Monday, July 22, 2013

Colorado, Utah and New Mexico ~ July 2013

The first ever Schacht loom - handbuilt in 1969 - Tapestry Loom.
Joe putting a driveband on a 24" Reeves wheel

Boat Shuttles Drying, Schacht Spindle Company, Boulder, Colorado

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Arches National Park, Utah

Pine Tree Arch, Arches National Park, Utah

Double rainbow at sunset - Devil's Garden Campground, Arches National Park, Utah

Newspaper Rock, Utah

Newspaper Rock, Utah

Castle Rock, Utah

Sandia and Manzano Mountains, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Mission Church, Pecos National Monument, New Mexico
Fort Union National Monument, New Mexico

Monday, July 1, 2013

It started innocently enough....

....when I peeped into the window of an East Lansing shop window in May 2007.

 At the time my husband and I were living in Boston.  In town for a job interview, my husband was tied up most of the day - so I did what came naturally, and hunted down all the yarn shops in the area. I quickly discovered it was not going to be hard to be a knitter in mid-Michigan. I liked all of them, but my favorite had Habu yarn in the window. My favorite had local handspun yarn for sale. My favorite had yarns that I had heard of, but had never seen. My favorite had obscure books. My favorite had textile art on the walls.  My favorite was Woven Art.


My knitting history is probably similar to many. I learned as a child, taught by my Aunt. My mother is a beautiful knitter, and I am sure she tried to teach me, but sometimes it is best to learn from Not-Your-Mother.  This skill was put by the wayside until I was in grad school in New York City. I was working nearly full time at a Contemporary Art gallery and working on my Master's degree in Islamic and Medieval Art History. I needed a stress relief. I needed something I could do as a special treat for myself once the dreaded language translation homework was finished. It didn't matter what I was knitting, just that I WAS knitting.

Knitting became increasingly important to me when I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2001. Away from family and friends, I found it daunting to find peers. But I had my knitting, and when I found colleagues who knit, we banded together at a local coffee shop, collecting secret knitters, lonely knitters, and teaching eager beginners as we went. Knitting provided me with a family where I had none and a community who understood my obsession. Knitting also gave me my best friend from that Knit Night in Albuquerque.

Two more cross-country moves found me in Michigan, with my face pressed eagerly up against the window. Once again it was knitting that provided me with friends and happy faces. And it was knitting that emphatically proclaimed what my career choice was going to be. I had started a second Master's degree in Library and Information Science, but a severe illness made me question whether that was my true path. And again, the siren song of yarn pulled me in.

I started working for Nancy at Woven Art with the idea that I would be a "business intern" - that I wanted to learn the business. And graciously, as ever, Nancy agreed. And I had a mentor. Just like that. I don't think either of us thought that I would one day buy her carefully grown business, but I tried to absorb everything that I could - teaching classes, working the Open Knitting nights to help 2 or 3 or even 8 knitters at a time, helping knitters pick out new projects, meeting with yarn reps and attending conventions. And Nancy has been generous with her knowledge, experience and yes, her opinions, through it all.

I am so honored to be Woven Art's next owner. But really, I feel that I am a custodian of this wonderful shop as it continues to work its magic on all who enter!