Wednesday, April 1, 2015


I have been thinking about those who inspire me, recently. We are lucky to have access to many many fantastic artists, artisans, crafters, (whatever the preferred term is) on the internet. I get so much of my inspiration, and my drive to learn more, by watching the progress of those who I have befriended online, or strangers who are kind enough to post about their own work. A couple of sights of the people whose names stick out to me are :
Eine Saite
There are many others who post about their work on Facebook, and especially Ravelry. I have been lucky enough to meet some in person, and to develop friendships with others online, and this has led to a long list of things I have done which I never thought, and a great change in how I spin, think of fiber, etc. I would never have tried spinning cotton again without the inspiration of Ravelry friends posting their progress, and the kindness of a dear friend who sent me a cotton care package. I would not have jumped in to the world of weaving without seeing project after project discussed, begun, and finished on Ravelry and learning from this.
I have always considered myself a mediocre-at-best amateur fiber artisan. I have a deep commitment to practicing various textile techniques and learning them, and I am starting to feel a prick to my conscience telling me I should be teaching some of what I learned, even though I feel myself un-qualified. Someone recently told me I inspired them, and I shied away from that statement at first, so used to seeing my work so far below the level of those that I admire, but I have changed my mind about this. I will embrace the fact that I inspired someone in their textile work. What a fantastic compliment that is! Inspiration comes in so many guises that I am convinced that regardless of what our personal assessment of our skills and works is, we inspire others when we share our thoughts about it and our progress. I am inspired by people who make amazingly complicated marvels of fabric, but I am also inspired by people who try new skills and are brave enough to share their successes and failures and ask for advice.
So I want to thank all of those who inspire me every day when I sit down at my wheel or pick up a spindle, and I will accept that I can inspire others, flawed though my efforts are in my own eyes.


Lynn said...

You are very good at your fiber work. Of course you see the mistakes, the ways to improve, but you need to look at your own work objectively, the way you might look at an artifact in a museum - you love the colors, the motifs, the whatever, and yes you notice the wonky selvedges, but overall what you see is Good Work. So, look at your own work that way.

And I'm flattered that I'm on your list. I'm thinking I should start blogging again, if only to prod me to make progress instead of just using up stash.

Anonymous said...

Hi Devon --
I just read your article in the summer Spin-Off about weaving with handspun. You mentioned that you had a problem with one yarn (part mohair) that shed and balled up. I weave with handspun all time and I always size the warp yarn before weaving. You can use thin library paste, powdered milk or (my favorite) unflavored gelatin. I size when the yarn is still in skeins, let it dry completely, and then warp. It totally takes care of any stray fibers in the yarn. I started sizing when I was using single ply cotton, just to add a little strength and keep the twist in the yarn intact, but now I size everything -- it really makes weaving much easier because you never have to deal with fuzzies!

Devin said...

Thanks for the tip!