The Foxy Weaver

I had a lot of time to think on my drive to and from Memphis recently (over 40 hours on the road by myself – I knew I had gone a little loopy when I heard this sentence from my audiobook, “she felt as frail as a week-old baby” as “she felt as frail as a weak, old baby” and couldn’t stop giggling for half a state), and one of the things that was rolling around in my untethered mind was how weavers are so camouflaged. I have been teaching quite a bit around the country, and one of the things I have noticed as I have traveled from Winter to Spring, from mountains to plains, rural to urban is that weavers, who are of course a diverse lot, have something in common (other than a bit of fiber obsessiveness), and that is that they always surprise me. One of the great pleasures I encounter in my workshops is that I get to meet people who may on the surface be, like me, fairly unassuming middle-aged women, but the minute I have a chance to talk, I find these amazing depths. Depths of accomplishment, adventurousness, experience, intelligence and humor.  In one of my recent classes, I met a woman, as nice as could be, provider of delicious baked goods, conservative in dress, but who made the most sharp and hilarious comments as she sat sedately at her loom, and when it came to color, she was a complete renegade! It reminded me how important/wonderful it is to over-turn my own assumptions.  My kids “help” me with this all the time, but somehow it is even more surprising and delightful to have someone my own age send my unconscious generalizations/prejudices toppling with a sly aside or a revelation about professional accomplishments or astounding adventures.  It makes me love my weaving brethren (sistren) even more to know that these women who may look to the world like kindly grandmas inoffensively knitting on the porch are smart, rebellious, creative, hilarious powerhouses who handle their complicated lives with competence and sharp intelligence.  So be aware and beware – what may look like a brood of hens is actually a skulk of foxes!!

Fiona’s favorite odorama

Fooling with fulling

Tiny bobbles

Hemp Spider weave

Merino scarf, pre-bath

Amazing Memphis mamas

Lotsa looms!!

  • April 4, 2017

    marlene toerien

    Lovely blog! Yes you can’t judge a book by its cover!

  • April 4, 2017

    Yes, this is what I love about the weaving sisterhood, there IS such depth of ability, intelligence, curiosity. I am always engaged and stimulated by this group — and forever thankful that I found them.

  • April 4, 2017


    I have been learning this same lesson lately. There is far more to a person than the surface.

    Thanks for helping me to clarify my own life thoughts 🙂

    I now have two projects lined up for my looms, if I ever can put my knitting needles down!

      • April 5, 2017


        Hi Lisa!

        Thanks for your kind reply. First up is a stole for the priest at church. It’s been on my mind for a long time, but now I will be able to do it. It shouldn’t take too long.

        My wife has asked for a poncho! Aggghhhhh…. 1970’s here we come. Maybe harvest gold and avocado! Just kidding. I’m still puzzling this one out. I did find a pattern in HW (Mar/Apr 05) that has a decent poncho, but the yarn is discontinued. It is the heavy rayon chenille at 475 ypp. I don’t even like working with rayon chenille, so I don’t need that particular yarn… but, I’m racking my brain trying to figure out a substitute warp/weft.

        Any thoughts?