Diamonds Are Forever

DiamondsAreForever

“Always keep a diamond in your mind.” —Tom Waits Spiraling In reading our friend Janet deBoer’s most recent Fibre Forum E-bulletin,  I learned about Spiral Textile: Ancient Design–Modern Hands. This is a juried competition challenging textile artists from around the world to produce a repeating spiral design that was drawn on an ancient papyrus. The drawing […]

Old Year, New Year, and a Whole Lot of Gratitude

Old year New Year

Old Year 2016 was a wonderful year for Thrums Books. Two of our books won Gold (Maya Threads) and Silver (Traditional Weavers of Guatemala) medals in the Multicultural category of the Benjamin Franklin Awards given by the Independent Book Publishers Association. We attended the always informative and inspiring Weave a Real Peace conference in Santa Fe in […]

Giving is Hand to Hand

“Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand, Mine to yours, yours to mine.” Alberto Ríos Give the Gift of Celebration  The Gift Of Discovery The Gift Of Tradition The Gift Of Heart The Gift Of Wonder Photo by Joe Coca from Maya Threads. The Gift Of Joy The Gift of Generations The Gift […]

Laughing it Off

laughingitoff

Sometimes you just have to laugh. Sometimes you leave all thoughts of “political correctness,” of propriety, of good manners behind and just let it bubble up. Laughter is universal. People laugh at themselves, their foibles, each other, their fate, the universe. Take this traditional Quechua riddle recorded in Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands: Dreaming Patterns, […]

A World of Blue

Peru Indigo

It was pretty blue at the Textile Society of America Symposium a couple of weeks ago, indigo blue. There was the indigo dye workshop on Ossabaw Island and a tour of its indigo history, an indigo art exhibition, and Catharine Ellis and Rowland Ricketts each chaired different sessions called “Indigo and Beyond” offering seven different presentations related to […]

The Long Thread

Symmetry

I’ve been reading a terrific book called I Contain Multitudes about microbes and their pervasive role in all of creation, not to mention my own gut. So a recent story in the New York Times immediately caught my eye: “Could Ancient Remedies Hold the Answer to the Looming Antibiotic Crisis?” As I dug into the story, […]

A Mother’s Gift

Teaching textile traditions is a gift mothers pass down to their children (okay, dads can get in on it, too, but that’s a story for another day). Whether in Guatemala, Mexico, or Peru—and I’m learning in Morocco, Laos, and Afghanistan, too—for centuries, mothers have been teaching their daughters to weave, to spin, to dye, to embroider. Passing down these skills […]

Preservation or Innovation: What’s Best for Textile Traditions?

TextileTraditionChinchero

I get the best email. Dear Linda, Here’s a question that has been wandering around in the back of my mind ever since I went to Peru a couple of years ago. I’m a weaver, knitter, and sewist, so I love this stuff. In the Sacred Valley, we saw Nilda Callanaupa and her merry band […]

Skiing in our Chullos

PitumarcaPeru

Recently, my son Ian and I were skiing at one of our favorite spots in the Rockies. Ian wore his chullo that I’d brought him from Peru a couple of months ago. I’ve been skiing in mine for years, and now my kid gets to be one of the coolest dressers on the slopes, too. Chullos […]

Mother and Daughter

Accha Alta A little more than ten years ago, I was visiting the breathtakingly high, beautiful Andean village of Accha Alta. This very traditional small community was still farming potatoes the old way, tilling near-vertical land with handheld hoes. They were still weaving sacks (costales) of handspun llama wool on backstrap looms to take those […]

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