With a Little Help from My Friends

When I think of the Peruvian highlands, one of the first images that comes to mind is a steep and winding dirt road with switchbacks stretching out as far as the eye can see, and mid-vision, a tiny figure walking along at a steady pace. She’s wearing her many skirts (for warmth), and her beautifully […]

Far Gazing: A Bridge to Guizhou

What I love: mountains, hats, cloth, stories within ritual. On our third day in China’s Guizhou Province last spring, publisher Linda Ligon, photographer Joe Coca, and I bounced along steep and muddy mountain roads with our dear guide Wang Jun and faithful driver Mr. Zhou. We were in China to work on our newest book […]

Woven Valentine

valentine

A few weeks ago, I wrote about authors Lynda Teller Pete and Barbara Teller Ornelas and their busy lives teaching, weaving, and writing. In that post, I mentioned that Lynda was teaching on Valentines day at Gauge Yarn shop in Austin,Texas. She sent us this wonderful follow-up story of time spent with one of her […]

Follow the Leader

leader

“A leader is a person capable of always giving a little more in everything they do in helping and contributing to the well-being of the group and the community. A leader tries to be as humane as possible to resolve conflicts. A leader must be a responsible, honest and sincere person. A leader accepts constructive […]

At Warp Speed: Travels with the Navajo

In mid-December, we received a detailed narrative from Lynda Pete and her sister Barbara Ornelas (authors of Spider Woman’s Children: Navajo Weavers Today) about the consulting work they were doing at the Bard Graduate Center Gallery in New York. It seems they were on hand to help prepare an interactive Navajo weaving exhibition at the Bard […]

Weaving Community

From time to time, I have written posts about museums around the world that celebrate the voices and the work of indigenous textiles–from the Textile Center in Minneapolis and the Helen Louise Allen Textile Collection in Wisconsin to the Kurdish Textile Museum in Kurdistan and the Textile Museum of Oaxaca. Perhaps no other museum echoes the mission of […]

Where in the World is Alepio Melo?

About four years ago, Linda, photographer Joe Coca–with the excellent help of Diana Hendrickson–and I spent a couple of weeks in the Peruvian highlands learning from, documenting, and photographing master artisans of the Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco. CTTC director Nilda Callanaupa had arranged for various artisans from all of the communities that comprise […]

Solidarity of Women

Today is the annual Women’s March on Washington Reading about the scheduled activities reminded me of when our publisher Linda Ligon went to Washington, D.C. for the first march in 2017. She wore, somewhat reluctantly, the signature handknitted “Pussy hat.” Linda later wrote about how the experience of attending the march changed her perception about […]

Halfway to Heaven: Travels in Guatemala

heaven

In addition to writing stellar books herself, Thrums author Deborah Chandler has recommended many a good book to me, from the novels of Miguel Asturias to Diné bahane’: The Navajo Creation Story by Paul Zolbrod. Last fall she gave me a collection of poems, Seated on the Bank of the Yichk’u River by Maya writer […]

Keeping Track of the World One Thread at a Time

My fascination with kipus likely began when we were working on our book Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands in Chinchero, Peru. Kipu, from the Quechua word for knot, are the knotted cord devices that the Inca used for record keeping. They were made of long cords of thread suspended from a […]

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