My Son, the Spider

One of the wonderful things about having kids is seeing a bit of yourself reflected in another person.  My son, for instance, is as passionate about his yarn stash as I am over mine.  Watching him browsing the “three-dollar-a-bag” counter at my local discount yarn shop is a fun way to spend an hour.

Of course, the other fun thing about kids is how they then take things in a completely different direction.

I’ve taught Kai how to weave on a table loom.  I’ve shown him knitting with the following rhyme:

In the door, (insert the working needle)
Grab a scarf, (wrap the yarn)
Run back out, (pull the loop through)
Before the cat barfs! *blatt* (pop the knitted stitch off the resting needle)

(I’m not sure where I picked that up, possibly a Cat Bordhi book?  I don’t recall, but it really holds a kid’s attention.  I’ve had a whole room of kindergarteners in hysterics with that one.)

I’ve taught him finger knitting and crocheting.

But Kai has his own form of personal expression.  What does he do with his yarn: acrylic, chenille, and metallics?

Builds giant room-sized webs.  He calls them his “traps.”

They’re an interesting combination of geometry and art installation.  You leave him alone in a room for an hour or so with yarn and things happen.  Left in place, he’ll start tying in found objects (that’s probably the influence of the dreamcatchers his grandmother makes for him) and each one has a story.

This one is also part mechanical device.  Here he’s showing me how you pull a thread on one side of the room, and a bell rings in the other.

It’s not what I would do with yarn, but it’s an interesting artistic expression, and I feel lucky to have such a creative and sweet son.

Of course, he’s pretty lucky to have two parents who—upon discovering that the living room had been converted into a giant labyrinth say—“Wow.  That’s so cool!” and admire the web and take numerous pictures instead of throwing a fit about the mess.

We did eventually have a talk about art verses the need to “walk across the room safely” and negotiated a three-day exhibition in the living room, after which the project was recycled back into yarn.

My weaving?  Today I’m weaving samples for a rigid-heddle class I’m teaching on Sunday.  Examples of things you can weave using two heddles: double-width, 3/1 twills, fine cloth, etc.  I love the fact that my work now means that I have to spend a certain amount of time weaving.  I get to be diligent and have fun; how cool is that?

P.S. For those who asked: the sheep came through the cold just fine.  The sweaters, not so much.  But they gave their little polarfleece lives for a good cause.

What Ewe’ll be Wearing this Spring

So yesterday, it was 50 degrees, the sun was shining, birds were singing and I really felt as though spring had finally arrived.

Today we had this

unseasonable snow

A completely unseasonal six inches of snow and temperatures in the 30-40s.

Which normally wouldn’t be a problem, but the shearer had come by a few days ago and sheared my three sheep.  (You can hear him talk about shearing BTW, in WeaveCast 37.)

They’d gone from weather-impervious wool balls to little naked sheepies.

naked sheep

When I checked on them in the morning to see how they were doing, they were huddled in the barn, staring out the door and looking at me like: “How could you let this happen?!?”  After a moment, I realized they were shivering.

Shivering!  And the snow was still coming down hard.  I could only imagine how much colder it would get at night.  My active imagination supplied images of coming into the barn next morning to find sheep-cicles.

I considered bringing them into the garage, and what kind of conversation that might spark around the dinner table.

Then I recalled something I’d seen shepherds do with lambs born during a hard winter.  My sheep are Shetlands, a miniature breed, so I thought it just might work.

I ran back to the house and rummaged around in my closet…and came back with three sweaters.

Now here’s what they don’t tell you in the funny-ha-ha-isn’t-that-cute-the-lamb-is-wearing-a-sweater pictures.

  1. Any sheep approached by a human carrying a pile of flapping fabric things will assume said human is there to kill them.
  2. Catching said sheep and forcing a sweater over its head will only confirm this suspicion. (Note: Experience dressing toddlers does transfer to dressing sheep)
  3. Sheep’s legs are much shorter than your arms
  4. You cannot roll a cuff on the sleeve of a sweater worn by a thrashing sheep
  5. A sheep wearing a sweater with uncuffed sleeves that are much longer than its legs is a hazard to self and others
  6. Cutting the sleeves off a perfectly good sweater can suddenly seem like the most brilliant thing in the world
  7. Do not try to cut the sleeves off the sweater while the sheep is wearing it.  This does not give the sheep a good impression of your intentions
  8. If you dress a sheep three times in ten minutes, they will eventually accept that the sweater might not be lethal
  9. Getting chased around a barn and repeatedly dressed by a woman carrying scissors who is probably trying to kill you will warm a sheep right up
  10. The shepherd gets warm, too


At last: success!


They were quite interested in each other’s new duds.


This, I might have to do some explaining about…

Eric's Sweater

That sweater is (was?) Eric’s.

WeaveZine Cover Art

For the first year that WeaveZine was in publication, I put together a “cover” for each quarterly issue.  Now that WeaveZine comes out weekly, it isn’t practical to do a big photoshoot for each issue.  But I’m proud of those covers and wanted to make them available online.

In each of the pages below, I also talk about some of the behind-the-scenes details of the photoshoots, which were often a bit of an adventure in themselves…


Spring 2008

Summer 2008

Fall 2008

Winter 2008