of course.  But it also increases the stability of the cloth as the warp and weft threads lock together under the compression.  It makes the cloth thinner, which can be an advantage if one is planning on sewing with the cloth, or hemming it.

I only did 6 scarves today.  There are two more to fringe twist and I may do those tomorrow and then do another batch on Monday.  In the meantime I need to trim the fringes and get the care/price tags on these six.  Three scarves sold at the guild sale today and these ones are quite different from the ones at the sale already.  Plus, they won't sell in my basement!  :D

The 3rd dose of the vaccine I had on Friday didn't knock me flat, but it did make me feel very tired.  I'm not sure I'll weave tomorrow, although I would like to get the current scarf complete so I can cut those three off and work on the fringe twisting.  We still have two more weekends of the guild room sale, plus one Saturday at the arts complex in a pop up sale.  It would be nice to have some new designs to present.

It looks like where we are is not going to be horribly affected by the parade of atmospheric rivers making landfall over the next few days.  But times are going to continue to be difficult for many BC people between the pandemic, plus the climate emergencies - flooding, landslides, roads washed out, etc.

We have no where to go so we are sitting at home as much as possible.  I have a hair cut booked for Thursday and will be happy to get shorn, but that's really all that is on my calendar for the coming week.  I'm hoping to finish the current warp and get the next one into the loom.  Hopefully I'm over the 'worst' of the vaccine response and will be able to steam ahead.

Stay safe everyone.  Pay attention to alerts re: driving and stay home if you can.

Friday, November 26, 2021


 "flawless" doesn't mean "no errors were made at any point in the creation of this thing" it means "no errors are readily apparent upon inspection or use of this thing", the mistakes no one knows you made that don't effect the final outcome literally DO NOT MATTER

Someone on Twitter did a thread on flaws/mistakes and the above was just one of the tweets she wrote about being 'not perfect'. Her twitter handle is Anna Phylaxis and her thread summed up pretty much everything I think about when I think about 'perfection'.

The current warp on the loom is a perfect example of something that is filled with flaws/errors of judgement/mistakes, but to all intents and purposes, the resulting scarves are just fine.

So first big mistake on my part: in the process of using up my stash, purposefully NOT buying more yarn, I am combining tubes of yarn that have different amounts of yarn on them on the spool rack for sectional beaming.

The heavier tubes provide more drag, therefore more tension, than the ones that are nearer to empty. The end result is that those ends are tighter than the rest of the warp.

However, I'm getting a clear enough shed, and nothing has broken as a result of the different degrees of tension/length on those ends. And, once the scarves are cut off the loom and cut apart, the tension difference is minimal. I fully expect that wet finishing will take care of the little bit of difference there is. And if not, it should not be particularly noticeable - and, if noticeable, not detrimental to 99.9% of the people who will pick up these scarves and try them on.

Next? One of the ends broke as I was beaming the 3rd section (of 12). I could not determine which one had broken and rather than waste time and effort looking for it, decided I would simply adjust the width of the selvedge threading. Which I did before I began threading when I realized that my senses had not been deceiving me, a thread really had broken. Instead of 30 ends in the bout, there were 29. So, yes, quick edit to the threading, correct the first inch and off I went.

When I cut the first 3 scarves off the loom, the difference in tension could be easily felt and in some cases seen in the loom, but cutting and re-lashing evened out some of the issues, enough that I felt confident enough to carry on, in spite of the fact that 10 of the 12 sections are missing a green end in the colour combination of green, navy, brighter blue, two shades of a light lavender.

Weaving the first scarf I mis-fired the shuttle and broke an end. Instead of fussing about it, I simply tied a length to the original thread, got it through the correct heddle and pinned it to the cloth. I will fix it now that it is off the loom - as in needle weave the broken end into the cloth and ignore the knot. Because the weft is textured and I very much doubt anyone will be aware of the knot in the scarf.

Am I going to throw these scarves away? Mark them down as 'seconds'? 'Flawed'? No. No, I am not. I have accommodated the errors and fixed the ones that could be fixed. None of them will affect the function of the textile.

Mastery does NOT mean 'no mistakes'. It means you know how to fix or disguise them so that they don't matter. You know how far to push your materials or equipment. You know how to bend the rules properly - so that you can achieve things such that anything NOT ideal, doesn't matter.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Teachers Appearing


Seems like a snowflake is appropriate for today's post.

