My name is Joanne Littler.
I’ve been spinning and weaving since the early 1980’s. Teaching those crafts and selling my work since 1995.
Having learned to spin and weave by myself – with some excellent reference materials as guides – I’ve followed a fairly narrow and self-directed path.
Good for me, and what I want/need/feel impelled to pursue, but definitely not a fast-track to everything anyone would ever want to know about spinning and weaving.
It occurred to me soon after I began making yarn that I wanted to weave with my handspun.
That particular goal has definitely influenced the way I spin.
It probably relates to the affinity I feel for people who, out of necessity, do (or have done) this same type of work.
And it absolutely explains why I consider myself a hand spinner who weaves – rather than a weaver who spins. For me, it’s all about the yarn. Making it, using it, and having it reveal itself as a particular kind of cloth.
I’m not especially interested in complicated weaving patterns – although I do appreciate seeing what other people create. I’m much more interested in how the yarn looks and feels. And what happens when it becomes fabric. I rarely venture beyond plain weave.
It suits me.
My academic background doesn’t include art. My degree is in Home Economics Education – not Consumer Science, not Living Arts, and not Human Ecology. Please. It’s Home Economics. And it’s a very good thing. In fact, I’ve come to believe that most of what everyone needs to know fits into a category related to Home Economics.
To me, it’s really about living well – the art and science – and, I suppose, the ecology of creating a good life.
And it’s about making choices in answer to perennial questions.
For example: “What will I do about…… expressing myself creatively?”
I’ve chosen to do the traditional crafts of hand spinning and weaving as part of my answer to that question. And yes, it is slow work. Very, very slow.
But in a world where speedi-ness, instant access, and instant gratification rule, the feeling and practice of slow is something I deeply appreciate. For me, it represents a way of shifting from outer awareness to a space I can devote to inner reflection.
The process of creating a piece of cloth by hand involves lots of time. Spinning and weaving represent hours and hours of repetitive physical movement.
So it’s absolutely true that I have a lot of time on my hands.
And inside all of that is where the work becomes exquisite.
I’m hoping that this blog will be a way for me to stay in touch with some of my students, customers and friends, to share ideas and perhaps (in time) connect with other people who also appreciate and enjoy the ‘making’ of cloth.
But please don’t expect lots of posts and updates and immediate downloads of photos from my latest experiments. Maybe I’ll get there. I intend to work on it. We’ll see.
For now, though – I’m taking it slow.