Recently, I've become obsessed with weaving. Haven't been this fired up about anything in quite some time. But it really started twenty years ago when I began rescuing farm animals. My first two critters were Cowboy, a big Nubian goat from a petting zoo, and Precious, an angora goat confiscated from a terrible situation.
Having grown up with a hamster and small dog, taking care of larger animals was a pretty big leap. I was also a recent widow, so there was a great deal of sorrow to learn to live with as well as adjusting to being on my own again. Thank goodness the goats saved me rather than the other way around.
I moved to a patch of land and fell down the rabbit hole to a new world of farm terms, experiences, responsibilities, and people.
Precious, the goat, was afraid of being sheared with an electric clipper, so every year I would cut her mohair off with a scissors ( for safety the tip was blunted). To accomplish this took several hours, a very patient goat, and some oldies on the radio in the barn.At the time, I had no immediate plans for the fleece, but I washed, dried and saved it by the bagful.
Also during this time of great transition, I pursued my dream of writing and publishing romance novels. I'd been writing for what seemed like forever. Being published proved to be another struggle full of disappointment with a huge dash of discouragement.
Then in 2009 my dream came true. One month before I turned sixty, my first book The Dragon and The Rose sold to the Wild Rose Press. Best birthday present ever.
During the next twelve years and fifteen books, my wonderful Precious grew old and passed away. Another heartbreak. But I always kept those bags of hair.
Now, as my desire for something new in my life reared its head, I looked at all that beautiful mohair and thought...I need to learn to spin and weave goat hair! So here I was again jumping into something foreign yet exciting.
After taking classes at the Longmont Yarn Shoppe, my VERY patient instructor Sara, brought the joy of weaving to my world, and one day I realized writing and weaving have several similarities. After all, you can spin a yarn, weave a tale, or follow the thread of a story. While weaving your mind is free to wander elsewhere conjuring great ideas for your next book, or solving a problem in your current endeavor.
When I write I use the planner and pantser (seat of your pants) approach to writing. When weaving there is somewhat the ability to use this approach. You need to know the general idea of the project and how much yarn to buy, but as you weave you can vary the pattern or colors just as in writing you can change the storyline, add characters, or even surprise yourself with a new ending. Both processes can be exciting and full of unexpected results.Now when I lie awake in the middle of the night, rather than always thinking about plot points and character arcs, I wonder about weaving techniques and "what ifs" for the next pattern I may want to try. A picture or scrap of conversation can ignite the foundation for a new story, and seeing patterns and color combinations while out and about can spark ideas for a new pattern to weave. Both can be a joy and a frustration, but both have given me so much.
My books are dedicated to those I love and those who have made my world a better place in which to live and grow. And whether spending hours and hours weaving or writing, in the end I hope I create something which will give happiness to others.
I think maybe I need to buy a spinning wheel.....