So, I've been thinking a lot about teaching.  How one presents material.  How students process material.  Thinking about the teachers I've had - some of them really fabulous, some of them, not so much, most just kind of in the middle.

I have to say I was very lucky to have mostly really good teachers.  My first three teachers were all female and grade 1 and 2 were excellent.  Grade 3, was enthusiastic and mostly encouraging.  Grade 4 was a bit more challenging but a nice man and when things were not going well he would decide we'd done enough work for the day open the piano and we would sing (he was also one of the music teachers and led the school choir).  I liked him well enough but was mostly bored, for reasons.

Grade 5 the teacher tended to be a lot stricter with the boys and give some of the girls lots of leeway and I didn't like his favouritism.  I was also sick a lot that year and missed some crucial lessons and never really caught up.  It was not a good year for a lot of reasons.

But Grade 6.  Oh my, what a wonderful teacher I had for grade 6!  He was Welsh and not afraid to examine things like the White Man's Burden and challenge the students to look at the inherent racism involved in that little slogan.  He challenged us to think for ourselves, but always in a most gentle way.  I'm sure we were a challenge with more than 40 students in the classroom, but I never felt he was ignoring anyone.  Having Mr. Rae for my teacher in grade 6 taught me more than just what was in the curriculum - he also shone a light on how to think for myself.  And he didn't coddle the girls, or the boys.  He just seemed to open doors to learning.  

As I moved into junior and senior high school, I had a lot more teachers because now teachers taught specific subjects and we moved from class to class, with changes in who might be in the various classes.  I learned a lot more about a larger pool of human beings as I needed to interact with more people, but on a more superficial level.

Some of my teachers were fabulous.  Some, not so much.  And again, most somewhere in the middle.  And I learned more than just the curriculum as I dealt with very different personalities.

I also learned a lot about teaching and what I connected to with the teachers, and what put me off.  Some I just sat back and did what I needed to do to pass.  Others were a struggle.  But some?  Some lifted me out of my blue collar working poor life and showed me another way of being.  That poor didn't mean stupid - or ignorant.  And I will always be thankful to the teachers who not only allowed me to read whatever I wanted when my work in class was done.  I am pretty sure my grade 7 teacher was well aware that when I sat way back in my desk I had a book tucked into my desk that I was quietly reading.  He also never objected when I asked permission to go to the school library, just round the corner.  I would come back with a new book to read, like a cat who got the cream.

So when I started to teach, I confess I was not a trained teacher, but I had a pretty good idea of how to string information together to show someone how to do something.  I also wrote reasonably well, and could generate class handouts.  Drawing has never been my strong suit but I can usually manage a few simple line drawings.

The more I taught, the more I understood what people needed to have presented to them.  The more I failed to connect, the harder I worked to find a different way of presenting the information.

I drew on my experience of being a student in school, pulling on my memories of what excited me about learning something and how my really good teachers presented information.

So, clear explanations.  A little self-deprecating humour.  Asking questions, to help people think about the course content.  Can they connect the dots?  Giving people time to process before loading them up with yet more information.

I came to realize the perhaps the biggest gift I could give to a student was to encourage them to think.  Then when they made a comment, ask them more questions.  How?  Why?  What?  Push them to think processes through to conclusions.  And never say that my way was the only way or the best way.  

Give them agency over their own learning, and their own practice.

The more I learned the more I understood just how vast the knowledge of weaving (or spinning, etc.) truly is.  

The more I interacted with other weavers/spinners I liked and respected, the more I grew to appreciate their journey of learning - how had they come to that point in their lives?  

For the longest time I thought about the saying that when the student is ready, the teacher would appear.  As a student I found this to be true.  It was only when I was more firmly rooted in teaching that I realized the teacher was always there.  It took me (the student) to recognize them and open my heart and mind to what they had to teach me.

Today I got another scarf done (finished one, began the next).  Since I'm only needing surface attention at the minute, and no pressing deadlines, my thoughts have been wandering down different highways and byways, and it's been interesting to note which stones are turned over and examined.  And which pathway beckons.  It's been kind of fun having a good wander around in my own mind.  Asking questions of myself, mostly.  But also thinking about students and the classes that are set to launch in January/February.  I'm sure I will learn lots from the new crop of students I am hoping will discover me.