Monday, January 22, 2007

A Different Generation Of Weavers

Weavers often comment to me; "You must spend a lot of time on the computer." And, yes, I do sit in front of this screen a lot. I used to hear/read a little bit of cynicism in this comment, similar to being told off for watching too much television or playing video games. And not enough time on the loom.

But wait, I've been on email and instant messaging sine 1985, and I had to use the public fora for obtaining information for work. I've been peripherally in the IT industry from time to time, and I'm married to an IT guy. (In fact, the very first time I ever "spoke" to Ben was through instant messaging asking him if he wanted me to apply my portion of a fix from my computer or from one in his department.)

Furthermore, for about the first five years while I was a closet weaver, I found teachers in North America through the various weavers fora, which were already a busy platform in 1995. After weaving three warps on a 4-shaft jack loom, I purchased a 16-shaft computer-controlled loom, because if you live in Nelson, and one comes up for sale, you grab it. And I've been playing with weave structures on the computer every since.

I've always kept my weaving records on a spreadsheet, and this year, intend to build a database so I can search by weaves, shaft numbers, yarn sources, and link to my tiny but growing customer database. And now that I have a digital camera, a blog and a photo blog, I use the Internet to ask questions, compare notes, and hope to spread the joy and excitement of handweaving through the Internet.

So, even though I don't have an MP3 player attached to my person, (I don't even own one!), and even though I'm just a few years younger than many weavers I know, I am of a different generation of weavers, in that I use the computer extensively to help me in what I do.

And I don't have to feel bad about it.

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