OCTOBER WEAVER'S PROFILE!
Stewed Rhubarb Handmade is the only weaver *outside* of Alberta that I will be profiling this year (though she lives in a town that is half in AB and half in SK). I wanted to stick within Alberta but she is just too awesome to leave out and we did our training together so I mean... my hands were tied! ;-)
1) WHAT IS THE NAME OF YOUR BUSINESS AND WHEN WAS IT ESTABLISHED?
Don's Hardware and Liquor - just kiddin'! I roll as Stewed Rhubarb Handmade these days, and it just sort of trickled into existence over the last three years. I couldn't pin down an exact date in terms of commencement, but I started selling handspun yarns under that name around the spring of 2012.
2) WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
3) HOW MANY WEAVERS DO YOU HAVE AND FOR HOW LONG HAVE THEY BEEN WEAVING?
It's just moi! I've been weaving since January 2013.
4) DO YOU BABYWEAR AND IF YOU DO/DID, HOW DID YOU GET INTO IT?
We baby wear more or less constantly during our waking hours. My little niblet was wrapped for the first time within an hour of leaving the hospital.
5) WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A WEAVER?
I can't say I decided to 'become a weaver' so much as I just.... became one naturally through my love of working with fibre. I've always had a thing for crafty fibre pastimes (words cannot express how many toques I've made over the years), and weaving just came as a natural extension of my obsession with spinning yarn. Gotta do something with all that tasty yarn, and knitting endless scarves just wasn't my cup of tea. It was mostly a coincidence that I happened to be a new mum who wore her kid 24/7, so wrap weaving flowed from that. It was just a harmonious combination of interests, and the timing was right.
6) WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
I've read that when you can't shut your brain off, you're meant to keep a pen and paper with you all the time, so you can jot down your thoughts and sort of release them into the universe. I'm not sure it's thoughts I have bouncing around in my brain, keeping me up at night, as it is an excess of... energy. I speak quickly, I move rapidly, and I don't like to wait around. Having the freedom to channel this energy into (things like yoga, running, mediation, and now) weaving, has been truly cathartic for me. I've acquired equipment and developed my own preferred system for creating warps (with MUCH help and patience from my esteemed leader in weaving advancement, Margaret Coe, along with many other resources) that allows me to work with minimal interruption or pause. I've said this before - I truly 'feel out' my colour ways, and I find it incredibly balancing to just be able to pour myself into that process. It's draining in the best of ways.
7) WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE WEAVING PROCESS?
Wearing my textiles! of course. But if I had to pick an element of the process aside from enjoying the fruits of my labour, I'd say I most enjoy photographing my work. It's a weird and wonderful sensation to step away from your textile and realize that all the compartmentalization you just endured in order not to lose your sanity in the extremely laborious process of it all, just melted away and you have this tangible item to grin at. Yep, I spend a significant amount of time grinning at cloth. You read that right. I'm not ashamed.
8) WHAT ADVISE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW BABYWEARER?
Breathe deeply and relax. I remember spending *so much time* feeling sweaty and frantic, and I wish I'd been able to savour the sweetness that is wrapping your tiny babe, with more contentment and less... fear. As an educator, I'll always stress that the constant interaction with a worn-baby is key to ensuring success in safe learning, but my personal journey would have benefitted from someone telling me to just chill out and remember to enjoy it. Babies sleep better wrapped on calm mothers, HA!
9) HOW CAN PEOPLE BUY YOUR PRODUCTS?
I have very limited public offerings at this time, but occasional sales are hosted on www.facebook.com/stewedrhubarbhandmade
10) I AM A REALITY TV JUNKIE SO JUST FOR FUN, IF YOU COULD BE ON ONE REALITY TV SHOW, WHICH OF THE FOLLOWING WOULD YOU CHOOSE? (Survivor; Big Brother; The Real Housewives; Project Runway; The Amazing Race; Naked and Afraid)
Naked and Afraid
I don't have TV! So I have no idea what Naked and Afraid is, but it sounds kind of sexy and dangerous. So I pick that.
Erika (Stewed Rhubarb Handmade's weaver) with her daughter, using one of her wraps.