Even though my daughter remembers waking on weekend mornings to the thump, thump of the loom below her room, she was never interested in following in my textile footsteps. No sewing, no knitting, no weaving. And though I was a runner throughout her childhood, she complained if I so much as suggested walking a few blocks with the dog. I tried to coax her into the kitchen without luck. One of her college apartment-mates, Paul, told me once, “Margo finds it challenging to make a bowl of cereal.”
I think that words crowded out all these other activities, as she spun tales in her head and wrote, wrote, wrote. In her first grade students were encouraged to write books using invented spelling. Margaret was prolific. Here, the black cat says, “And when I wake up I go looking for food.” Luckily her early instruction included revising as well. And now, many years later, post-MFA, Margaret is teaching about revision.
Margaret has other amazing adult accomplishments. The former non-walker can be found on paths around the Minnesota lakes constantly, and she even attends spinning class. She cooks! She and her boyfriend attend cooking classes together and test out new vegetables from their summertime boxes of food from a local farmer. This weekend, for the first time, she made the bread that I made for her every week while she was growing up. (Here’s the recipe.)
And now she has wool in her hands, too. We attended a class on needle-felting small animals at the Textile Center of Minnesota. We set out to reproduce our cats. I reported on mine a few days ago. And now Margaret’s cat has a wooly reproduction. She reported, “I finished my little guy! Loki think it’s a tasty cat toy, though, so this is as close as I can get him for a photo.”
I don’t think Margaret will move on to weaving, which is fine because I love the fact she writes and is a great editor and critic for my own work. I might cultivate the next generation for weaving; here Joe’s daughter Cora shows a precocious affinity for thread.
I’m in the same boat. Two girls, no textiles. BUT our 2 year old granddaughter likes to help throw the shuttle, swings a mean beater, and heads for the spindle basket first thing. It’s fun to see her interest.
Heidi Goldberg wrote an article for the Norwegian Textile Letter about teaching nordic fiber techniques to college students, Transforming Through Tradition: Teaching Nordic Arts at Concordia College, Moorhead. This line will strengthen your resolve to keep teaching our kids and grandchildren. “There are many students who have never worked on projects requiring facile hand skills unless it involved a computer keyboard.” Eek.
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